When it comes down to it, both your everyday jewelry and unique items that you infrequently wear probably need to be polished. Soap, dust, lotion, and dirt are all contaminants that can make pearls, stones, and chains look dull. These can also clog your jewelry settings, which can cause issues down the line.
For many people, you won’t even notice that your jewelry needs a good clean until you are heading out for the night and see that something isn’t as shiny and sparkly as it used to be.
Thankfully, there are options for cleaning all sorts of valuable jewelry right in your home. As experts in jewelry, we wanted to share a few tips on keeping all of your best jewelry looking great so it will last a lifetime. The best part is that all the cleaning can be done using items you already have around your home in many cases.
Keeping Diamond Jewelry Clean
As one of the most popular gemstones in the world, diamonds are known for having the best luster. These gems can be found on necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and things like engagement and wedding rings. When you’re looking to clean a diamond engagement ring, there are several steps to the process since they need to stand up to daily dust, oil, and sweat.
Diamonds are one of the strongest materials, but they can still be damaged when improperly cared for. It isn’t just the stone you need to worry about but also the setting. The best mixture to use for cleaning diamonds is either mild dish detergent or ammonia and water. You’ll want to use about a quarter of a cup of ammonia to a cup of warm water.
Once you have the solution, leave the diamond jewelry to soak for around 20 to 30 minutes. After it has soaked, use a soft toothbrush to remove any dirt that remains. Be gentle on the actual diamond to keep it from leaving its setting. Next, you can rinse it off and dry it off. Air drying isn’t recommended since it can leave water spots.
Tips for Cleaning Silver Jewelry
While the best option for cleaning silver (and preventing it from tarnishing) is a silver polish, there are other options. However, the polish contains ingredients that remove tarnish and transfer a coating behind to prevent it from coming back. Since liquid polish tends to be messy to use, many people use silver polish cloths. One side cleans, and the other side shines the piece.
Don’t have any silver polish on hand? That’s okay. There are other options, although they might not prevent tarnishing in the future:
- Dish Soap – Combine warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Take a soft cloth and cover it in the solution before using it to rub the silver tarnish away. You can rinse with cool water and use another cloth to buff it dry.
- Toothpaste – Just like toothpaste has mild abrasives to remove stains on teeth; it can also remove tarnish from silver. Take a dab of white paste toothpaste and rub it gently onto the jewelry. Once you’re done, rinse with warm water and use a soft cloth to buff it.
- Baking Soda – For severe tarnish, using one part water to three parts baking soda can work. Get the silver wet and use a soft cloth to apply the paste. Make sure it’s worked into all the little spaces as you go. Rinse off the jewelry and then buff it dry.
The Process for Cleaning Gold Jewelry
Whether you have solid gold earrings, bracelets, or chains, they can be cleaned in a bath of warm water with a bit of dish soap. Small pieces can be put in a strainer that is placed in the mixture, while larger items can go right into the bowl. Make sure to let the jewelry soak for about five minutes.
After soaking the pieces, swish them all around and then remove them to a soft cloth. You can use a soft toothbrush to go over links and crevices to remove any dirt that might be trapped out of sight. Put the small items back into the strainer and then rinse everything under running water. You should then use a soft cloth to buff each piece until dry.
Cleaning and Shining Gemstones
Are your sapphires, rubies, and emeralds no longer shining up the room the way that they used to? If so, you can clean them up using almost the same method as you use for gold. The difference is that instead of using regular water, you’ll want to mix your dish soap into seltzer water instead. The added carbonation helps remove any debris or soil stuck in the settings or on the facets.
Use your handy soft toothbrush to clean off the settings and stone before you dunk them under clean water to rinse them off. You can also use the strainer technique from earlier if the pieces of jewelry are small. The last step is buffing them dry and then enjoying that newfound sparkle they offer to you.
Techniques for Cleaning Pearls
Pearls lose their luster quickly because they are extremely porous. Whether your pearls are cultured, real, or faux, they need to be cleaned gently. The first thing you should know is that you should never soak pearls since the string can weaken and fall apart.
Lay your strand of pearls on a soft cloth and then use a small makeup brush dipped in warm water and shampoo to clean each of the pearls. You’ll want to rinse them off using a damp cloth. Rather than buffing pearls dry, you want to let the entire strand dry flat so that the string doesn’t stretch out.
Now you have all the information you need to clean your valuable jewelry to stay in perfect condition for years to come. Remember that you should also visit a jeweler at least once a year to check for any problems with your pieces. Follow these tips, and you’ll have jewelry that stays in the condition you bought it!