While we’re quick to throw clothes in the laundry or drop them off at the dry-cleaner, we seldomly give our rings, earrings and other jewels the same careful treatment. But wedding and promise rings are often worn daily, meaning that just as your favorite pair of jeans need a wash once and awhile, so do your jewels.
Here are some tips for home cleaning as well as a few things to watch out for when cleaning jewelry with mixed elements:
Soak gold jewelry in a small bowl filled with a solution made from two cups of warm water and a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid for 15 minutes. Work the solution onto the gold with a soft-bristle toothbrush before rinsing with warm water and drying with a soft cloth.
Note: If your gold jewelry contains gemstones like the ring above, this method will safely spruce up their sparkle as well.
To remove built-up tarnish from silver jewelry, make a paste with a 1/4 cup of baking soda and two tablespoons of water. Apply the thick paste with a damp sponge and gently rub, rinse and buff dry. Finally, rinse in warm water and pat dry.
Note: If you’re silver jewelry contains pearls or gemstones, don’t use this method as it could damage their finish. Use the simple soap method for gold above for general cleaning or a specialized silver-cleaning fluid for tarnished silver instead.
To clean a string of pearls, rub each pearl individually with a soft, clean cloth dampened with a delicate solution of two cups of warm water and a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid. Let the pearls dry overnight.
Note: Don’t soak strands of pearls as this can cause the string to stretch.
Diamonds are dulled by soap so should be soaked in an ammonia-based cleaner. Place diamond jewelry in a solution of one cup warm water and 1/4 cup ammonia. Gently scrub with a soft-bristle toothbrush, making sure to get the bristles into the small crevices between the diamond and the setting. Rinse with warm water and lay on some paper towel to dry.
Note: If your diamond jewelry also contains pearls, don’t use this method as the ammonia will damage the pearl’s surface. For complex jewelry that contain a variety of stones and accents, have them professionally cleaned at your local jeweler.
Finally, be proactive, not reactive
Change up your morning routine and apply makeup and perfume before putting on jewelry. This gives time for both to set before rubbing off onto your jewels. Just make sure to wash your hands if you like to use your fingers for application.
Also, if you’re a domestic goddess or sport a green thumb, make sure you remove your rings before getting your hands dirty. Unnecessary exposure to cleaning products can tarnish the metal while dirt particles can become trapped deep inside the setting. Just make sure to take note of where you left your rings – there’s nothing worse than forgetting where you left them! A well-placed, bright-colored dish will make finding them again a cinch.
All rings, earrings and pendants featured above are from Jewlr.com.
How often do you clean your jewelry and what’s you best cleaning method? Tell us below!