Are your gemstones looking a bit dull? Is your gold jewellery looking glum and your silver jewellery looking a bit tarnished?
Normal activities in daily life – cooking, washing dishes, gardening, applying lotions, washing your hands and doing exercise – can all lead to dirty jewellery.
The good news is that figuring out how to clean jewellery at home is easy with these handy tips. Read on for advice from the experts.
1. Use a jewellery cleaning cloth
Are the jewellery cloths safe to use for cleaning on everyday basis? In a word: yes! They are purpose-built for the job. Cleaning cloths are made from a soft microfibre that is infused with special polishing agents.
One important thing to remember: don’t wash your cloth, no matter how black it becomes. If you launder it, you’ll wash out the polishing compounds.
The only time you should discard your jewellery cloth is when it stops cleaning your jewellery. Until then, polish away.
Are you wondering which jewellery cleaning cloth is the best? There are many varieties of gold polishing cloths available, so make sure it is manufactured with high quality microfibre cotton and has a polishing compound and an anti-tarnish agent to ensure your jewellery stays shiny.
These are easily available online or you can get a B&B care kit, which includes a jewellery cleaning cloth, a soft bristled brush, along with an easy step-by-step jewellery cleaning guide. To get your own B&B jewellery kit, contact us by clicking below:
2. Cleaning jewellery with ultrasonic cleaners
You may have seen these advertised but do they really work? The good news is that yes, they do, and often with just water and a dash of dish liquid if you want to use one at home.
In fact, many jewellers use large professional ultrasonic cleaners with a special mix of cleaning chemicals because they are clean, hygienic, quick and effective.
The ultrasonic is a whizz at cleaning gold jewellery. The machine uses ultrasonic waves that safely vibrate the cleaning solution or water. The vibrations will gently shake out trapped dirt and grime from underneath ring settings and you will be amazed how much residue collects below your gemstones as you wear them. These tiny waves also create bubbles that attach to the grease, oil, dirt and tarnish on the surface of your jewellery. When the bubble pops, it pulls the grime off with it.
ONE CAUTION: Don’t use ultrasonic cleaners on porous or delicate gemstones like pearls, coral, opals, tortoise shell, ivory, shell cameos, jet and amber because it might damage them. It can also potentially damage delicate gems like emeralds, peridot, topaz or gems with lots of inclusions. If you are unsure if your gemstones are safe, it’s best to check with a jeweller.
Did you know we offer professional jewellery cleaning? All Bell & Brunt jewellery comes with free cleaning and polishing for life and this service only takes a few minutes while you wait. We do offer this service for all other jewellery at a small fee, click the button below to request a quote.
3. Jewellery cleaning solution
From specialist ‘dunk’ type of solutions, to home grown chemical combinations, there are plenty of jewellery cleaning solutions to choose from.
Good old fashioned dishwashing detergent and warm water works well on hard stones like diamonds. Soak the stones for a few minutes and then give them a gentle polish with a soft toothbrush.
Another homemade ‘soak’ can be made from ½ cup of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Soak your jewellery for 2 -3 hours, rinse and then polish with a soft cloth. All the tarnish should come off, along with any grease or grime.
Some people even use toothpaste as a polishing agent but jewellers don’t recommend this as it’s too abrasive and will damage the surface of your jewellery. Ditto for using baking soda as a paste – it’s OK to use it in a soak but don’t rub it on your jewellery because it will scratch it.
4. Cleaning pearls and other gemstones
Pearls require a bit of TLC when it comes to cleaning them. They get dirty relatively quickly because they’re porous and, because of their colour, the dirt really shows.
The best way to clean pearls is to lay them on a soft cloth and cleaning them using a make up brush that has been dunked in a mixture of water and shampoo. Gently rub the pearls with the make up brush and then dry them using the cloth.
This way you won’t damage the pearls’ nature lustre while also restoring them to tip top condition.
For delicate gemstones like Emeralds, it’s best to wipe them with a cloth soaked in tepid soapy water. A gentle scrub with a soft bristled toothbrush underneath will help remove any build up of grime.
Remember not to use heat, abrasives or harsh chemicals as they can damage the surface and cause inclusions to deteriorate and damage your precious gemstone. For more about emerald care, check out this informative GIA cleaning guide.
4 expert tips for every day jewellery care
- Avoid getting perfume on your jewellery as it can cause discolouration or tarnishing
- Wear your silver jewellery (wearing it reduces the amount of tarnishing) or store it in an anti-tarnish bag
- Don’t wear jewellery while swimming. Chlorine and saltwater can damage it.
- Get your jewellery regularly checked by a jeweller to ensure the settings are secure. You don’t want to accidentally loose stones while you’re cleaning your jewellery.
For more jewellery cleaning advice, speak to our qualified jewellery consultants & expert jewellers.
To connect with us, call us at (08) 82319997 or visit our jewellery studio in Adelaide at 14 James Place, Adelaide CBD, SA 5000.
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