How to Clean Jewellery at Home

cleaning jewelleryHow to clean jewellery at home effectively is a question often asked. Cleaning jewellery at home is really not as hard as you might think and can easily be achieved with some basic jewellery cleaning techniques.

How to Clean Jewellery at Home

As time goes by jewellery begins to lose its shine, and naturally you want to take care of it and make it sparkle and shine like the day it was bought. Many things can dull jewellery, natural oils from the skin, air born contaminants, moisture and corrosion will all tarnish the shine and luster of your possessions, even every day products such as hand lotions or hair styling products can leave residue grime on your favourite diamond ring leaving it looking less than immaculate.   However there are many simple jewellery cleaning tips which will and can drastically improve the condition of your most beloved pieces and you will not need to look far for the remedy, with most solutions being products commonly found in households, although you should take note that different metals and stones are quite sensitive and can be damaged easily, so be cautious when clean jewellery at home.

How to prevent the build-up of dirt

Before we start the solutions, you should take notice of how to prevent your jewellery becoming tarnished to start with, specifically rings.

  • Removing your ring when you participate in any active sports to avoid possible injuries to yourself or others, this prevents a build-up of sweat and dirt building up on the ring.
  • Take off your ring before you attempt to do any type of housework, you can easily damage it by exposing it to cleaning products which have numerous chemicals which will deteriorate quality of your stones.  While metals like gold are not reactive they can still be tarnished and silver and other alloys are much more reactive and more likely to suffer.
  • Remove your jewellery before applying any form of lotions, make-up, hair sprays or perfumes.  Most beauty products are designed to stick to the surface of the skin for as long as possible, which will interact with the jewellery and stick to them.
  • Use a lint free cloth to dry your stones every time they get wet instead of allowing them to air dry, this is because the air is full of dirt and skin cells which will cling to the wet surface on the stone.
  • Cleaning jewellery once a week to maintain the bright and sparkly shine is the easiest way to maintain their perfection.

To begin, you should determine what you wish to clean, as different items of jewellery require different levels of care, certain delicate gems, pearls for instance, should only be wiped with a damp cloth or very gently cleaned with no solvents or detergents.

One method and the easiest is to pour a tablespoon or two of dish washing liquid into the bowl and then fill the bowl with hot water. By putting the detergent in the bowl first and then running the water over the detergent, it allows the two to combine more easily and not leave any soap on the bottom of the bowl. Place the jewellery in the mixture. Let it sit for 15 minutes so that the soap can slowly break away any dirt and oil build-up. Do not let it soak for more than about 15 minutes since there is a risk that any stones may become loose. Afterwards let it dry and run it under a cold stream of water from all angles to ensure any leftover dirt is gone, and then gently dry it using a cloth. However there are other somewhat more effective methods readily available.

Baking Soda Jewellery Cleaning

Baking soda is a mild and non-abrasive cleaning agent that works well to clean an engagement ring.  If your ring is only slightly dirty, take baking soda and mix with a small amount of water, this will form a paste.  Rub the paste all around the stone and the engagement ring setting.  This will clean an engagement ring without causing any damage to the metals or the stone. Afterwards dry and polish the piece with a cloth.

 Soap Detergent and Water Cleaning

Another effective way of cleaning something such as an engagement ring is to use 1 part mild dish washing detergent and 3 parts warm water. Scrub the ring with a soft bristle toothbrush.  This is a great way to get out lotions, oils and general grime.  You can let the ring soak overnight if it’s particularly dirty, and again make sure to use a cloth to dry it off to make sure any dust doesn’t gather on it.

Ammonia Cleaning

One way to bring out the colours and the shine in a diamond is a mixture of ammonia and water. You can swirl the jewellery around in the solution for a couple of minutes.  If it is still dirty, you can also use a soft bristled brush to continue to clean an engagement ring. Afterwards dry with a cloth.

Things to avoid when cleaning jewellery at home

Most metal and other softer gemstones are very easily damaged by abrasive chemicals which are found in most cleaners, this means it’s best to start your cleaning with the relatively gentle methods before choosing a more aggressive approach such as ammonia cleaning to use products to help clean your jewellery.

Be careful when you are cleaning jewellery over a sink or under a tap as accidents do occur and you may unintentionally drop something down a plughole.

Rough cloths can scratch metals and softer stones, make sure you only use soft lint free cloths when you dry your jewellery.

Gemstones such pearls, turquoise and opals are known as porous stones, which in this case mean if you use products with harsh chemicals to clean them, they will absorb the chemicals which will damage the stones.

Do not use small or sharp objects such as pins and tweezers to remove small particles of dirt from a piece; you will only scratch the metal setting of your jewellery.

Take care when cleaning jewellery which is vintage or has sentimental value; if you feel you can’t do the job properly leave it to the experts.

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