This week I’m going to teach you some tricks of the trade when it comes to cleaning your jewellery. With my top ten jewellery cleaning tips you can make it all sparkle, shine and gleam!
Each fortnight I talk to you about how to make these precious pieces but what about taking care of them after all the work has been done?
I’m a fan of the homemade cleaning solutions because they cause minimal harm to the environment. That’s not to say that things like jewellery wipes don’t work, but ecologically they are not a good long term choice.
Anyway let’s get started…
1. For gold, silver and other metal jewellery you can mix a few drops of washing up liquid with warm water. Dip a soft cloth in the solution and use it to rub to remove any tarnish. Rinse with cool water and buff with a dry cloth. Just be careful with silver-plated jewellery as rubbing too much can wear away the finish.
2. Who knew a dab of white paste toothpaste (not the gel stuff though) would revive tarnished metals? Well you do now! Rub a small amount on to the jewellery gently with a cloth, then rinse with warm water and polish with a soft cloth.
3. Those of you who know my workshops will know that we use bicarbonate of soda for making bath bombs, therefore it makes sense that it’s good for cleaning other things aside from ourselves! Mix three teaspoons of bicarbonate with one teaspoon of water. Wet the metal jewellery and apply the paste with a soft cloth. You can work it into the crevices with an old toothbrush or cloth then rinse and polish with a dry cloth.
4. You can also give solid gold and silver jewellery a little 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.
5. You can use the same process to clean precious and semi-precious stones, so long as they are housed in a metal setting and NOT glued. 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.
6. The trusty toothbrush is your friend with all small pieces but if you don’t have one to hand then a make-up brush works just as well. If that’s not an option then you can always pop small items of jewellery into a tea strainer and then dip into your soap solution bath.
7. Pearls take a bit more care because they are so porous. Don’t soak pearls because this can weaken your string and cause breakages. To clean them dip a small brush into a mixture of warm water and a little bit of shampoo, and slowly brush over each pearl gently. Once done rinse the pearls with a clean, wrung out, damp cloth, then dry flat. Other stones to avoid soaking are turquoise and opals; using a jewellery cleaning chemical solution will ruin turquoise…I speak from experience…sob!
Dip a soft cloth into a mixture of washing up liquid and water and gently use the cloth to wipe away any smudges or dirt. Next rinse with different cloth, dampened with plain water and pat dry with paper towel. Never soak costume jewellery if it is glued in any places.
9. Some preventative tips I can recommend are as follows; remove rings when washing your hands, cleaning the house, or applying lotions; Don’t wear jewellery while swimming because the chlorine and salt water can damage it; Wipe your pearls with a soft cloth after each wear this will remove dirt and perfume that can discolour them over time.
Finally my most top of the pops tip for keeping your jewellery clean:-
10. WEAR it! Jewellery generally becomes shinier the more it’s worn because the friction slows down tarnishing of most metals, plated or otherwise. So wear those beautiful pieces with pride!
So that’s me for another week. I hope this has been a useful article for you guys. You make the most amazing pieces and I just want to ensure that they stay looking as fabulous as their owners.