Beads are among the most whimsical and enjoyable materials to use when making jewelry. Unfortunately, beaded jewelry can also be a little tricky to clean because of all the working parts!
According to a recent study, jewelry is one of the most popular gifts for holidays like birthdays or Valentine’s Day. If you’ve received a beaded bracelet or necklace as a gift, you’re probably wondering how you can keep it lasting a long time. Unlike washing a shirt, jewelry is more challenging to clean.
Keep your beautiful creations glittering for years. Read on to learn how to clean beaded jewelry effectively.
The Most Common Materials Used to Make Beads
Understanding how to clean your beaded jewelry is best done by understanding the materials themselves. Not all beads can receive the same cleaning method!
The most common materials used to make beads are usually plastic, rhinestones, and quartz. Some beaded jewelry comes with carefully sanded wooden beads. Other jewelry will use precious stones such as rubies, amethysts, or garnets.
Double-check your beaded jewelry to see what materials are dominant. Let’s start the list with tips on keeping your accessories looking their best.
Related: How Did Diamonds Become Popular?
Tip #1: Prevent Damage in the First Place
This first tip is true for all jewelry. You’re better off preventing damage from happening in the first place!
Taking care of your jewelry properly means being careful how you wear it, where you wear it, and where you store it. If you’re not mindful, you could expose your beaded bracelet or necklace to issues like:
Tip #2: Avoid the Following Situations
“How do I keep my jewelry from chipping or becoming discolored?”, you might be asking. We recommend avoiding the following situations to keep your jewelry looking its best.
Don’t Sleep in Your Jewelry
Do you sometimes forget to take off your necklace or earrings before going to bed? Double-check what you’re wearing before you lay down, since wearing your beaded jewelry to bed can make it look funny over time.
It’s common to sweat a little more when you sleep, which can expose your jewelry to discoloration.
Don’t Shower in Your Jewelry
Summer is right around the corner, which means jumping in for quick, cold showers to beat the heat. Remember not to shower or bathe in your jewelry, as most beaded materials don’t handle moisture well.
Don’t Spray Anything on Your Jewelry
Are you a fan of perfume? How about hairspray or face mist? Be careful not to spritz anything on your jewelry, as the chemicals can break down the appearance of your beads.
Chemical sprays can ruin the color or warp designs.
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Tip #3: Consider How You Wear Your Jewelry
Yes, how you wear your jewelry can also affect its appearance! Consider the following guidelines when wearing your beaded bracelets, bangles, or earrings.
Wear Your Jewelry After Your Lotion Has Dried
Moisturizing is an important part of any skincare regimen. Sadly, a lot of lotions and creams have extra chemicals that ruin jewelry.
Make sure your skin is fully dried before putting on your jewelry.
Wear Your Jewelry After Your Hair Has Dried
It’s not just hairspray to be mindful of. If you use leave-in cream or mousse, make sure your hair is fully dried before wearing any accessories.
How to Clean Beaded Jewelry
Let’s say you’ve been doing your very best to protect your jewelry, but they still get dirty or tarnished. Now what?
Here are a few steps you can try to polish your beaded jewelry without creating additional problems.
Step #1: Use a Polishing Cloth
Any good jewelry cabinet needs a polishing cloth. These useful tools have a high fiber count to keep them soft and smooth enough for your delicate jewelry.
Polishing cloths are great for cleaning dirt off of sterling silver items, precious stones, or crystals.
Step #2: Try a Gentle Dish Soap
Dish soap is a multipurpose tool. Not only do you use this soap to clean your dishes or your countertop, you can use it for jewelry.
We recommend a gentle dish soap solution for porous stones or precious stones.
Step #3: Mix a Cleaning Solution Bath
Not a scientist? Don’t worry! A cleaning solution is a reliable method of eliminating tarnishes, heavy dirt, or staining off of beaded jewelry.
Mix the following into a bowl of water for your sterling silver jewelry:
- One tablespoon of baking soda
- One tablespoon of salt
- A small drop of dish soap
Tips To Clean Different Types of Beads
When you have a one-of-a-kind treasure, you need to know how to care for these jewelry pieces. Beaded jewelry often has many components; not all beads can handle the same cleaning methods. After cleaning your beaded jewelry, you will want to store and maintain it, so those pieces keep their beautiful appearance.
On beaded pieces of handcrafted jewelry, it is not uncommon to have several different elements on the same piece. You may see pearls, glass beads, and gemstones on a single bracelet, necklace, or earring. If you immerse the beaded jewelry, there is always the risk of cable rust or thread discoloration, which can affect the beads.
With these tips, you can keep these unique pieces looking lustrous without worrying about damaging the surface. Here are a couple of helpful tips for cleaning those specialty beads on your jewelry pieces.
You can clean these beads with a soft cloth. Since wood is porous, any moisture can affect the bead's appearance. You may want to avoid furniture polish, as a spray can discolor the beads.
Crystal and Glass Beads
The stone could become dull if you use an ultrasonic cleaner with glass and crystal beads. You need to use a mild dish cleaner and water to wipe down these stones. Once again, do not immerse the pieces in water.
After wearing a piece with a pearl, you should take a damp cloth and gently wipe the bead. For more in-depth cleaning, use water and mild dish soap. Take time to pat each pearl gently. You should brush all the pearls with a clean damp cloth to remove any soap residue. Be careful with jewelry cleaning solutions. Freshwater pearls can become damaged with those solutions, but it is acceptable to use them with Swarovski crystal pearls.
When cleaning these stones, you will want to use a damp cloth and mild dish soap. If you want to avoid any buildup of dirt, clean them on a regular basis. Avoid commercial dips since the chemical can remove the bead's coating.
Storing Beaded Jewelry
Once the cleaning is completed, you need to store these items carefully. If you haphazardly throw pieces together, they can become tarnished over time. With proper storage, these items will look beautiful for many years. You can preserve that beaded jewelry with the following tips.
- If the beaded jewelry is made with sterling silver, you must store these items with anti-tarnish paper.
- Store your beaded jewelry away from direct sunlight. Never store any jewelry pieces in areas that could become overheated. Any moisture and heat can cause deterioration in your items.
- It would help if you never throw any of the pieces together. Otherwise, the items could become tangled and exhibit signs of surface wear. Store each item in a separate box or hang them alone.
With the proper care, you can keep your jewelry looking great and preserve the quality of each piece. Many of these items are handcrafted, requiring special care to upkeep their appearance.
Related: How To Test Gold Jewelry At Home
Keep it Clean!
Learning how to clean beaded jewelry is a delicate art. Once you become comfortable identifying the materials of your accessories, you’ll be able to keep them polished year-round.
Remember that the best way to keep jewelry clean is to protect it from damage in the first place. Don’t wear beaded jewelry with wet hair or recently moisturized skin. Keep your jewelry away from products like hairspray, mousse, or perfume. Sleeping in your jewelry or showering with your jewelry will definitely expose your product to discoloration.
Handcrafted jewelry is built to last. Contact us today to enjoy beautiful necklaces, bangles, and bracelets made with you in mind.