It’s time for a much-needed night out. You’re all dressed up and ready to leave. All that’s left is putting on your accessories.
When you pull your favorite silver necklace out of its box, you feel a disgusting residue on it. Don’t panic. Grime isn’t uncommon for jewelry pieces that you wear out a lot.
It collects your natural oils and other things from the environment. We’ve got a few jewelry cleaning tips that will help you get it looking spick and span before you head out to meet your friends.
Keep reading for a full list of care steps for all your necklaces, rings, and bracelets.
Prevention Is Key
Anyone in the jewelry industry will tell you that the secret to cleaner rings and necklaces is prevention. When your spouse went to shop for engagement rings, they spent a lot. You want to honor their wallet’s noble sacrifice by wearing your wedding ring wherever you go.
That’s a mistake.
You need to slip it off before you get in the shower or do the dishes. The water won’t do the material any favors.
You also shouldn’t wear it when you’re cooking or putting on hand cream either. The nasty residue could get caught in the crevices and cause tarnishing.
Cleaning Your Silver Jewelry
Following the proper prevention steps will keep all types of jewelry cleaner, but it’s not foolproof. When you wear a ring out enough times, it will hold on to your natural body oils and get a bit gross.
Cleaning looks different depending on what material you’re working with. We’re going to go over silver jewelry first.
Grab a baking pan and line it with a sheet of tinfoil. Lay your jewelry in the pan and sprinkle it with baking soda and salt. Next, you’ll pour boiling water into the pan.
As your silver sits in the concoction, the tarnish will fade away. When you’re satisfied that your jewelry is clean enough, pull it out and dry it with a lint-free cloth.
If you don’t have these ingredients lying around, you can pick up a jewelry cleaner. Be sure to read the ingredients on the label before you put it in your shopping cart, however.
Products that contain ammonia and other harsh chemicals can damage precious metals and gemstones. Silver polish is a good option as well.
Cleaning Your Gold Jewelry
The main benefit of gold jewelry is that it doesn’t tarnish as quickly or easily as silver does. This being said, if you wear your pieces every day, they can gather grime from your makeup and natural body oils.
Grab a bowl and fill it with warm water. Add a few drops of mild dish soap and mix it all together.
Place your gold jewelry into the bowl and let it soak for at least 20 minutes. It’s important to note that you should only add one piece of jewelry at a time. If you put in any more than that, you risk scratching the metal.
If your jewelry has any intricate carvings or engravings, you may have to use a soft-bristled brush to break up the dirt in the grooves as the piece soaks.
Take your jewelry out of the bowl when the 20 minutes are up and rinse it. Dry it off with a cotton cloth. Avoid using a paper towel because it can scratch the material.
If your favorite piece is a bit on the dull side, take it to a professional jewelry cleaning service. The baking soda and salt method you used for your silver pieces will damage gold.
Cleaning Your Best Jewelry
Now we’re going to move on to your finest jewelry. You can go the same route you did with your gold, with one exception. You can’t leave it in the mild soap and water mixture for more than a couple of seconds if it contains any precious gemstones.
A soft-bristled toothbrush will work well for scrubbing your best pieces. You can use a toothpick to remove any dirt that’s trapped in the groves around the gems.
While you’re cleaning, it’s important to be on the lookout for loose stones. If they shift slightly during the cleaning process, stop wearing them until you can see a professional.
Go Easy on the Ultrasonic Cleaner
If cleaning by hand seems like too much trouble, you can invest in an ultrasonic cleaner. It’s great for getting rid of the dirt that you can’t reach with a brush.
There are only a few situations where using one of these machines isn’t a good call. They can ruin sensitive stones like turquoise and pearls.
Storing Your Favorite Pieces
Once your jewelry is looking nice and shiny again, you can store it back in the box. The general rule of thumb here is that humidity is bad.
Don’t store your jewelry box in places such as your bathroom. That will make your favorite pieces tarnish faster.
Provide a protective barrier of some kind between your metal jewelry. If it’s allowed to rub together, it will scratch the material.
Simple Jewelry Cleaning Tips to Live By
Is your favorite jewelry looking a little worse for wear? With the right products, you can breathe new life into all your pieces.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, however, you can do more harm than good.
We hope that you’re able to follow the jewelry cleaning steps provided to keep your necklaces and bracelets spick and span without scratching them up. For more tips that will keep you and your jewelry looking great, visit the Beauty section of our blog.