‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’— not if they are scuffed, scratched, and grimy! Are you taking care of your precious glitters so that they live a long life with their sparkles? Fret not if you already have some tarnished metals and dulled gems in your jewelry box. We are here with a complete guide to restoring your shining pretties to their glittering selves!
Tips to get your jewelry cleaned at your home:
1) Sort out your jewelry
First, you need to check in on your sparkling buddies. First, sort out the different materials—gold, silver, gems, costume jewelry, etc. Next, pick out the ones in dire need of a clean-up. Don’t leave out those that are showing signs of dullness and tarnish. Next, group each dirty piece of jewelry according to its material, as you did in the beginning while assorting them. This is needed because you’ll need a different jewelry polish for different jewelry materials if you use market cleaners.
2) DIY homemade jewelry cleaner
The most simple and effective way to clean your jewelry like silver, gold, and gemstones is by using warm water mixed with a fragrance-free, colorless gentle soap (like those used for woolens or baby washes, or liquid dish soaps). The fewer moisturizers, antiseptics, and harsh chemicals the soap mixture contain, the better it is for cleaning the jewelry. Dip the jewelry into the warm soap mixture or wash the jewelry with it for some time to loosen the dirt that’s got accumulated. Next, grab a soft, lint-free cloth or a baby toothbrush (make sure the bristles are extremely soft) and gently remove the grime and dirt from the jewelry. Rinse the jewelry pieces and dry them out with a soft dry cloth. This is the most delicate and safe way to maintain your jewelry well.
But this method should not be used for cleaning:
- Soft gemstones like opal or moonstone
- Costume jewelry
3) Cleaning silvers
Silver oxidizes fast and turns black or bluish-green. If your silver jewelry has been kept closed up for a long time, don’t be surprised to discover the sparkling silver converted into matte black. You can use the above DIY cleaner for cleaning silvers at home. But suppose you feel they need a good cleaning without damage. In that case, you should get some silver cleaning products or silver jewelry polish from the market.
- Silver polishes dissolve the tarnish and leave behind a protective coating.
- Silver wipes and polishing cloths are quicker remedies.
- Silver dips are great for cleaning silver jewelry but be mindful if the jewelry contains gemstones like pearls. Then it won’t be a great idea to use a dip and stick to wipes and polishing cloths instead.
4) Cleaning gold
Gold can be cleaned in a gentle process using the DIY cleaner. However, a thing to keep in mind is the karat of gold. It’s safe to use a mild soap mixture for 22 karat gold. For fewer karats and gold-plated jewelry, this method may become harsh. Using a jewelry polishing cloth is the best option for such gold jewelry, especially with gemstones and pearls.
5) Cleaning gemstones
Gemstones can be cleaned using the DIY cleaner mentioned above. It works for both precious and semi-precious stones. Just a difference for bringing back the glint in the stones would be adding seltzer water instead of plain warm water for mixing with the soap. It helps in deep cleaning and removing deep-lodged debris and particles. Use a soft toothbrush (mind you, always use soft bristles!) and gently brush against the stones, then rinse and dry. You’ll get back those sparkling gems in no time!
6) Cleaning pearls and soft gemstones
Pearls are incredibly delicate, even softer than soft gemstones. Also, they’re porous and quickly absorb dirt. Pearls should never be soaked for cleaning. Instead of soaking or washing them with the DIY cleaner, take a soft, clean makeup brush and dip it in the cleaner solution. Remove excess liquid and slide the wet brush on the pearls. After you’ve cleaned them, use a wring dry damp cloth to wipe them. Make sure that during the entire process, the pearls are flat and without any tension, so the string doesn’t get damaged. Let them air dry while lying flat. This cleaning process also applies to porous soft gemstones like opals, turquoise, and moonstones. You can also get market cleaning products for pearls like solutions and polishing cloths. Using such products like these ones is actually a good choice as they are formulated for particular jewelry materials.
7) Avoiding some commonly recommended hacks
You’ll come across some jewelry cleaning suggestions that do more harm than good. These involve using abrasive products like toothpaste, baking soda, and old toothbrushes for cleaning jewelry. These methods cause the metals and stones to corrode away. They can also alter the color of alloy metals. So ensure to protect your jewelry from such damage. Also, be aware of the polishing cloth you use. Your jewelry shouldn’t be rubbed against harshly, no matter how soft the fabric you use.
The key to the long life of sparkling jewelry also lies with how you store them. Use a jewelry organizer and do not clump the jewelry pieces as this can damage the metal and result in scratches in gemstones. Commercial jewelry polish or polishing cloths are safe options. Also, sometimes, make sure you visit the jeweler to clean precious metals or stones.