This week I’d like to talk about cleaning your jewelry. The very first rule in my playbook is to never use commercial jewelry cleaner. I’m not talking about taking it to your favorite shop and having it cleaned. Most professional jewelers know how to clean jewelry properly. I’m talking about the commercial jewelry cleaner you purchase online or in a department store, etc.
The fact is you can do a much better job yourself at home. All you really need is mild liquid soap, warm water and a very soft bristle toothbrush. A baby’s toothbrush is perfect. Another great method for cleaning your jewelry instead of using soap, use toothpaste. Toothpaste is my preferred method. A little toothpaste on a soft baby’s toothbrush and some warm water, gently scrub all over, rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth. Your jewelry will shine like brand new!
Before you do any cleaning, it’s a good idea to check the piece you’ll be cleaning to make sure any and all stones are secure. If you find any loose stones, then you should probably not try to clean it. Instead, take it to your favorite jeweler and have the stones tightened. Sometimes that may require re-tipping of prongs or replacing prongs or bezels. That all depends. A good jeweler will be able to determine that upon examining your piece.
*A little tip: when cleaning your jewelry at home, use a plastic container with warm water and when you rinse it if you don’t have a separate container with clean water, if you must do it over a sink, be sure to have a screen in the drain hole. This is just in case a stone does fall out it won’t end up down the drain!
I do not recommend using a commercial ultrasonic machine either. There are many stones that should never be put in an ultrasonic cleaning machine such as turquoise, coral, pearls and many others. So, I just advise avoiding them for anything.
Pearls require special treatment. Pearls should never be put in any jewelry cleaner, even if it says it’s safe for use on pearls. Nor should they be placed in an ultrasonic machine or steam cleaned. After wearing your pearls, they should simply be wiped off with a clean soft cotton cloth. If you need to remove oils or dirt, then simply use a very mild soap and warm water and dry immediately. Your pearls should also not be kept in a dark, dry place for extended periods of time. Pearls are an organic gem and should be exposed to natural light and the moisture in the air. If they are left in a dark dry environment for a long time, they can discolor and loose their luster and turn brittle. If you do not wear your pearls on a regular basis and you store them in a jewelry box or similar way, take them out occasionally (at least once or twice a month) and place them in a spot wear they will get the exposure to natural light and air. Do this and your pearls will remain beautiful forever. If your pearls are set in gold or silver mountings such as a ring or pendant, I recommend cleaning the metal with a soft polishing cloth that is designed for cleaning silver or gold. When you’re buffing the metal, try not to use it on the pearl(s).
Until next time…Make a wish upon a star. Stars are the diamonds in the sky.