Clean up nicely! With springtime fast approaching, you may feel the urge to put on your jewelry and head outside. But you shouldn’t go out with your pieces just yet. Your pieces need a good cleaning first.
You may think you need to call a cleaning service, and that may be necessary. But in most cases, you can clean your jewelry in the comfort of your home. Here are your five best ways to clean jewelry!
1. Try a Dish Soap and Water Solution
A dish soap and water solution is an easy DIY way to clean your jewelry. It works best when you have a small amount of grime on your silver or gold pieces. It can also help polish your jewelry in time for a family event.
Combine a few drops of mild dish soap with one cup of warm water. The water should be hotter than the room temperature, but not too hot that you cannot keep your finger in it. You can also use unflavored seltzer water.
To clean silver jewelry, dip a soft microfiber cloth into the solution. Rub it over the silver until the tarnish comes off. Once clean, rinse the piece under cool water and dry it with another soft cloth. Make sure you’ve gotten all the water off. If you still notice dust or tarnish, repeat the process.
To clean gold jewelry, soak your pieces in the solution. You can place your jewelry in a strainer or a cup with holes in the bottom, especially if you have small pieces of costume jewelry. Soak your jewelry for at least five minutes, occasionally moving the items around to dislodge any dirt. If you notice grime, gently rub your jewelry with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Once your pieces seem clean, rinse them with running water and dry them with a soft cloth.
Related: Polishing Jewelry
2. Use Baking Soda
If you have a lot of grime on your jewelry, try baking soda instead of dish soap and water. Also, baking soda is a good alternative if you have a hand injury and cannot scrub your jewelry with a cloth.
Place your jewelry in a small bowl and cover it with tap water. Mix in a small amount of baking soda, enough to react with the water to produce bubbles. Let the jewelry soak for at least five minutes, then remove it and wipe it off with a dry cloth.
A baking soda and water solution works best for silver and gold jewelry. It can work on diamonds, though you may be able to clean a diamond ring by wiping it with a diamond cloth. Do not use this solution for pearls, soft stones, or flimsy jewelry like flexible wristbands.
Related: Gem Cleaning
If the solution is not working, you can modify it. For silver pieces, you can stir in a little salt to break the tarnish down. Baking soda, ammonia, and water can remove stains, but you should not use ammonia on gold, as the gold can dissolve.
3. Try Glass Cleaner Out
If you don’t have much time, spray glass cleaner onto your jewelry. Hold your piece out in front of you or on a tabletop. Spray the cleaner on it, then scrub the jewelry with a clean cloth. Once the jewelry is clean, rinse it with some water.
If your cleaner has powerful chemicals, spray it onto a cloth and wipe it on the jewelry. After you’re done, wipe the piece down with another fabric.
This method works best on gold, platinum, and silver pieces with a lot of grime on them. You can use it on diamonds, though you should not use too much cleaner. Do not use glass cleaner on any other type of jewelry, as the chemicals in the cleanser are powerful enough to damage soft and semi-precious stones.
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4. Use Professional Cleaning Products
The best way to clean jewelry with silver in it is by using a silver polish cleaner. Find a polish with ingredients that will remove the tarnish and prevent a new tarnish from forming. You can use a liquid or paste polish, but these polishes can get messy. Read the instructions so you know what to do if the polish gets on a countertop or the floor. Your best product is disposable silver cleaning wipes.
A jewelry cleaning wand can help you clean diamonds and tiny pieces. Buy a wand with a soft brush, as hard bristles can scratch your jewelry. Many rods are travel-sized, so you can take them to events and clean your pieces quickly. After using your wand, run your jewelry under water and wipe it off with a towel so the chemicals come off.
Related: How to Clean Stainless Steel Jewelry
You can buy a few all-purpose jewelry cleaners, cleaning your diamond, gold, and platinum pieces with the same product. However, read the product labels carefully; a product that cleans diamonds and gold may not clean silver or soft gems.
5. Keep Your Jewelry Clean
You can use as many hacks as you want to keep your jewelry clean. They will not be effective if you don’t take steps to prevent your jewelry from getting dirty and follow jewelry safety tips.
If you’re going swimming in a pool, remove all of your jewelry. Chlorine and other pool chemicals can remove varnishes and stain your materials. You should also be careful with swimming in saltwater, as the salt can corrode your accessories.
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When you are cleaning your house, take off your rings and bracelets. Household cleaners can damage them. You should also remove all jewelry when you are applying hand cream, nail polish, or perfume. You can wear a necklace on top of your skin that has perfume on it, but you should use the perfume first and let it settle.
Even if you are taking good care of your jewelry, you should visit a jeweler. They can make repairs you cannot complete and give you practical tips for maintaining and cleaning your jewelry.