When it comes to fine jewelry, something that you absolutely must know how to do is take care of it. After all, what is the point of spending hundreds and even thousands of dollars on beautiful and precious items like gemstone jewelry if you are not going to keep them looking as great as the day that you bought them?
Sure, you’ve all got an old out-of-date bottle of jewelry cleaner in the back of the cupboard, but those old harsh chemicals might not be the best solution!
Whether you are dealing with gemstones, necklaces, sterling silver, emeralds, sapphires, engagement rings, pearl jewelry, white gold, and more, at JustDesi we are here to provide you with all of the best tips for proper care to ensure that your pieces don’t suffer from discoloration or any type of tarnish.
Reasons to Clean Your Jewelry
Your watches, bracelets, and rings are exposed to the elements and over time they get dirty and lose their shine.
Jewelry also comes into contact with soap, water, chemicals, pollution, and other substances that can make it dull and dingy looking.
Even though you probably can’t see it, detritus can build up in the nooks and crannies of jewelry like in-between the links, gaps in prongs and bezels, and any spaces or indents. This buildup can make the jewelry look dirty but can also harbor germs.
If left uncleaned, any of the gunky stuff can damage your precious item permanently by causing scratches or even pushing items out of their natural setting.
With all of this in mind, here are some of the best jewelry cleaning tips to keep everything in your jewelry box looking fresh and clean. JustDesi is committed to making sure that every single piece of jewelry you own remains in the best condition possible!
How to Clean Solid Gold Jewelry
Whether you are dealing with yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold, any precious metal needs to be treated with a great amount of gentle care and attention.
Simple solutions are the best with pieces of jewelry like this, and it doesn’t get much more simple than using a soft brush and warm soapy water. A soft-bristled toothbrush with mild dish soap is ideal for this job.
Once you have gently cleaned the gold and removed any build-up, you should then take a clean lint-free cloth or another type of soft cloth and dry and buff the jewelry until you are happy with the result.
Once cleaned, store your jewelry in a safe, dry place like a good-quality jewelry box. Jewelry boxes are perfect because they have a very soft lining with plenty of compartments that prevents the pieces from rubbing together, tangling, and being generally abrasive to each other.
How to Clean Jewelry with Gemstones
Gemstones like diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and topaz are gems that are more durable in nature and safe to clean in an ultrasonic machine. Other gemstones like emerald, tanzanite, pearls that are not nearly as durable, should be cleaned with care. Using an ultrasonic cleaner should be avoided.
In what might become familiar to you as a general process, the best care instructions for most precious gemstones is to use warm water, mild detergent-free soap, and a soft brush. Avoid using abrasive cleaners like toothpaste.
You should carefully rinse the gemstone in its settings (in things like rings and brooches) after you have brushed, to ensure that no polishing cloth fibers or cleaning solution residue are leftover.
JustDesi advises that you are careful when using methods like steaming or ultrasonic cleaners for gemstones, as they have been known to cause damage to certain gemstones on occasion. When in doubt, visit the JustDesi store for professional advice.
As always, the final stage is to store your freshly cleaned gemstone jewelry in a safe, dry jewelry box.
How to Clean Pearls
Pearls require a lot of special care and attention to keep them looking amazing. Freshwater pearls, in particular, can be very sensitive, so they need to be treated with a lot of love!
One thing that you need to do is avoid having your pearls make any direct contact with harsh chemicals that can be found in things like perfumes and other cosmetics like scented lotions.
To help reduce the amount of time that your pearl jewelry might be exposed to such chemicals, a good tip to follow is to always make them the last thing you put on before going out, and the first thing you take off when you get home.
After each time you wear your pearl jewelry, wipe them with a soft cloth. If they look particularly grubby use a cloth dampened with mild, soapy water. It is best to keep the cloth dry and dip it into the water because water that is too cold or too hot can damage the surface of the pearl. Leave to air dry thoroughly before putting away.
Do not immerse your pearl necklace in water because this will weaken the silk thread.
How to Clean Sterling Silver
The issue with sterling silver jewelry is that it will oxidize when it is exposed to the elements. A good way to prevent this from happening is to always remove your silver pieces before you exercise, wash your hands, or when showering.
Always apply your perfumes, lotions, creams, and hairspray before you put on your silver jewelry.
If tarnished, it is best to polish your silver with a dedicated silver cleaning cloth.
And, as usual, make sure to store your silver pieces in a dry, safe jewelry box that has plenty of compartments to keep it safe and separated from other hard or abrasive precious metals.
How to Clean Titanium Jewelry
Titanium is slightly more robust than other types of precious metals, but it still needs some TLC now and then.
Warm water and soft cloth cleaning are fine for titanium, and you don’t have to be as careful about temperature changes as you do with various diamonds and gemstones.
Unlike some gemstones, pure titanium pieces can be cleaned safely with the help of ultrasonic cleaners.
The one thing to be careful about with titanium jewelry is that because it is a natural element, you need to be careful about wearing it when you know you are going to be handling harsh chemicals like bleach, for example. Taking off your titanium on these occasions will reduce the risk of daily abrasions to prolong the results of the polish.
Taking Care of Gold Vermeil Jewelry
Gold vermeil is a form of gold plating. Sterling silver is given a gold coating of at least 10k (otherwise it is not vermeil) and 2.5 microns thickness. Gold vermeil jewelry is superior to gold-plated jewelry.
The biggest tip for making sure that you take the best possible care of your gold vermeil jewelry is to keep it away from excess sweat and water. This means that you should always take it off before you go to the gym to work out and before you do things like washing your hands and taking a shower.
To minimize the damage that harsh chemicals of any kind might have, you should always apply your various creams, hairsprays, perfumes, and lotions before you put on gold vermeil jewelry. Doing it in this order prevents a large amount of product from touching the gold.
To clean gold vermeil jewelry, buff it gently using a dry cloth. A damp cloth is not a suitable choice for gold vermeil.
In the vast majority of gold vermeil purchases, you will notice that a paper strip can be found in the box. This has been treated with anti-tarnishing agents so make sure to keep that strip and store it with your piece whenever you are not wearing it.
How to Clean Enamel Jewelry
You can clean enamel-based jewelry in a very simple way using just a soft cloth and soapy water. Make sure to clean all of the nooks and crannies if your piece has a detailed and intricate design, and then always rinse thoroughly to ensure that all of the soapy water has been removed from the jewelry.
It is important to note that enamel can be damaged if it is exposed to harsh chemicals or a direct flame. Avoid any major temperature changes, and also don’t use things like perfume or nail polish remover anywhere near the jewelry.
Enamel jewelry is more difficult to repair if the enamel element gets damaged because it is not possible to put a piece of jewelry with existing enamel through a new firing process to try to fix cracks, chips, or missing bits.
How to Clean Ceramic Jewelry
In what is becoming the motto of this article, ceramic jewelry can be cleaned with (you guessed it!) soapy water and a good clean soft cloth.
Once again, much like enamel, ceramic jewelry can be negatively impacted if exposed to harsh chemicals or direct flames, so be careful with heat, perfumes, and nail polish remover.
Perhaps more than other, sturdier kinds of jewelry, ceramic jewelry does tend to scratch up quicker and easier. To try to keep your ceramic pieces in as good a condition as possible for the longest time possible, make sure that you handle them with extra care and don’t wear them on occasions where they might be in danger like sporting events or when going out to socialize in a very crowded spot.
Though we have recommended that all of these different types of jewelry be kept in a dry, safe box when in storage, it is even more important for ceramic pieces to be stored away from other, harder materials to avoid scratching and tarnishing.
How to Clean Costume Jewelry
Although we only sell fine jewelry at Just Desi, we promised a comprehensive jewelry cleaning guide.
How you clean costume jewelry depends on the material the piece is made from and common sense. If it is plastic for example, soap and water are fine. If it contains semi-precious stones, you should refer to the above information. When it comes to materials like leather and wood, you just have to think about how you would deal with other pieces made from these materials. You wouldn’t wash a leather jacket so why wash a leather bracelet?
In general, gentle cleaning with a solution of mildly soapy water is the best option for cleaning jewelry (except for the specifics we have pointed out above). Safe, clean storage also plays its part.
When you buy jewelry from Just Desi, our staff are more than happy to discuss how to best care for your piece.