Since this question comes up a lot, I thought I’d do a post on caring for silver jewelry.
If your jewelry is sterling silver with a satin finish and doesn’t have a patina (darkened), the best way to clean it, is to lightly scrub the surface with a Scotch-Brite pad or fine steel wool in a circular pattern.
If your jewelry is sterling silver with a shiny finish but has tarnished, rub it with a Sunshine cloth to remove the tarnish.
To help prevent your jewelry from becoming tarnished, you can store your jewelry in a zip-lock bag with anti-tarnish paper.
If it does have a patina, then a gentil liquid soap and water is best. If you need to get into crevices, a soft toothbrush will work, but be sure not to rub too hard or the patina will come off.
Also, it is normal for patinas to wear off of jewelry over time. This is especially true of rings and bracelets since they take so much abuse, but less so with earrings and necklaces. Jewelers usually use “liver of sulfur” or “silver black” to impart a patina on jewelry. These chemicals require proper handling and disposal, but one thing that most people have at home is bleach, which can also darken silver, but sometimes with unpredictable results, so use at your own risk.