My last blog post was just some basic tips on keeping your jewelry clean and safe from damage. This amounts to nothing more complicated than taking off your jewelry while you’re working on tasks such as bathing, cleaning, exercising, gardening, etc. It’s common sense, but we’re all guilty of of overlooking the obvious, and then we need to clean up that mess!
Cleaning your jewelry is not complicated either. Here are your options:
- Use a polishing cloth. You can get these all over the place, certainly at most jewelry stores, but also at many craft, hardware, and department stores. You should avoid using tissues, paper towels, and fabrics not intended for polishing jewelry. These materials can cause little scratches in the metal, dulling the finish.
- Wash in commercial liquid cleaners. Again these are widely available at jewelry, hardware, and department stores. These are great and can make your gemstones nice and sparkly. Many of these come with little brushes to clean underneath the stone in all the nooks and crannies. I would be careful not to use the brush on the metal surfaces however, in order to avoid scratches. Instead, I would polish the metal with your polishing cloth once the piece has come out of the solution and dried.
- Clean tarnished silver with this DIY solution. The commercial products I’ve tried for tarnished silver have such strong chemicals that they come with a really noxious odor, so I tend to steer clear of them. I have found a pretty decent DIY method for cleaning trickier silver pieces, like chains, however. NOTE: This method is only intended to be used on sterling silver and silver plate; and you should NOT try this on jewelry with stones incorporated in the piece as it can damage gemstones. For those pieces you really need to stick with options 1 and 2.
Here’s what you do:
a. Line the bottom of a cup or bowl with aluminum foil.
b. Add 1 tablespoon baking soda to the bowl.
c. Place your silver items in the bowl.
d. Add about 1 cup of boiling water and swirl it all around.
e. Remove your jewelry, rinse and dry!
Once your jewelry is all nice and clean, remember to store it properly. You can keep it in a little dust bag, a jewelry box, or even a plastic baggie with an anti tarnish tab in there. You can find anti tarnish products at a craft store.
So there you have it! Don’t let all that beautiful jewelry just sit there tarnishing and collecting dust! Clean it up, wear it, and enjoy!