If you use the silver dip or the “Maggie” pan, you need keep the bell submerged until the tarnish has cleared. With the dip, it is a matter of seconds.

With Sterling Silver, I don’t hesitate to clean the bells whenever there is tarnish visible. For silver plate, I generally wait a bit longer as I do not want to remove the silver from the base metal. Storage of the bells after they are clean is important. If they are near paper, stored on wooden shelves or cabinets, exposed to household air, frequently touched, then they will tarnish quickly due to exposure to sulfur in those environments. The best storage would be in a flannel silver bag (obtained at most jewelry stores or department stores). They will not be visible until they are removed from the bag, but will keep their shine longer. They should be handled with clean cotton gloves to avoid chemicals from the skin from coming in contact with the silver. Most people find these measures impractical and simply clean the bells whenever they tarnish.