1. Firstly before undertaking any cleaning of your jewellery always remember to check it over. This means checking for loose stones or beads if it has them as cleaning is a great time to make sure you are not at risk of losing precious stones in your jewellery. Also check the metal to make sure it is not cracked, dimpled or broken you do not wish to cause further damage by cleaning the jewellery.
2. The next step is to clean your jewellery using a cotton cloth. If you are cleaning several pieces at a time make sure that you use a new piece of cloth each time, this is because previous jewellery may leave sediment on the cloth with could scratch and damage the jewellery and you do not want this to happen.
3. Sometimes you may wish to use shop bought products made specifically for cleaning jewellery such as silver-dip or gold dip. When using these it is always important to read the label carefully and ensure that you are using the right dip for the type of jewellery you wish to clean. Never put plated metal jewellery in a dip formulated for the solid metal as this has a risk of stripping it. Many commercial cleaners can also leave a film on the jewellery’s surface which you may not want on certain jewellery finishes such as oxidised metals. If you wish to clean your jewellery at home it is best to use simply what you can find in your bathroom such as a bowl, soap and water, a soft toothbrush and towels.
4. There are certain products which you should not clean your jewellery in and should try to keep your jewellery away from if you want to keep it looking nice. Firstly, never clean using bleach, this is because it is highly oxidant and reacts with the metal making it fragile and increases the likelihood of breakages. Also keep jewellery away from chlorine, alcohol, acetone, turpentine and ammonia.
5. Gold and silver jewellery should be put into a bowl containing warm soapy water and left for a few minutes to let stubborn dirt begging to dissolve. It should then be lightly scrubbed with a soft toothbrush, be sure to get into corners but be careful around clasps so that you don’t pull them loose. After washing take the jewellery out and rinse it under cold water then dry it with a towel and polish it using a cotton cloth.
6. Some jewellery particularly if it is handmade can be crafted from copper or brass. Copper and brass jewellery, although more prone to tarnish is not difficult to care for. It can be cleaned using commercial copper or brass cleaners or with ordinary household products such as Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, vinegar and lemon water and then dried and polished in the same way as silver and gold.
7. Cleaning gemstones in jewellery is important to keep it looking nice and should be undertaken extra to cleaning the metal and given special care. Most stones including semiprecious stones can be cleaned in a similar way with soapy water, be careful if you use a toothbrush not to scratch fragile stones. Diamonds can be cleaned with toothpaste and actually this works very well to bring out their shine. Remember when cleaning gems to clean underneath if you can reach as dirt here can stop light reflecting through them and ruin the look of the stone.
8. When cleaning pearls only use very mild soapy water as not to damage them. Dry them with a soft cotton cloth and ensure they are completely dry before storing them away.
9. An important part of keeping jewellery clean is looking after it whilst its being worn. It is important to keep jewellery safe from knocks, drops and to keep strung beads and chains from being pulled excessively. Always keep jewellery away for direct sunlight so do not wear it sunbathing and keep it away from chlorine by removing it before swimming. Household chemicals can tarnish jewellery so be careful to remove it before doing cleaning or gardening.
10. Once your jewellery is lovely and clean it is important to store it correctly to keep it that way, the best way to do this is to store it in a cool dry place in sealed plastic bags or in a sealed jewellery box with silica gel sachets to prevent tarnish. Try store jewellery separately so that it does not get aught up with other pieces or they do not scratch each other.
Follow these tips and you will have perfectly gleaming and beautiful jewellery which you will be able to treasure for a lifetime.