What to Do and Not to Do for Jewelry Cleaning
It is always heartbreaking to hear about someone who was cleaning a favorite piece of jewelry only to ruin it by improper method. Maintaining your jewelry and keeping it clean is not hard but it is important to follow some basic rules to ensure that it will last a lifetime and for generations.
- Make sure you use a safe area. Cleaning your jewelry near a open drain such as your sink could be dangerous.
- Make sure it is away from pets. Some pets have been known to play with shiny objects. A pet could knock it over, hide it under the couch or chew on it.
- Check for loose stones. Prior to doing any cleaning, it is important to check and make sure any stones in your jewelry are not loose. If there are loose stones, it is recommended that you go to a jeweler to fix it. As a benefit, you don't have to worry about losing a stone and the jeweler will most likely clean and polish it for you for free.
- Make sure you have the right tools and cleaning supplies. We recommend a soft non-metal brush and using a mild soap (not detergent) and never use chemicals like ammonia or bleach as they may cause serious damage to the metal or gemstones.
- Soak the jewelry in warm mild soapy water. You can use a glass jar and soak for about five minutes. Precious metals like gold or platinum should not tarnish. Metals such as silver, copper, brass or aluminum will tarnish, however, so should not be soaked for more than a minute and then immediately dry.
- Use the brush to clean all the crevices and surface of the jewelry. You should not need to scrub hard but lightly brush all the areas. For hard to reach areas you can use a toothpick to pick out any dirt or grime.
- Dry the jewelry thoroughly. It is always important to dry your jewelry completely. This is because even though the jewelry may not tarnish, it can get hard water stains or corrosion on non-precious metal areas such as latches.
It is important to know what you can do to protect and maintain you jewelry in everyday wear. By following these tips you can ensure your jewelry stays safe and beautiful for generations to come.
- Never wear jewelry (especially rings or bracelets) while cooking or cleaning. Some chemicals and substances can affect the surface of the jewelry and potentially cause damage. This can appear as discoloration, pitting or etching.
- Always remove jewelry when you are unsure of the substances you are working with to keep it from harm and place it in a safe place.
- Always remove jewelry when playing sports or operating machinery. This is to ensure that your jewelry is protected from potential harm as well as to protect you. Jewelry can get caught on equipment or machinery and be potentially dangerous to you.