If you want to make the most of your jewelry, it’s important to keep it looking its best. With proper cleaning methods, you can save a lot of time in the long run. But how exactly should you clean your jewelry? We’ve put together a simple guide to help you get your pieces sparkling as soon as possible.
CHECK YOUR JEWELRY
It's easy to overlook that your jewelry needs cleaning, either because you wear it all the time and don't notice the changes or because it's put away somewhere and you don't look at it too often. You might be a bit alarmed when you realize just how grimy and dull some of your favorite pieces are. The good news is that cleaning for most jewelry pieces is pretty easy. Read on to find out how.
LET'S WASH IT
When you wear jewelry, you want to be sure that you're keeping your skin safe from the elements and harmful chemicals. This cleaning step is simple, but it will be an easy way to keep your jewelry sparkling clean and bright. Use warm water and a gentle colorless and fragrance-free liquid soap. Use a soft cloth or brush to gently remove any dirt or residue and rinse thoroughly with warm water. Dry jewelry as quickly as possible to avoid tarnishing. Don't let soft gems, like opals or pearls, soak in water for too long. It will affect them. Clean it right away and dry it quickly and thoroughly.
TRY AN ULTRASONIC CLEANER
Don't let dirt and grime gather in those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies of your jewelry pieces. An inexpensive ultrasonic cleaner may be all you need to keep your pieces looking sparkling clean. Ultrasonic cleaning is especially good for removing grime and dust from intricate pieces (exceptions below). Note that an ultrasonic won't remove tarnish, but it will work a treat on otherwise impossible-to-reach areas on rings, necklaces, bracelets, etc.
If your silver jewelry has blackened or patinated areas, like the designs, or features soft gemstones like opals, turquoise, or pearls, then ultrasonic cleaning should be avoided at all costs. Use it with caution as this process can cause damage to some finishes and soft gemstones.
REMOVE TARNISH WITH A POLISHING CLOTH
Other precious metals, such as sterling silver, can tarnish over time, just like the more common precious metals like gold and silver. It's easy to remove this tarnish by gently cleaning your metal pieces with a clean piece of cloth, like the professional cleaning cloths we have available in our online store. Once you're happy with the result, rinse the piece and carefully dry it to remove any chemical residue.
USE SILVER DIP
Silver dip is a really simple and fast way to remove tarnish from silver, although it does take a little more work than a silver polishing cloth. You can also try silver polish for sterling silver, but the silver dip is quicker. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and always rinse well and dry when you're done.
Silver dip is usually recommended as a means to clean silver and gold jewelry. But don't always use silver dip, it might damage some finishes and gemstones. If you have silver jewelry with blackened areas as part of the design or soft stones such as lapis lazuli, turquoise, or pearls, then don't use silver dip.
AVOID HARSH CLEANING
Never use 'old wives' cleaning methods for your jewelry. These include toothpaste or baking soda paste which are rubbed onto the metal. This method will remove small amounts of metal every time you do it and over time it will damage and deplete your precious jewelry. Drop earrings and dangle earrings should never be cleaned using these methods as it could damage or wear down the metal. Be careful when using polishing cloths, brushes, or anything else which rubs against the metal, particularly if your jewelry has a more delicate finish, such as gold plating, blackening, or a patina.
STORE YOUR JEWELRY CAREFULLY
Now your jewelry is nice and clean, have a think about how best to store it to avoid needing to clean it again too soon.
Don't store precious metal jewelry in the bathroom because that's where you'll find most of its dirt, dust, and grime! You should try to avoid storing precious metal jewelry in free-flowing air, as this will speed up tarnishing. If you live in a humid location then extra care should be taken and more frequent cleaning undertaken. Ideally, precious metal jewelry should be stored away from free-flowing air. This will also slow down tarnish, plus it will help keep dust at bay. Keep it in a pouch, small jewelry box, or similar if you can. Make sure your jewelry is stored carefully and kept away from any hard surfaces, and also make sure you store it separately to prevent any rubbing and scratching.