Caring for and cleaning jewelry doesn’t have to be difficult, but it is important that you do so carefully to prevent damage and possibly help to ensure a longer life. Well cared for jewelry will stand the test of time and have a much nicer appearance than jewelry that is generally left to collect dust and grime without being cleaned. The exact technique you use to clean and care for your jewelry will depend on the item itself.
Regardless of the type of jewelry you should obviously try to prevent it from being scratched, knocked or banged. Even if damage doesn’t appear visible immediately, knocking jewelry can often lead to unseen damage. Over time this damage will build up or progressively worsen until your jewelry becomes irreparable.
Should your jewelry suffer any damage you should have it seen to as soon as possible. Take it your local jewelers and ask their opinion. In most cases they will either be able to fix it themselves or send it away to be repaired properly. Super gluing any piece of jewelry yourself is a bad idea.
Many chemicals can damage jewelry and you should stay away from chemicals in general. In particular, cleaning fluids, chlorine and bromine can have a detrimental effect on some jewelry. Take off any rings or other items and leave them somewhere safe until you’re finished. Direct sunlight and extreme hot or cold conditions can also weaken the metal or jewel.
CLEANING OF JEWELRIES REMEDIES YOU CAN DO AT HOME
1. For light spots, consider scrubbing with water. For tougher buildup, dilute toothpaste with water and scrub with it. Rinse with water, then wipe clean with a microfiber cloth. Let your jewelry dry before putting it away.
2. If you're not in the mood to scrub, let a chemical reaction do the work for you. Both baking soda and effervescent heartburn tablets cause a chemical reaction when mixed with water. This reaction produces bubbles and fizz that eagerly attack the buildup on your jewelry. Simply place an item in a small bowl, cover with water, and add the active ingredient. Let the piece soak for a few minutes, then remove it from the bowl and wipe with a cleaning cloth. Let the jewelry dry before putting it away. This method is best suited as a diamond ring cleaner, or for silver or gold jewelry—do not use the technique on pearls or soft gemstones.
3. Soap and water make a classic cleaning duo, for a reason. This simple solution makes quick work of spots, stains, and general grime without causing damage. Mix a few drops of liquid dish soap with a few cups of water, mix together, and place your jewelry into the mixture for a few seconds. Then remove and use a clean cloth to wipe dry and buff out any spots. Let the jewelry dry before putting it away. Keep in mind that this method is best for mild stains, tarnish, or general wear-and-tear, like those you'd find when cleaning sterling silver. It likely won't be strong enough for major spots, rust, or buildup.
4. Hot water is an easy (and cheap) cleaning solution for hard metal jewelry. Steam and heat loosen dirt and debris from the jewelry, making it a snap to wipe away. Simply place your pieces in a heatproof container, then slowly pour in boiling water until they're covered. Let the jewelry sit for a few minutes or until the water has cooled, then remove it and wipe away the grime with a clean cloth. Let the jewelry dry before putting it away. Keep in mind that this method will not work with pearls, opals, and many other gemstones. Reserve this technique for silver, gold, platinum, and diamonds.
5. You don't need a fancy jewelry cleaner to make your bling sparkle. Look no further than a multipurpose antibacterial cleaner. Start by pouring a few inches of the liquid cleaner into a glass bowl. Add your jewelry and let it sit for five minutes. As you wait, the buildup should begin to fall to the bottom of the bowl. Once the time is up, remove and gently scrub the jewelry with a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse under cool water, then pat dry with a clean cloth. Let your jewelry dry before putting it away.