How to Clean Your Jewelry Like an Expert
Spring has arrived in full force and with it comes the spring cleaning. Apart from your closet cleaning routine, you might be revisiting abandoned jewelry boxes. Or perhaps you have special occasion jewelry you haven’t worn in a while and need it for an upcoming event. Whether this is the case, or you simply want to clean your everyday pieces, I have useful tips that will help you accomplish just that without leaving the house.
While cleaning your jewelry might be easier than you think, some of the methods might surprise you.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR JEWELRY BY MATERIAL
There are several easy ways to clean silver jewelry, all depending on your level of comfort and preference. I singled out three most commonly used ones.
- Dish soap is a great quick fix if you don’t have much time and resources. All you need to do is mix a few drops of dish soap with warm water. Dip a soft cloth into the solution and rub your silver jewelry with it to remove tarnish. Then rinse with cool water and buff dry with another clean cloth.
- Baking soda is excellent for heavier tarnish and stubborn debris. There are two ways to do it. One way is to pour 1 cup of hot water into a bowl and mix with 1-2 cups of baking soda. Soak your jewelry into the solution for about 10 minutes and to strip away the debris. Then rinse jewelry under cool water for 30 seconds, or if you have smaller pieces such as stud earrings and dainty rings, pour cool water in another bowl and place the jewelry there to remove baking soda and the residue. Once you do that pat jewelry with a clean cloth. Another way is to make a paste first. Mix 3 parts of baking soda with 1 part of water in a small dish. For example, 3 tbsp of baking soda and 1 tbsp of water is enough for a few pieces of jewelry. Dissolve well until a sticky paste-like solution is made. Then apply it to the jewelry and scrub well with a clean toothbrush. Follow by rinsing and drying it.
- Toothpaste can help you get rid of tarnish on your silver the same way it can help you remove stains from your teeth. Apply a dab of white toothpaste (not gel) to tarnished silver and rub slowly with your finger or a soft cloth. Follow with a warm water rinse and buff dry with a soft cloth.
Cleaning gold is a bit easier than cleaning silver since it’s more durable and doesn’t tarnish. You can simply use a few drops of dish soap and warm water. Once you dip the gold into the solution, place it on the clean cloth and scrap it with the toothbrush. Work through the openings to take out the buildup and surface dirt. Then rinse it and place on a clean cloth to dry. If you’re in a hurry, use the cloth to buff dry it. Even if water will not damage gold, if you dry it immediately it will make it appear shinier and more polished.
Cleaning gemstones also requires soap but instead of regular water you’ll need seltzer water. Carbonation helps remove buildup stuck in the settings or on the facets. Brush stones and settings with the soft toothbrush and then dip it in clean water to rinse or place a piece in a strainer and rinse under water. This will give your gems shine and sparkle.
Because they are so delicate, pearls can be easily damaged. Regardless if they’re natural, cultured, or faux, you must clean them with care to protect their luster. And one thing to remember is to never put them in water!
Water can seriously harm pearls and cause the strings to weaken or even brake. To clean pearls you will need a soft cloth, clean makeup brush, tiny bit of shampoo, and a small amount of warm water. Place pearls on the cloth. Then mix shampoo with water, dip a makeup brush into it, and gently go over the pearls with it. To finish, rinse pearls with a clean, well-wrung dump cloth. Leave the strand dry flat to prevent the string from stretching.
Now that you can clean your jewelry like an expert, it’s good to know how to avoid doing it often.
USEFUL TIPS TO KEEP YOUR JEWELRY CLEAN FOR A LONG TIME
- Remove rings when washing your hands, cleaning the house, applying lotion, or any other type of beauty products to keep settings grime-free.
- Don’t wear jewelry while swimming as chlorine and salt water can damage it.
- Wipe pearls with a soft cloth after each wear to remove body oils and perfume that can yellow them.
- Don’t let silver sit in jewelry boxes – wear it! Contrary to what you might think, silver gets shinier when worn as the friction slows down tarnishing. If you’re not wearing it, however, store it in an anti-tarnish bag.
Until next time,