How to Clean Jewelry

How to Clean Jewelry

Prevention and Care

First, designate a spot in your home to place your rings and other jewelry while doing tasks like washing dishes, gardening, or cleaning the house. Most people are guilty of keeping their wedding rings on all the time, but they should be removed when there's a chance they could get wet or dirty. You should even take your jewelry off in the shower or when applying hand lotion. If you don't, soap residue and moisture can get trapped in the crevices of your jewelry and cause issues. Prevent premature tarnishing on silver by storing it in felt away from other jewelry and metals. Keep gold jewelry in a jewelry box that is also lined with felt to prevent moisture build-up and tarnishing.

Cleaning Silver Jewelry

To clean silver jewelry, pick up some silver polish or make your own concoction using tinfoil, baking soda, salt, and water. Line the bottom of a large disposable pan with aluminum foil with the shiny side up. Next, place the jewelry in the pan so that it is touching the foil. Sprinkle on some baking soda and salt into the pan. The amount of salt and baking soda will depend on how much water you are using, estimating about one tablespoon for every cup of water. Next, pour boiling water into the pan until the jewelry is completely saturated. Let the jewelry sit in the solution until the tarnish starts to visible disappear. Then, carefully remove the jewelry and pat completely dry with a lint-free cloth.

Cleaning Fine Jewelry

The most tried-and-true, gentle way to clean fine jewelry is to do so at home using this DIY solution: a dish, lukewarm water, a soft bristle toothbrush, and some mild dish detergent. The milder the soap, the better. To make the DIY jewelry cleaner, Mix a drop of dish soap in a bowl with some lukewarm water. For extremely soiled fine jewelry that does not have fragile gemstones, soak the jewelry in the mixture for a few minutes. (Always remember that delicate gemstones should never be saturated for more than a few seconds.) Next, use the toothbrush to buff away any dirt and residue gently. For dirt in hard to reach spots, carefully use a toothpick to dislodge it. As you're cleaning the jewelry, take note of any loose stones or damage that needs to be repaired. If gemstones are loose, stop wearing the jewelry until it can be fixed. Finally, pat the jewelry dry and allow it to air dry completely before putting it back into storage.

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