There’s good news and bad news when it comes to cleaning jewelry: The good news is it’s actually really easy to clean. jewelry of all kinds, from metals like gold and silver to gems like diamonds and even jewelry. Usually, cleaning jewelry takes only a few minutes and doesn’t require fancy equipment or special products – although fancy equipment and specialty products can be a good choice for keeping your jewelry clean. Yours looks the best!
The bad news is, while cleaning jewelry is easy, there are things that can go wrong… and when jewelry is faulty, it can be a very, very expensive mistake. We don’t want to see you ruin our precious beautiful jewelry!
To help you avoid a costly mistake and to solve the mystery of cleaning different types of jewelry, we’ve invited three experts – Kyle Chan, a famous jewelry designer; Don O’Connell, president and chief executive officer of Charles & Colvard; and Kathleen Gray, vice president of design, repair and assembly services for Kay Jewelers – to explain the do’s and don’ts in maintaining the shine and cleanliness of your jewelry.
To keep silver jewelry looking its best, regular cleaning is important. Gray recommends cleaning sterling silver jewelry with mild soap and warm water, which will help remove dirt and product build-up and prevent tarnish from forming.
Foam jewelry cleaners are a good choice for most jewelry, as they are safe to use on all metals, as well as almost all gemstones.
Gray points to a surprising source of tarnish when it comes to jewelry: “Make sure to avoid products that contain moisturizers,” she says, “because those ingredients can leave a film behind. wishes on your jewelry”.
Chan prefers a polishing cloth for cleaning silver jewelry, and offers a tip you might not think of when using a polishing cloth rather than a cream or liquid cleaner: “After you polish [silver jewelry]Please clean it with hot water. ”
When it comes to cleaning any type of jewelry, what not to use is just as important as what to use. “The most important thing to note about gold jewelry is that it should never be cleaned with anything harsh like toothpaste, baking soda or any kind of cleaner,” says Gray. These types of products are known to scratch metal.”
Instead, use a liquid jewelry cleaner like this Weiman option, which removes product buildup and environmental contaminants from metal.
If your everyday jewelry has a complicated texture or bonding, choose a liquid jewelry cleaner that comes with a small brush, which gently scrubs away dirt build-up from hard-to-reach places.
To really add shine to freshly polished metal jewelry, O’Connell recommends drying your jewelry thoroughly after wiping it with a soft cloth.
Gray explains that tarnishing occurs “when the surface of a metal undergoes a chemical change, resulting in discoloration.” While you can clean the dirt and build-up that create a dull appearance on metal jewelry using mild soap and water, it is not possible to wash away tarnish.
To remove tarnished jewelry, Gray recommends using a polishing cloth like the Sevenwell Jewelry Wipes. These come in a pack of 50 for less than $10, to remove scratches and tarnish on jewelry.
For very dull metals, Gray suggests combining polishing cloths with liquid or foam jewelry cleaning formulas.
O’Connell says the best way to prevent tarnish is to regularly clean your metal jewelry, “For silver and other metals, we recommend polishing your jewelry regularly. yourself to avoid tarnishing. If your piece has been discolored, a good polish using a cleaning cloth will help restore its shine. ”
Keeping diamonds and other gems like emeralds, rubies or sapphires sparkling can be done in a few ways, but if you’re really serious about your gems, Chan advises. should invest in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner, which he says is “very affordable these days,” for home use.
Chan says that models with a thermal option often work best, like this one from Vcutech. It features a built-in removable cleaning basket, heating option with indicator light and degreasing function to protect your jewelry from oxidizing while giving your items a deep clean.
Fosmon Professional Ultrasonic Cleaner is a more budget-friendly option for cleaning diamonds and gems. Chan prefers ultrasonic cleaners to clean diamonds and colored gemstones, but he notes that not all gemstones can be safely cleaned with this method. “Look up the hardness of gems [on the Mohs Hardness Scale]’, he said,’ to make sure they’re above 8 in hardness. “Ultrasonic cleaning can break softer gemstones, and is especially unsafe for pearls and gems. If you are unsure whether a piece of jewelry can be safely cleaned ultrasonically or not, says Chan, “you’d better take it to a professional.”
If you’re not ready to invest in an ultrasonic cleaner, Gray recommends mixing warm water and dish soap, then soaking diamonds or other hard gems for 20 to 40 minutes. . After soaking, she says, “you’ll want to brush the stones gently then rinse quickly under water.” However, she warns, “you should never wash your jewelry on the sink. Instead, use a small bowl completely away from your sink.”
Moissanite and morganite are increasingly popular choices for engagement ring, and while they are softer than diamonds, they can often be cleaned the same way. “Moissanite and lab-grown diamonds can be cleaned the same way you would with natural diamonds or any other fine gemstone,” says O’Connell.
He recommends using a commercial, alcohol-free jewelry cleaner, or using soap, warm water, and a toothbrush to gently scrub the gems.
Pearls, opals, moonstones and other gemstones below 8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale require special handling.
Always check the manufacturer’s instructions for a jewelry cleaning product before using on any gemstones, but this is especially true for pearls, opals and moonstones, which are best cleaned. by using pearl-safe jewelry wipes, as they are very fragile.
Usually, liquid and foam jewelry cleaners are not safe for use on pearl and opal jewelry, although there are a number of cleaners available that are specially formulated for use on gemstones. soft like this Hagerty Pearl Clean. Gray also notes that because “pearls and opals are soft stones, soaking them in anything that uses alcohol as an ingredient, such as hand sanitizer, can dull the luster of the stone.” or even damage it. I always remove my soft stone rings before using hand sanitizer.”
Most costume jewelry can be cleaned in the same way as high-end jewelry, but there is one key exception: It is best to avoid hot water when soaking costume jewelry, as glue is often used to combine Individual parts with the setting and hot water (or heat exposure of others) can melt the glue, loosen the ice and fall out.
To clean jewelry, use mild soap and a soft brush to gently remove accumulated dirt. Polishing cloth is also a good choice for cleaning jewelry. This set from Simple Shine includes everything you need to make your jewelry look like new.