Apr 10, 2012

How to Properly Clean Jewellery

Fine jewellery is generally designed and crafted to last a lifetime, however it must be properly cared for and cleaned if it is to keep looking shiny and sparkly. When figuring out how to properly clean your jewellery, it is vital to determine what materials are present in each piece. For example, metals and gemstones require different cleaning processes because they are made up of different materials. The following are some tips for how to clean different types of jewellery to ensure they can last a lifetime:

Even though gold pieces come in many different styles and colours, the cleaning techniques required remain the same. Ultrasonic cleaning machines are very effective for gold pieces that don’t contain gemstones, but totally aren’t necessary. Simply mixing a few drops of mild dish soap with two cups of warm water and scrubbing gently with a soft toothbrush is sufficient. After rinsing, polish and dry with a soft cloth and your gold will be like new.

Popular diamond pieces such as engagement and
wedding rings are often worn 24 hours a day, allowing a film to build up from lotions, powders, soaps and natural skin oils that can significantly reduce their brilliance. Diamonds can be cleaned by using commercial jewellery cleaner, by using a mix of ammonia and water, or even just by using a mild detergent. After soaking the diamond in the cleaning solution, gently scrub it with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Make sure you scrub in all the cracks and crevices especially if your diamond is cut into the detailed shape of stars, flowers or hearts. Rinse the diamond with warm water and lay it on a tissue to dry.

Pearls are made by living creatures and so are highly susceptible to damage. When cleaning pearls, rub each one individually with a soft, clean cotton cloth dampened with a solution of two cups of warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap. It is important that you don’t soak the pearls in the cleaning solution as this can cause the string to stretch. Rinse the pearls and let them dry overnight.

Sterling Silver, like other precious metals, is subject to oxidation reactions over time. If you clean it regularly however, you will be rewarded with a long life and a lustrous look from your silver. To clean your silver, simply rinse it in warm and soapy water, and pat it dry. If the silver is tarnished-looking, it will require a more thorough polishing using a silver-polishing cloth and special polish. It is important to always use a special soft cloth for your silver, as anything more abrasive can easily scratch it.

Turquoise and Other Porous Gemstones
Agate jewellery isn’t any more difficult to clean and maintain than any other gemstone, and you can have them looking great by soaking them in a solution of mild soap and warm water for about 30 minutes to an hour. Follow this by rinsing the stone with warm water and allow the stone to air dry. It is very important that you allow the stone to dry completely before going outside as leftover water in the stone’s pores could compromise its structure. You can also use a dry, lint-free cloth to shine up any areas that have become dull.

Like anything, the more you care for your jewellery, the better it will look and the longer it will last. Getting into a habit of cleaning your rings, necklaces and earrings on a regular basis will keep them looking fabulous and ensure they always look their best.

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