Cleaning Your Jewellery - A Helpful Guide - Riverside Beads
Anti Tarnish Silver Polishing Cloth - Riverside Beads

Cleaning Your Jewellery – A Helpful Guide

Our jewellery often bears the brunt of our daily activities and it is common for our pieces to accumulate dirt and tarnish over time. Maintaining and restoring the sparkle may seem like a chore, but with the right knowledge and resources, cleaning your jewellery is relatively easy to do. This guide is designed to help you choose between different cleaning methods for a variety of materials and gemstones, with an overall guidance for general jewellery cleaning.

1.    Always Assess Your Jewellery – Knowing the material of your jewellery is essential to care for it correctly. We advise separating your collection into different categories prior to cleaning. See below for specific material guides.

2.    Gather Your Equipment – Generally you may want to use the following: mild dish soap, soft toothbrush, lukewarm water, polishing cloth and a soft microfibre cloth.

3.    Soak – For most jewellery, gently soaking in lukewarm water for 15-20 minutes with a mild dish soap will do the trick. Make sure to gently swirl the water around to help dislodge dirt.

4.    Brush Away Dirt – For certain pieces, specifically those with crevices, use a soft toothbrush to get in between those pesky gaps. Make sure to be cautious with soft gemstones and pearls.

5.    Drying and Polishing – Lay your jewellery on a soft towel to air dry, ensuring each piece is completely dry before wearing or storing. Use a polishing cloth to really bring out that sparkle.

It is important to consider which material you are cleaning as they require specific care. Here are some common gemstones and how we recommend you look after them.

  • Diamonds – water and ammonia-free jewellery cleaner.
  • Pearls – wipe with a damp cloth and avoid soaking. Warm water and shampoo can also be used to brush over each pearl before wiping with a damp cloth and allowing to dry.
  • Gold and Silver – polish with a dedicated cloth.
  • Gemstones (sapphire/ruby etc) – clean using soapy water and a soft brush.

If your jewellery is from Riverside, all of our findings are plated and as suggested above, the best way to clean is by using a polishing cloth. Riverside sell a quality polishing cloth that can be used to remove the dirt and tarnish on your plated jewellery. This can be found by clicking here. Be gentle!

Other Useful Tips
  • A small amount of white paste toothpaste (not the gel) can be used to revive tarnished metals. Rub a small amount on to the jewellery gently with a cloth, then rinse with warm water and polish with a soft cloth.
  • Mixing three teaspoons of bicarbonate with one teaspoon of water and applying the paste with a soft cloth to wet jewellery can be used to clean. You can work it into the crevices with an old toothbrush or cloth then rinse and polish with a dry cloth.
  • You can give precious and semi-precious stones (if they are in a metal setting and NOT glued) a bath in a few drops of washing up liquid and some warm water. Soak for about five minutes then move the items around the bowl a bit, take them out, lay them on a cloth and use an old toothbrush to dislodge any trapped dirt. Rinse with clean, warm water and dry with a soft cloth. For extra strength cleaning use less soap but add an effervescent antacid tablet to the water. The carbonation helps to shift unwanted dirt from the settings.
  • Avoid soaking pearls, turquoise opals and costume jewellery (including glass beads) if it is glued in any place.

Remember, it is just as important to prevent the initial damage to your jewellery. We advise avoiding harsh chemicals and removing whilst exercising, swimming,  cleaning, sleeping and storing them in a safe place to prevent scratching. For complex pieces, consider professional cleaning.

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