Monday, August 24, 2009

Squeaky Clean Jewelry

We all want to keep our beatiful baubles in tip top shape. Whether you are selling or buying jewelry it's always a good idea to know how to clean your metals and stones so your investments don't go down the drain!

A little bit of care goes a long way in keeping your jewelry looking its best. Here is some helpful cleaning info you should know:

Gold
Soap will cause a dulling film to form on gold jewelry so always remove before bathing. Chlorine bleach and other harsh chemicals can damage or discolor this precious metal so never wear your jewelry when cleaning your home, doing laundry or swimming in a chlorinated pool or hot tub.
To clean, you have a few options. Mix a few drops of ammonia with water and gently scrub piece with a soft bristle toothbrush. Rinse with lukewarm water and dry with a soft cloth. There are also many commercial cleaners available. Have a soft chamois cloth at hand to give your piece some extra polish.

Silver
When wearing silver avoid chlorinated water and harsh chemicals.
To store, wrap individual pieces in a soft cloth or place in a tarnish-preventive bag to prevent scratches and exposure to light and air which can cause it to tarnish.
To clean, use a mild soap and water solution and pat dry with a soft cloth.

Platinum
Platinum jewelry is quite durable but it can still be scratched. A professional cleaning twice a year will keep it looking new. Store separately or wrapped in tissue to avoid touching other jewelry.
Diamonds
Though a diamond is one of the hardest substances known to man it can still be chipped by a harsh blow so avoid wearing when it could get hit or damaged. Also, remove diamond jewelry before doing any housework involving chlorine bleach or other harsh chemicals since they can damage the setting and cause you to lose your stone. Always remove before swimming in a chlorinated pool or hot tub.
To clean, combine ammonia and water in a small bowl. Dip jewelry in the solution and use a soft toothbrush to gently dislodge dirt from under the setting. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and dry.

Pearls
After each wearing, wipe pearls carefully with a soft cloth to remove any traces of makeup, perfume or hair spray which may have transferred to your jewelry. Always apply any beauty product before putting on pearls. If necessary wash with mild soap and water as anything harsher can damage them.
Pearls are soft and can be easily scratched by other jewelry so always wrap in tissue or place in a chamois bag before putting away. Also, have your pearls restrung by a professional jeweler once a year. The knots between each pearl prevents loss if the string should ever break.

Colored Gemstones
Don't expose gemstones to salt water, harsh chemicals, hair spray and fragrance which can harm the surface of your stone. Always apply cosmetics and beauty products before putting on jewelry. After removing, wipe thoroughly with a clean, soft, slightly damp cloth to keep stones from losing their luster and store individually in soft pouches. Also, try to avoid sudden temperature changes and activities where the stone could be damaged from a blow.
Consult your jeweler on the care of your particular gemstone. Most gemstones should not be cleaned with ultrasonic cleaners. Instead, use a mild soap and water solution and a soft toothbrush.

Fashion Jewelry
Jeweler's cement and glue is used to create many fashion pieces. Never soak in water or use commercial or ultrasonic cleaners. Instead, gently wipe with a damp cloth and dry with a soft cloth before putting away.

Tips...
-Don't store your jewelry together where it can be scratched or become tangled.
-Don't wear your jewelry when doing the laundry.
-Don't wear your jewelry while doing cleaning with chemicals or doing heavy lifting.
-Don't wear your jewelry when going from one extreme temperature to another.
-Do visit your jeweler every 1-2 years to make sure the settings are secure.
-Do put your jewelry on after you've applied your body lotions, hair spray and cosmetics.
*If you're still uncertain about a particular piece see your local jeweler for advice.

4 comments:

Alison Kelley said...

Great info, thanks!

Bevie said...

Hi there, I just found you and am now following you! Must say it was good reading all your little (big) tips...made a copy too!!
Blessings!
Bevie

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