Your jewelry is precious but can become tarnished or lose its sparkle. When that happens, you’ll want to restore your pieces to their original state to keep them in the best condition possible.
But cleaning jewelry isn’t a one-size-fits-all process! The different metals, finished, gemstones, and designs mean that you need to consider each piece. Once you know what your unique jewelry needs, you’ll be able to give them a once-over to get them shining once again.
If it seems overwhelming to clean your jewelry at home, keep reading! We’re here to unpack cleaning jewelry, no matter what they’re made of.
Cleaning Your Rings
Cleaning precious rings, like an engagement ring or wedding band, needs to happen more often than you think. After all, with everything you touch in a day, your rings are probably contaminated with all sorts of disgusting bacteria.
Even if you wash your hands often, you still aren’t cleaning your rings as you should. In fact, under your rings can be a hotbed for organisms that can make you sick.
The best way to clean your rings at home is to take some warm water and a mild dish detergent and soak your rings for approximately 30 minutes. Then, take a soft (as soft as you can find) bristled toothbrush and gently scrub your ring, setting, and stone. Rinse well, then dry before replacing it on your finger.
You need to be careful about what products you use to clean your rings. If you use abrasive materials or chemicals, like baking soda, vinegar, or bleach, you can end up damaging the finish of the metal. You could also create scratches that will mar the shine of your rings and it’s value.
You can buy an all-natural jewelry cleaner designed to treat all types of metal and stones. If you decide to go that route, don’t forget to buy a refill bottle as well! That way you can clean your rings with more frequency and help keep them clean and hygienic, as well as sparkling as they should.
It’s also a great idea to get your rings cleaned and polished by a professional once a year as well. A professional jeweler will also check the setting and prongs to ensure that everything is secure and nothing is loose. You don’t want to lose a precious stone and have to jump through the hoops of jewelry insurance, after all!
Keeping Your Pearls Perfect
Pearls are a unique type of jewelry due to the fact that they’re much more delicate than hard minerals like diamonds or sapphires. The outer layer of the pearl can be damaged by different chemicals, cleaners, or even an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner.
Your best tip for pearls is to wipe them down with a lint-free cloth after each wear. Pearls can absorb sweat, oil, lotion, and perfume from your skin, which will cause them to lose their distinctive sheen.
If you need to give your pearls a deeper clean, then dip a clean cloth into lukewarm water with a small amount of soap. Wipe them down with another clean, damp cloth to remove any soap. Lay them out to air dry.
Because the string that connects pearls together can fray or break, be sure to have any pearl necklace inspected each year and repaired if needed. Store them in their own jewelry pouch, away from other, harder stones that can scratch them.
Treat Stones With Care
Emeralds are another stone that needs to be treated with more care. It’s estimated that 90% of emeralds are fracture-filled, meaning that it’s easier to damage them. Treat them similarly to pearls or use mild, soapy water and gentle scrubbing to restore their sparkle.
Other, softer gemstones like turquoise, coral, amethyst, garnet, or opals should also be treated with the utmost care due to their hardness rating on the Mohs scale. Use gentle soap and water, soft clothes, and avoid any harsh or abrasive materials.
It’s a good idea to trust more delicate stones and pieces, especially antiques, to the professionals to ensure that they don’t get damaged.
Shining Up Silver
Silver is one of the most popular metals in jewelry, but it also tends to show tarnish and blemishes. When that becomes the case, use a jewelry cleaner and tarnish remover, then use a soft cloth to polish away imperfections.
You may need to soak silver to loosen dirt and grime before polishing. However, don’t do this if your silver jewelry has a softer stone that could become damaged with long soaking. Tarnished jewelry may need more effort to restore its shine.
If you have silver jewelry with nothing that could be damaged, you can use baking soda and water to create a paste. Then scrub the sterling silver jewelry clean. Rinse it in warm water and dry completely.
Another at-home science experiment to clean silver is to combine 1/2 cup of vinegar with 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl. Soak your jewelry for up to three hours, then rinse and polish with a clean cloth.
Polishing Gold and Platinum
Pure gold, or 24 karat gold, is soft and easily scratched. To clean this popular metal, use as few ingredients as possible and choose soft cloths or brushes.
Start by washing your gold jewelry in water with a mild, gentle soap. Then, add a few drops of ammonia to a soft toothbrush and brush gently. Rinse it in lukewarm water, dry with a soft cloth, and let air dry completely before wearing or storing.
Platinum should be treated in a similar fashion, but mix dish soap with regular seltzer water and let sit for one minute. The carbonation can help loosen any debris before cleaning with a soft-bristled toothbrush, rinsing completely, and drying.
If you have a watch, no matter what metal, be sure to take the band off before soaking. You don’t want to damage the mechanics in your watch cleaning efforts!
Cleaning Jewelry at Home
Cleaning jewelry at home is a simple, straightforward process! It takes some time, attention to detail, and the right materials to restore your jewelry to look new. Clean jewelry is more hygienic and healthy, and you’ll be excited to show off your existing jewelry once they’re shining and sparkling again.
Don’t forget to buy the best jewelry cleaner out there to help you keep your jewelry clean, polished, and looking perfect. Jewelry care has never been easier!