When it comes to keeping jewelry clean there are a lot of factors to take into account. What type of metal is the piece? Are there any stones in it? Are the stones glued, inlaid, or set? So we thought we'd help you out and give you our 5 best safe home cleaning hacks.
1. DISH DETERGENT
Mild dish detergent mixed with warm water can be a safe and easy way to effectively clean pieces. If your piece is free of glued gemstones, place the jewelry in a small bowl of warm water and soap and let sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes has passed make sure to rinse thoroughly and gently dry off. If in fact your piece does have glued or inlayed (vs. set) gemstones refrain from total submersion as warm water can loosen the stone. Alternatively dampen a cloth with soap and carefully wipe down the piece. Once done, use a new clean washcloth dipped in soap free water and gently wipe the remaining soap off. Be careful not to scrub as some metals can scratch easily. Pat dry and let your jewelry air dry thoroughly. This method is best used for pieces with stones such as turquoise or lapis, which should never be submerged as these stones are very porous and could crack.
2. RUBBING ALCOHOL
Rubbing alcohol is a good two in one to both clean your jewelry and disinfect. Dampen a cloth with a little bit of rubbing alcohol and gently wipe down your piece until it is nice and shiny. We do not advise using this method for any jewelry with gemstones that are set with glue or adhesive as the rubbing alcohol can loosen the stones.
We recommend using a soft bristle toothbrush as it won’t be rough on the metal or gemstones. Soft bristle toothbrushes are especially good for pieces with hard to reach places or pieces that require a little bit of a deeper cleaning. Simply dip the tip of your toothbrush into soap and warm water and massage the solution gently onto your piece. Refrain from scrubbing too hard as to avoid scratching the metal. Rinse thoroughly after brushing and let jewelry sit to ensure drying thoroughly.
4. WHITE VINEGAR
Simply pour white vinegar into a bowl or jar making sure that the jewelry is submerged - we recommend placing one item at a time as jewelry can scratch each other. Let soak for about 15 minutes, making sure to agitate it every couple of minutes for a thorough cleaning. Once done soaking take a soft bristled toothbrush and gently remove any left-over residue or grime. Finally rinse with water and dry completely.
5. BOIL YOUR JEWELRY
This method is best for either solid gold pieces or those with hard gemstones, such as a diamond. You want to avoid any soft gemstones (moonstone, emerald, onyx, opal, pearl, turquoise), as these stones are very delicate and the heat from the water can cause them to crack or become damaged. Additionally avoid placing boiling water on pieces that are cold - the shock from hot to cold can significantly damage the pieces.
To start you want to begin by bringing the water to a boil ensuring that you have enough to submerge the jewelry. Place the item in a pyrex or metal cooking bowl, ideally something that can withstand hot water. Carefully pour the water into the bowl - make sure not to pour too quickly so the the water does not splash around and burn you. Leave the jewelry to sit and once the water is cool enough for you to put your hands in, gently with a wash cloth wipe off any residual dirt or grime. Finally pat drying the piece and letting it air dry for a complete dry.
THINGS TO NOTE:
It’s inevitable after daily wear and time that your jewelry will get dirty and seem to loose it’s glow and while we’ve already shared our best ways to clean at home, here’s what not to do.
Cleaning your jewelry is always a smart and great thing to do, but you want to avoid over cleaning your pieces. The over usage of chemicals can tarnish your metals and stones quickly.
We recommend avoiding ammonia as it is a harsh chemical that even diluted can cause serious damage to your jewelry. The chemical can easily tarnish the metal of your jewelry especially platinum and can damage stones such as pearl.
If you wear your piece daily (i.e. an engagement ring or wedding band), you should have the prongs on the stones checked by a professional once a year, in addition to getting a professional ultrasonic clean and steam.
Leave a comment below or shoot a note to email@example.com if you have any questions about cleaning a particular piece.
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Motion Graphic and Illustrations by Midori Imani.