How To Clean Jewelry
Your jewelry is important to you and you want to keep it looking good. There are so many reasons jewelry can be meaningful, and so, there are just as many reasons to keep it in its best condition. Keeping your jewelry clean also prevents skin irritations and allergies: gold-filled and gold-plated jewelry can cause allergic reactions when the outer layer of gold wears off, exposing an inexpensive base metal that can stain the skin. For more information about how to clean different kinds of jewelry, check out our Complete Guide For How To Clean Jewelry.
There are 3 main rules of cleaning your jewelry:
(1) Know what your jewelry is made of. Sterling Silver? Solid gold? Gold-plated? Knowing the metal exterior and metal core materials of your jewelry item will ensure you get back that sparkle and shine!
(2) Determine if your jewelry needs a professional clean or a DIY home cleaning. Most of your jewelry items can actually be cleaned with simple, household products! However, engagement rings, wedding bands, and antique family heirlooms should more than likely be taken to a professional cleaner.
(3) Know how to properly store your jewelry to prevent further damage and tarnish.
How To Clean Jewelry At Home
Luckily, most jewelry items can be cleaned with everyday products you can find in your home! You don’t always need a fancy jewelry cleaner to get your treasures shining: home remedies for cleaning jewelry can work just as well! A little time + the right ingredients = beautiful bling.
Here are some easy cleaning tips for jewelry items of any base metal:
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DIY Techniques for Silver or Gold
- To remove tarnish from silver jewelry, make a thick paste with ¼ cup baking soda and 2 tablespoons of water. With a damp sponge, gently apply the mixture to your jewelry. Rub, rinse, and buff dry.
- To polish gold jewelry, cover the jewelry items with a light coating of baking soda, pour vinegar over it, and rinse clean.
- Note: This method is best suited for silver or gold jewelry. However, do not use this method with gemstones or pearls as it could damage the finish and remove necessary glue.
- Hot water is a cheap and easy way to wipe away all that dirt and debris from your hard metal jewelry! The steam and heat from the boiling water cause buildup to loosen from the jewelry, making it easy to wipe away.
- First, boil water. Place your jewelry items in a heat-proof container, then slowly pour the boiling water over the jewelry items until covered. Let jewelry sit for a few minutes, until the water has cooled. Remove jewelry from bowl, wipe away grime with a clean cloth, and let jewelry dry before putting away.
- Note: This technique is best used for silver, gold, platinum or diamonds. This technique should not be used for pearls, opals or other gemstones.
- To brighten up your gold and silver jewelry, immerse them in a solution of ½ cup clear ammonia and 1 full cup of warm water. Let them soak for approximately 10 minutes. Gently wipe clean with a soft cloth and let dry before storing.
- Note: Do not use this technique with pearls because it could dull or damage their fragile exterior.
How To Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry
Knowing how to clean sterling silver jewelry correctly is important, since this metal is susceptible to tarnishing. Silver jewelry is tricky because you want to clean it, but also prevent tarnish from coming back (as much as possible!). Though there are techniques you can use to clean your sterling silver jewelry, these techniques won’t necessarily prevent tarnish from coming back. So, in addition to the techniques listed above, try the following to know how to clean tarnished jewelry!
Products to help you clean silver:
Techniques that prevent tarnish:
To prevent silver from tarnishing:
How To Clean Gold Jewelry
In addition to the above listed techniques, there are a few other important tips to keep in mind when cleaning gold jewelry. Gold is a very soft metal, so be sure to clean your gold jewelry items with great care. Also, keep in mind that gold-plated jewelry items are even more susceptible to damage due to the thinner layer of gold that is coating the outside layer of the jewelry item.
Therefore, when cleaning your gold jewelry, determine whether it is solid gold, gold-plated, or gold-filled to know how much care is needed when cleaning your jewelry item. For gold-plated jewelry items, it is recommended to use simple, safe methods.
There are certain items that are best taken to a professional jeweler for a professional clean. While the majority of your jewelry items can be cleaned with regular, household items, there are other items you want to be a little more careful with. These items include:
These items should be taken to a jeweler every 6 months to 1 year in order to keep them looking their best. Regular check-ups with your jeweler will also serve to identify loose stones or any damage that needs to be addressed.
So, what’s the process?
When you take your jewelry items for a professional cleaning, you can expect:
How To Store Your Jewelry
Now that your jewelry is sparkling once again, you want to make sure you know how to properly store and care for your jewelry. The way jewelry is stored actually affects the way it looks! By storing in cool, dry places, you can minimize the damage done to your jewelry so that it continues to look great and last longer! Proper jewelry storage is especially important for silver jewelry to keep them from tarnishing.
Simple tips for proper jewelry storage:
(For more information about how to clean different kinds of jewelry, check out our Complete Guide For How To Clean Jewelry.)