How to Keep Jewelry Clean
By House of Jewellery
You’ve probably wondered how to keep jewelry clean. It’s something that should be talked about more often, considering that people have worn jewelry for centuries. However, there’s a lot of opinions on what’s right and what’s not, but luckily, we’re here to help! We’ve written how to properly take care of your collection, and what to do should your jewelry tarnish.
And remember, there’s no harm in getting a second opinion from a professional.
The First Steps to Keep Jewelry Clean: Storage
One of the best ways to keep your jewelry clean is by taking it off when you know you’re going to come into contact with water. Applying beauty products, cleaning the house, and swimming are some of the most common ways tarnishing happens. If you’re in a situation where you end up caught in a rainstorm, be sure to dry your jewelry before putting them away.
The key to maintaining clean jewelry is to organize it. By keeping all your jewelry tidy and stored well, you’re ensuring that your pieces are not only safe from being lost or damaged but that they last a long time.
The first step is to separate all your jewelry by keeping the tarnished pieces away from the non-tarnished. This is to see what pieces are fine, which need to be cleaned, and to what degree. It also helps to prevent clean pieces from tarnishing and those that already are from tarnishing quicker.
Once that’s taken care of, sort by materials. Different metals and gemstones have different properties, and therefore, need specific storage. You should then sort by what the piece is (earrings with earrings, necklaces with necklaces, etc).
The general rule of thumb for keeping jewelry clean is:
- Silver can be stored in anti-tarnish containers.
- Most jewelry is fine in jewelry boxes with lids and lined with felt
- Gemstones also need boxes with felt, but softer ones like pearls should never be kept in plastic (it causes them to deteriorate faster).
- Keep gemstones in a dry and dark place.
- If jewelry shops give you a bag or pouch when you buy jewelry, use it. The packaging is usually made with the jewelry in mind.
Remember: moisture and dust only make things worse, so limiting how much exposure jewelry gets to them is important.
After all the sorting is done, make sure you keep your everyday pieces from your jewelry that’s restricted to special occasions. That way you’re not mixing those that are used to oils and sun to those that aren’t.
Remember that keeping jewelry organized and not in a giant mess of tangled necklaces and loose earrings is important. This is the most crucial step to keep jewelry clean. Also, it’s important to give jewelry a break every once in a while.
How to Make Jewelry Sparkle Again
You’re probably wondering where to start with your collection. The first step is to find the jewelry that needs cleaning and tackle it right away.
There are many different recipes for cleaning solutions depending on the materials, but for the most part a gentle dish soap and lukewarm water will do the trick. Make sure you also have a soft tooth brush (that you don’t use for your teeth) and a soft lint-free cloth.
Silver polish or wipes will also work, but it’s best to save it for items that are heavily tarnished. Make sure to avoid applying it to gemstones, as the chemicals can damage your gems.
When it comes to gold, two or three drops of dish soap in warm water works well. Larger pieces should soak for about five minutes, while smaller ones don’t need to be soaked for that long. Rinse and lay the items to dry, and use a toothbrush to get into those hard to reach areas.
Gemstones can be washed in the same manner, but swap the soap for seltzer. The carbonation of the water helps to loosen the dirt – but only do this with non-porous gems.
Battery-operated items like watches, and soft gems like pearls should never be soaked in water. The moisture will soak into them and cause damage. Watches can be washed without dunking. Porous gemstones should be put on a soft cloth and cleaned by using a makeup brush dipped in water and shampoo. Use a damp cloth (that’s well-wrung) to rinse them by wiping them down. Make sure you flat dry them so the strands don’t warp. It’s also a good idea to wipe pearls after wearing to prevent the oils from skin soaking in.