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How to Clean Jewelry: Tips For Cleaning Jewelry at Home

Whether it’s everyday pieces or your most prized possession—your engagement ring, all of your jewelry needs to have a good wash from time to time.

It’s no secret that overtime jewelry can start to dull or tarnish due to the elements in the air or improper storage. Oftentimes, certain lotions, soaps, and even dust and dirt particles can clog jewelry settings and make stones, chains, and pearls appear muted and lifeless.

Luckily, there are multiple at-home cleaning techniques that can help you consistently take care of your favorite pieces of jewelry. Read on to discover how to clean anything from diamonds and pearls to unique metal types and engagement rings.

Why Is Cleaning Jewelry Important?

Without question, it’s more important to consistently clean your jewelry rather than worry about cleaning pieces too often. Dirty, unkempt jewelry can be a safe haven for bacteria which could eventually lead to skin irritation, allergies, or complete discoloration and degradation of the metals.

Also, having excess dirt and debris on your jewelry can lead to gemstones becoming scratched or tarnished as well. As long as you schedule time to clean your jewelry the right way, the risks of damaging your pieces greatly decreases.

We have to mention--vigorous scrubbing, harsh chemicals, and submersion in liquids for too long are not recommended. Unfortunately cleaning jewelry using the wrong methods can damage your jewelry even further! It’s important to find techniques that will not only benefit your jewelry in the long run but will also keep them shining brightly like the day you first saw them.

How to Clean Diamond Engagement Rings

If your engagement ring has been dirtied by common cosmetics--such as hairsprays, lotions, makeup, or perfume--a simple at-home cleaning will bring back its sparkle. The best way to clean diamond engagement rings is to make a solution with warm water (almost hot) and dishwashing soap.

You’ll want to make sure your ring soaks for about 20 to 40 minutes while gently brushing the stone with a very soft toothbrush and then rinse under warm running water. If needed, you can continuously repeat this method to get it looking as best as it possibly can. In addition to dish soap, you can also use shampoo or even body wash, but whatever you choose, just try to avoid anything that is moisturizing.

Products that moisturize tend to leave a film on the ring, which is exactly what you’re trying to avoid. As for drying off your ring, avoid paper towels; they can actually cause more harm than good by potentially scratching the metal. Instead, use a soft cloth made of cotton or just let it air dry.

To keep your ring looking its best, try to remember to clean it at least once a week to ensure everyday oil and build-up are kept at bay. About twice a year, however, it’s good to take it to be cleaned at your local jeweler--even more often if your ring has been exposed to a high level of debris.

Overall, staying consistent and remembering to clean your diamond engagement ring will ensure it remains sparkling for many years to come.

How to Clean Different Metals and Gemstones

For the most part, to clean most metals you only need any type of laundry detergent or dish soap. To clean metals such as sterling silver, stainless steel, aluminum, titanium niobium, and gold-fill, you’ll want to soak your jewelry in soapy water for a couple of minutes then gently, but briskly rub the jewelry with a cloth or between your hands. Once that’s finished, just rinse it with warm water and let the jewelry air dry.

If your jewelry collection includes copper or brass pieces and you want those pieces to get a brightening lift, simply soak each piece in vinegar for 5-10 seconds. After removing the piece from your mixture, later with non-lotion dishwashing soap and water, then rub the jewelry briskly, but gently between your palms. Lastly, rinse with cold water and dry each completely as soon as you’re finished to prevent any water spots.

As far as gemstones go, most of the time you’ll want to repeat the method above that’s used to clean your precious diamonds. However, soft porous gemstones need special care and attention. Pearls, howlite, coral, and amber should never be soaked in water. Instead use a clean, damp cloth to wipe them down and remove any particles.

Final Tip

While it’s important to clean your jewelry to prevent damage and discoloration to your favorite pieces, an important factor to consider is investing in quality jewelry pieces from the start. If you are looking for a new piece to add to your collection, Gerald Peters in Staten Island, New York has a wide selection of fine jewelry from the most in-demand designers, all vetted to provide the highest quality jewelry.

If tragedy has struck and you need a treasured piece repaired, contact Gerald Peters today to hear about the extensive jewelry repair services.

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