The musty odor coming from sterling silver is usually the result of substances that also cause the metal to tarnish. Sterling silver is used to make jewelry and also flatware, but even oils from the skin can cause damage to the sensitive metal. Other substances like onions, eggs or the sulfur in the air also lead to tarnishing and possibly foul smells. If the sterling silver is not cleaned and stored properly, odors can form. Gentle cleaning of the sterling silver is the best way to eliminate musty odors.
Things You'll Need
Dishwashing liquid (no phosphates or lemons)
Sterling silver storage containers
Wash the sterling silver by hand and with no other objects. Place a rubber mat on the bottom of stainless steel sinks. It is important that sterling silver not come into contact with other metals.
Put on plastic gloves before washing the sterling silver. The Society of American Silversmiths reports that latex tarnishes sterling silver.
Wash the sterling silver with mild dishwashing liquid and warm water. Choose a dishwashing liquid that has no phosphates or lemon as ingredients. These substances can tarnish sterling silver.
Rinse the soap off the sterling silver completely. Dry with a lint-free cloth. The sterling silver should now be odor-free. If not, repeat steps above.
Store the sterling silver properly to prevent further odors.. Use airtight containers made for sterling silver. These storage containers are usually lined with silver cloth, a special fabric that keeps the metal in good condition.