How To Clean Your Jewelry And Keep It Looking Like New
One of the most asked questions I get from my clients is how to clean their jewelry. I want to share some tips with you so that you can enjoy your jewelry pieces and keep them looking beautiful for a long time. Follow these tips below and please let me know in below comments if you have any questions. I’ll also provide a PDF for a download to have on hand so that next time you are ready to clean your jewelry, you can refer back to the guide.
All jewelry tarnishes after being exposed to air. Some people’s skin PH reacts differently to metals making the metal tarnish faster. Even the high end jewelry from stores like Tiffany & Co tarnishes because all metal tarnishes. Some jewelry is made with a temporary anti-tarnish coating which eventually wears off. There are different ways to clean jewelry depending on what metals it’s made of. Follow the tips below for each different metal to help keep your jewelry looking like new.
Sterling Silver Jewelry
Sterling silver jewelry is easy to clean with sterling silver cleaning solutions or cleaning cloths. Target sells a silver cleaning solution for example. Amazon has many different cleaning solutions as well. Connoisseurs is a great jewelry cleaning brand. They sell a cleaner specifically for silver. You want to make sure though that the piece of jewelry you are cleaning does not have any porous stones that can get damaged by the cleaning solution. You can also use a ultrasonic cleaner but sometimes if the piece is really tarnished, the ultrasonic cleaner won’t clean it all the way. You are better off cleaning it with a sterling silver cleaner first and then maintaining it with the ultrasonic cleaner.
14K And Gold Filled Jewelry
14K Gold and gold filled jewelry can be cleaned with a precious metal cleaning solutions, a cleaning cloth or ultrasonic cleaner. You want to double check the cleaning solution though to make sure it’s meant for precious and semi-precious stones if you are cleaning a piece of gold jewelry with diamonds or stones. Most jewelry stores sell a cleaning solution that looks blue in the container and is gentle enough not to damage stones. You can use the same cleaning solutions for silver jewelry with stones also.
Gold Plated Jewelry
Gold plated sterling silver or brass jewelry has a thin coating of gold or rose gold that will eventually wear off. You can preserve the plating by avoiding wearing the jewelry with lotions, perfumes or water. Many cleaning cloths are too harsh for plated jewelry and can take the plating off. You can use delicate, costume jewelry cleaner to clean plated jewelry pieces. You can also use a mild soap and water to quick clean the piece but you want to make sure not to let the piece soak in water which can damage the plating further. You also want to make sure you dry the piece really well so that water doesn’t end up damaging the piece.
Here are tips for keeping all your jewelry looking like new regardless of the metal.
- Avoid touching and wearing the jewelry with lotions and perfumes. Take your jewelry off before applying lotions or perfume.
- Avoid contact with water. Don’t wear your jewelry when swimming, taking a bath or shower.
- Avoid wearing jewelry while exercising. Sweat can cause the jewelry to tarnish faster and the gold plating to wear off faster.
- Avoid storing and wearing jewelry around nail polish or perfumes which can cause the metals to tarnish faster and gold plating to wear off faster.
- To keep jewelry scratch free, store in separate pouches and use a gentle hand when using a polishing cloth. Please read the directions on your polishing cloth to make sure it’s safe for the metal you are cleaning. Most polishing cloths are too harsh for plated jewelry and will take the plating off.
- Sunshine Polishing Cloths are one of the best polishing cloths and can safely be used on silver, gold and brass jewelry.