Keep Your Blings Sparkling Like New!
How to clean my jewelry?
We do not recommend silver dips for removing oxidation from your silver jewelry. Many will leave microscopic pits in the silver causing it to darken faster. We do recommend preventive care by storing your jewelry in a closed box or plastic bag. Silver will tarnish when left out exposed to air. Storing in a plastic baggy will help keep it from tarnishing. We have suggested several methods below to clean your jewelry.
For both rolled gold and silver jewelry a polishing cloth available at most places that sell jewelry. A cloth called Sunshine Polishing Cloth is very popular. The cloth will turn dark but can still be used for a very long time. The cloth contains chemical cleaners that will give a lasting luster to your jewelry. You can use it when you notice that your jewelry starts to appear dull. We may start to carry this cloth on this site if there is a demand.
Cleaning Rolled Gold Settings
You can clean rolled gold settings by just washing the jewelry in warm soapy water. Use lukewarm water (not hot as it can crack some stones) and a couple drops of non-film leaving dish soap (not antibacterial). Use a soft toothbrush to get into tight places. Rinse and dry with paper towel immediately to avoid mineral residue from the water. You will be amazed how well this simple process works! If there are gemstones in the setting they will sparkle like new. You can use this process on soft stones and pearls. Mild gold cleaners can also be used and can be purchased at any jewelry store. Make sure it is safe for the stones in your setting.
Cleaning Sterling Silver with Dry Baking Soda
You can clean sterling (even when it is quite tarnished) using Arm and Hammer baking soda. Fill a small thick freezer baggy half full with baking soda. Drop in the jewelry and close the bag (so you don’t breath in the powder). Squish the bag so you are rubbing the dry baking soda into the silver. Remove from the bag and shake out. Remove residue with a soft toothbrush. Careful in using the toothbrush so you don’t remove the antique (the dark color that brings out recessed patterns) that is supposed to be there. Tap the piece on a paper towel to ensure all the baking soda is removed. Another option is to rinse off the baking soda with warm water and gently use the toothbrush. Rinse well so you don’t get powder residue on your cloths later. Dry with a paper towel immediately. After a couple of times you will get the hang of this. You will be amazed how great the dry method worked cleaning bangles.
Pearls pick up oils from your skin so it is a good practice to clean them after wearing. Just wipe slightly damp cloth over them after wearing. If you think they are dirty then soak them a few minutes in a solution of ¼ teaspoon liquid soap to 2 cups lukewarm water. Use a gentle soap like Ivory not an antibacterial soap. Rinse well and pat dry with a paper towel. Professional tarnish removers are made for silver that are safe for pearls if you have that combination.
Cleaning Silver with professional Tarnish Remover
You can also use a professional tarnish remover made for jewelry. Be sure it is safe for pearls or soft stones like opal or turquoise if you have that kind of jewelry. Most of these pastes can be applied then removed with a dry cloth. If the piece is antiqued you want to be careful not to remove it.
Cleaning Sterling Silver and Rolled Gold with a Jewelry Polishing Cloth
For both rolled gold and silver jewelry a polishing cloth available at most places that sell jewelry. A cloth called Sunshine Polishing Cloth is very popular. The cloth will turn dark but can still be used for a very long time. The cloth contains chemical cleaners that will give a lasting luster to your jewelry. You can use it when you notice that your jewelry starts to appear dull. We do recommend that even after polishing you wash the jewelry in warm soapy water using a soft toothbrush to clean out the dirt and residue from the cracks. Dirt and oils from the skin sitting in the recessed spaces can cause the skin to turn dark. You may think it’s the metal and find when you clean it the problem was the dirt and oils. Of course some people do have allergies to metal and their skin may darken as a reaction to metals.
Cleaning Sterling Silver with a Matte Shine
We don’t recommend this for everybody to try but the adventurous of heart. Sometimes a piece of jewelry has a combination of high polish shiny places with a matt look or slightly dull antique look. If you like that look and feel you have polished the piece too shiny you can soften the shine and make it look a little more antique with a fine steel wool (the kind used on wood between varnish coats). If you dull it too much polish with baking soda again or soft cleaning cloth. Just remember that when you use steel wool you are putting mild abrasive marks on the silver which is what gives it the matt look. So only use on the places you want to have a matt finish.
Ionic cleaners use electricity in a conductive solution to clean the jewelry. It is fast and easy. We cleaned a tarnished squash blossom necklace for a client in about 10 seconds. While we have not had any problems with pearls and stones, we do not recommend this for soft stones like opal or coated stones and glass (like the Aura Borealis coating) as the color of the coating may change. You also need to be careful not to zap your jewelry for too long at one time. 10 seconds is the rule of thumb. Take it out and rinse it off. If still not clean put it in again.