How Do I Clean My Jewellery?

So your silver earrings are looking a bit lack lustre, or your necklace is looking a bit tired and tarnished and you want to get it back to its former glory? No problem, there are many ways that you can do this but first a few jewellery care tips.

Silver and Enamel Two-in-One Earrings

Silver and Enamel Two-in-One Earrings

Prevention is better than cure.

Try to keep your jewellery from getting too tarnished in the first place by keeping it stored away from moisture and the air. Ideally each piece in a  zip-lock bags with an anti tarnish paper tab is perfect, this also avoids scratching your precious pieces and those annoying chain tangles (yes, so frustrating isn’t it!). Alternatively you could use acid free tissue paper, the box or pouch that the jewellery was purchased in.

Last on, first off

Your jewellery will react to perfumes, creams, lotions and potions, so always remember this rule. Your jewellery should be the last thing that you put on when you are getting ready and the first thing to take off at night (or whenever you are getting undressed!)

Don’t sleep in your jewellery

Chains can get tangled twisted and kinked. Also remember to remove it for sport, gardening etc. Using tools can cause knocks, and scrapes which can deform precious metals. Always remove jewellery for swimming. As well as chlorine and salt water turning silver black, it can also make your fingers shrink - I have had to make a replacement wedding ring after the original was lost in the sea!

Avoid chemicals

Take your jewellery off when cleaning, showering etc. The harsh chemical and abrasives can be damaging and stones such as opals and amber are particularly delicate and vulnerable.

How to clean your jewellery.

Silver and Turquoise Enamel Necklace

Silver and Turquoise Enamel Necklace

My first word of advice is to be gentle, don’t scrub, poke and polish too hard and if you are in any doubt then get in touch with the maker of the item. If there are gemstones enamel or any special surface finishes like oxidising or gold-plating, these also need special care and should be researched beforehand. I have found the Gem Society website very useful for this. https://www.gemsociety.org/article/clean-gemstone-jewelry/

Polished shiny finishes - a specialist silver or gold polish cloth is the best way to start. If you have any gemstones with gunk and debris around them stopping the sparkle, soak in a bowl of warm water for half an hour and then use a soft baby’s toothbrush to gently work away any grime. I may be stating the obvious but don’t do this over the sink with running water, you don’t want to have to pay a plumber as well as a jeweller if a stone does come loose!

Silver and Blue Topaz Electra Necklace

Silver and Blue Topaz Electra Necklace

Matte or frosted finishes - a silver dip or liquid silver cleaner is best for this. Just dip it in and wash off thoroughly. Another tip I have found is a baking soda toothpaste. Just smear it on with a little water - do not scrub or rub in, just gently coat the surface with the paste. Leave for a few moments and then wash off - again perhaps with a soft baby’s toothbrush. I was sceptical but it really works like a dream! Avoid with soft stones such as lapis, amber etc.

A chemical free way of cleaning your jewellery

Another environmentally friendly way of cleaning your silver jewellery, is with bicarbonate of soda and foil.

Just line a ceramic bowl with kitchen foil add hot water and 2 tbsp bicarb per litre of water. Let cool slightly and add your jewellery ensuring it is touching the foil. After a few minutes, remove your now sparkly clean silver, rinse and buff with a soft dry cloth. You can safely throw the solution down the sink when you are done and recycle the foil. (There is a similar method to this but using soda crystals but I would not recommend this for enamel jewellery as is can etch the enamel surface causing permanent damage.)

Remember that your jewellery will age over time, the knocks and scratches of life can change a piece. Matte surfaces will become shinier with wear and tear and polished surfaces will gain scratches and become duller. I love this process of something becoming even more unique yours, but with care and attention your special pieces of jewellery will remain beautiful and sparkling for longer.

With Best Wishes,

Mel xo

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