New and sparkling jewelry is hard to beat. The way the light gleams off the shiny metal, adding a sparkle to your wardrobe and an overall sense of fabulousness -- they are some of the most fantastic moments of owning something beautiful! You tend to look at it every chance you get, enjoying the way the light bounces off that new bracelet or how that new ring sparkles on your finger.
Over time, however, your beautiful jewelry stops looking brand new and begins to dull. Silver jewelry darkens and tarnishes with exposure to humidity. Common skin care items like lotion and makeup as well as exposure to daily elements take a toll on your jewelry and make it dirty. Knowing how to properly clean and maintain your jewelry is a valuable skill to keep your jewelry looking like new. There are many ways to clean jewelry, but it is important to know how to clean jewelry safely without scratching or harming the piece.
This article will focus on how to clean silver jewelry safely and beautifully.
If you have any jewelry with stones or clasps, check your jewelry carefully for any loose stones or clasps that may not be secure. Trying to clean jewelry that is not fully secure may cause a stone to fall out or cause further damage to the piece. Gather a clean, dust-free soft cloth for cleaning. A jeweler’s cloth is a fantastic addition to your cleaning supplies, but soft and clean flannel or t-shirt scraps work just as well. Do not use tissues or paper towels as these may scratch your silver jewelry. Carefully remove all dust from your jewelry.
One option is to use a cleansing paste or dip purchased from a jeweler or manufacturer. Often these cleansing pastes or dips have harsh chemicals that can damage your jewelry if over applied or left on too long. As with all silver jewelry cleaning options, some stones (such as turquoise) are delicate and you need to make sure your cleaning option is safe for the stone. Always follow manufacturers instructions carefully and use protective gloves. Most of these cleansers will restore your jewelry beautifully, but if you want a more organic or different option there are home remedies available.
Begin by filling the container half way with hot water and adding 2-3 tablespoons of salt to the container. Stir to dissolve. Add a piece or several strips of crumpled aluminum foil to the container. Drop your silver jewelry in and swish them around gently in the bowl. Allow them to soak in the mixture for several minutes and then remove them and rinse them under running water. Polish with a soft cloth. If needed, repeat the steps until tarnish is fully removed.
Some variations of this cleaning method include using baking soda in place of salt, but some warn against the abrasiveness of baking soda on stones like turquoise. Double check before you try it on your stones, but plain silver jewelry should be fine.
One more option is toothpaste. Use a gentle toothpaste - not a gel! - without abrasive cleaners in it. Use an old soft toothbrush to gently polish the jewelry and rinse clean. Polish with a soft cloth.
Now that you know how to clean silver jewelry safety and effectively, you can keep your silver jewelry looking new and brilliant for many years to come. Storing unworn jewelry in zippered bags and keeping moisture out will help prolong your new shine. As always, if you are uncertain about a piece of jewelry, seek professional cleaning advice. Now, go and enjoy that sparkly shine!