How to Clean and Care for Your Jewelry
Keep your gold jewelry away from harsh chemicals such as chlorine and cleaning fluids. This will reduce daily abrasions and prolong gold's luster. To clean gold jewelry, use a solution of warm water and detergent-free soap and wash gold gently with a soft-bristled brush (a dull tooth brush works well).
Fine jewelry is a precious possession that is designed and crafted to last a lifetime. However, proper care is required to assure the lasting qualities of your jewelry. Below are some simple, basic guidelines for the care and cleaning of your fine jewelry:
Basic care tips:
• Store your jewelry in a clean, dry place.
• Keep your jewelry in a fabric-lined jewelry case, or in a box with compartments and dividers. If you prefer to use ordinary boxes, wrap each piece individually in soft tissue paper.
• Don't jumble your jewelry pieces in a drawer or jewelry case. Pieces can scratch each other.
• Be careful when removing your jewelry to wash your hands. Do not leave your jewelry on the rim of a sink where it can easily slip down the drain.
• See your jeweler at least once a year to have your jewelry checked for loose prongs, worn mountings, and general wear and tear. Visit your jeweler every six months to have your jewelry professionally cleaned.
• There are many types of small machines on the market that will clean jewelry in a matter of minutes using high-frequency sound. These machines are called ultrasonic cleaners and are available in many different models and prices. They can be a convenient way to quickly clean your jewelry at home. However, ultrasonic cleaners can damage some jewelry and prolonged use may loosen gemstones from their mountings. Your local jeweler can tell you if an ultrasonic cleaning machine is right for your jewelry wardrobe and, if it is, recommend an appropriate model.
Before you start cleaning
Check the setting of your jewelry to ensure it is secure and well fastened. If you begin scrubbing a loose stone you may damage or even lose a piece. Remove any dust from both the jewelry and cleaning clothes. The dust may cause light scratching during the cleaning process. If you don’t own a jewelry cloth, use a cotton or flannel cloth and shake it well to remove loose dust.
How To Clean Gold Jewelry
You can clean gold with soap and water, but it works best on gold pieces that are plain and free of other gemstones (such as a plain gold necklace or simple ring.) To clean your gold with soap and water, fill a small bowl with warm - not hot - water and a few drops of a mild dish soap. Place your jewelry in the soap and water mixture, and allow the pieces to soak for about 20 minutes. After soaking, use a clean, dry cotton cloth to dry your jewelry and allow them to sit on a towel to air dry completely before wearing them again.
This method will get rid of all the oils from beauty products and regular day-to-day wear that makes your gold jewelry dingy and lackluster, and is a very simple and quick way to bring back the beauty of your gold.
Cleaning Jewelry with Diamonds and Gemstones
If your gold jewelry includes gemstones, you can still clean them at home without fear of damaging the stones or setting. The important thing to remember about this type of gold jewelry is to NEVER submerge them into water, as the water can become trapped in the setting, rust or discolor your setting/stones, or cause the stones to become loose and fall out over time.
In order to clean your gold jewelry with gemstones, follow the steps above, but instead of submerging the piece into the bowl of water and soap, use a clean, dry cloth that has been dampened with the mixture. Use the cloth to clean your gold jewelry, gently rubbing over the gemstones and setting. Use a separate, slightly damp cloth that hasn't been dipped in soap to rinse the jewelry.
When finished, set the pieces upside down to allow them to air dry. Setting them upside down will allow any water left on the jewelry to drain off without causing damage to the stone or becoming trapped in the setting.
Platinum is one of the rarest and most durable precious metals. It is resistant to tarnishing and discoloration due to chlorine and other chemicals. These factors, along with its strength and white luster, have made platinum an increasingly popular choice for jewelry, either on its own or as the setting for diamonds and other precious gemstones. However, despite its durability, platinum jewelry needs to be properly cared for.
Platinum jewelry can be cleaned the same way you can other fine jewelry. You can use a prepackaged jewelry cleaner that works with platinum, or ask your jeweler to professionally clean your platinum pieces. A professional cleaning every year will keep your platinum jewelry in great shape.
Store your platinum jewelry separately and with care, not allowing pieces to touch each other because even platinum can be scratched.
Signs of wear such as scratches can eventually appear on platinum. However, due to the metal's durability there is usually little metal loss from the scratch. If visible scratches do appear, they can be re-polished.
If your platinum is set with diamonds or other precious stones, be especially careful as these materials can be more susceptible to damage. Some fine jewelry pieces combine platinum with 18 karat gold jewelry. Care for these pieces as you would your gold jewelry.
There are a number of ways to clean your silver, but you need to be careful as to what methods you use. Many of the over-the-counter silver jewelry cleaners contain harmful carcinogens that have been known to cause cancer, so you might want to avoid those for your silver-cleaning needs. The best way to keep silver clean is to avoid tarnish to begin with. To do this, make sure that you store your silver in a zip-lock baggie. When silver gets dirty or tarnished, create a baking soda paste with water and baking soda and gently rub the paste all over the silver with a damp cloth until the silver is clean. Rinse the silver off and make sure you dry it well before storing it or wearing it. People have also been known to use this same method using toothpaste instead of baking soda and water.