Whether you’re wearing an engagement ring or a pair of simple earrings, your jewellery gets exposed to a lot of environmental pollution including oil, lotion and hairspray. Using the right jewelry cleaner lifts away those build ups and makes your jewellery look brand new again.
Jewelry cleaning usually only takes a few minutes and doesn’t require fancy equipment or specialty products. Try some of these simple methods:
Many people are concerned about the proper care and cleaning of their jewellery. Whether you have a small collection or an extensive one, it is important to keep your jewellery clean and free of scratches. An ultrasonic cleaner is a great investment to make in order to maintain your jewellery and keep it looking like new.
When the ultrasonic cleaner is turned on, high-frequency sound waves are sent through the tank of water and create a phenomenon known as cavitation. This process causes microscopic bubbles to rapidly expand and collapse in the liquid solution, which helps break down and dissolve dirt and grime on your jewelry.
After the cleaning cycle is complete, rinse your jewelry with running tap water to remove the remaining dirt particles. Then, dry it with a soft cloth or towel. Be sure to use a fresh tank of water and a clean solution each time you use the machine. It is also a good idea to brush your jewellery gently with a soft toothbrush after each use.
Cleaning delicate pieces of jewellery like earrings and necklace chains can be a challenge because there are lots of tiny crevices where dirt builds up. The safest and most effective jewellery cleaner for such items is a mixture of Dawn dishwashing liquid, club soda and a toothbrush. The carbonation in the club soda helps to loosen and dislodge buildup from jewellery metal settings and gem facets.
You can also use window cleaner to spruce up jewelry that is all metal or has crystalline gemstones (like rubies and sapphires). Just make sure not to use this on organic gems like opals, moonstones and coral (the acid in the cleaner can discolour them) or opaque gemstones such as smoky quartz and turquoise. To clean these types of pieces, gently scrub them with a toothbrush and rinse. Then, let them air dry. This method can also work well for costume jewellery, which tends to tarnish faster than precious metals like gold and silver.
Baking soda is a great choice for cleaning sterling silver jewellery because it’s gentle, inexpensive, and effective. Its slightly abrasive properties help to break apart surface stains and polish metals. You can also use a soft toothbrush, which works well for scrubbing and getting into nooks and crannies. However, be careful as baking soda can scratch softer stones and metals such as opals and pearls. It’s always a good idea to test a small, hidden part of your jewelry before applying the mixture to the entire piece.
Once you’ve applied the paste, let your jewellery sit for about 5-10 minutes to allow the baking soda solution to work its magic. Then, rinse with a bowl of cool water. Be sure to plug your drain so that your jewellery doesn’t accidentally slip into the pipes during rinsing and go down the drain! Pat your jewellery dry with a soft cloth to prevent watermarks and lingering moisture that can lead to tarnish.
Most jewellery professionals recommend getting your jewellery cleaned once or twice a year, but it’s easy to do this at home with the help of vinegar. The first step is to mix a non-toxic jewellery pickle (cleaning solution) with white vinegar and salt.
Then place your jewellery in the solution and soak it for two or three hours. Finally, rinse the jewellery and pat it dry with a lint-free cloth.
This method works best on pure silver jewelry with a hardness of seven on the Mohs scale, like rings and bracelets. Avoid using this cleaner on plated jewellery or gemstones with a low hardness, such as coral and pearls, because the vinegar could damage them.
Adding baking soda to the cleaning solution can be helpful in removing stains or heavily tarnished jewellery. The mild abrasive in the baking soda can dislodge dirt and grime that is stubborn or difficult to remove with vinegar alone. Use a toothbrush to scrub the jewellery, and then rinse thoroughly.