If you’ve been putting off taking your jewelry to your local jeweler or goldsmith to get cleaned, there’s good news: most jewelry cleaning can be done at home, saving you time and money, not to mention keeping your jewelry sparkling clean on a regular basis. Here are a few tips on how to clean jewelry.
Choose your cleaning materials wisely. Most precious and contemporary metals do not require strong cleansing solutions, and should not in fact have harsh materials come into contact with their surfaces. Warm water and a mild soap will do wonders for cleaning jewelry of most metals and materials.
One oft-used home jewelry care solution consists of making a combination of liquid dish washing soap, water and basic ammonia. After applying the solution, rinse your jewelry in warm water, and buff with a soft cloth. If you don’t want to make your own solution, there are also a number of ready-made jewelry cleaning solutions available at your local drugstore or supermarket.
Use a soft cleaning cloth or brush. A basic soft cleaning rag and/or brush will help for applying a cleaning agent, as well as a final buff. A toothbrush is great for getting into the crevices of intricate designs; just make sure that the bristles are extra soft.
Don’t use a one size fits all approach. While some general rules of thumb apply to cleaning jewelry of all types, it’s important to confirm what can or cannot be used on a certain material prior to beginning cleaning, especially in the case of fine jewelry. Some materials, like pearls, require very specific and delicate cleaning, and cannot come into contact with substances commonly used for cleaning jewelry (like ammonia). Make sure to do a little research on a particular material or metal prior to starting your cleaning routine.
Take precautions when wearing jewelry. To cut down on your time spent cleaning jewelry as well as circumvent causing any greater damage, try to take care with your fine jewelry and jewelry that you wear on a regular basis. The chlorine commonly found in pools and hot tubs can react with metals like sterling silver, and other materials like pearls and turquoise cannot come into contact with substances like ammonia. Perfume, cosmetics and hairspray can react with some sensitive materials and in general just add a layer of film on jewelry. Make sure to put on your jewelry only after applying these kinds of beauty products.
As you can see, you don’t need to be a jewelry expert to have some basic knowledge on how to clean jewelry. Just make sure to have a few basic tools at your disposal and use common sense, especially when cleaning jewelry items that hold a certain financial or sentimental value.