We all have our favourite pieces of jewellery – that necklace from your S.O., that ring passed down from your mother’s mother, the bracelet your siblings got you for that big birthday. And because we adore them and they have sentimental value, we absolutely wear them to death!
The constant wear of the item – regardless of what metal its made from – means that it goes through a lot. We live busy lives and can’t always be expected to remember we’re wearing jewellery when we’re doing tasks and jobs that may dirty or damage them.
But one day we look down at them and suddenly we realise…they’ve totally lost their shine. Their sparkle is dulled, their shine is tarnished – and we just can’t leave it like that now that we’ve noticed! If a trip to the jewellers isn’t going to happen for a cleaning, then check out our tips for getting your jewellery’s glow back with a few simple and easy steps!
Check them first!
Before you start scrubbing away at your treasured jewellery, do a little stock take first – is anything loose or wobbly? Are the stones coming out of place, or are any of the claws broken? Check out the clasps, if it has them and make sure they’re secure, as they can gather a lot of dirt and need more cleaning. If there is something not quite secure, take it off immediately and bring it to your jewellers as soon as you can. There, they can fix it and give it a proper clean.
Different methods for different materials
It’s important to know that the way you might clean a gold band with a gemstone is not the same way that you might clean a silver ring with a diamond. People assume that you can use the same methods on different materials because its all the same dirt, but you have to be careful with certain materials as they can be more easily damaged or even corroded by certain methods. Be sure to stay away from harsh chemicals or strong substances like bleach, as they can irreversibly damage diamonds, gold, platinum and silver. Always do your research beforehand.
Silver vs gold
Silver is a material that you can use specific silver polish for to keep it from re-tarnishing very quickly. It’s specifically designed to dissolve the greases and dirt from our skin that makes the metal dull and coats it to make sure it maintains its shine for as long as possible. Try to use wipes rather than the liquid ones, as they’re less messy to deal with.
Gold and diamond rings, on the other hand, don’t need a polish. Simply soak them in warm (not hot!) water with a little washing up liquid to loosen the dirt. Then use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub away any remaining dirt in the ring’s crevices.
Watch out for your gemstones!
While we may love our sparkling and colourful stones, we have to be careful with them when cleaning! The above method of soaking and scrubbing works for lots of metals and stones, ut there are a few exceptions that should never be left long in water or scrubbed as they’re more porous and could be more easily damaged. The likes of pearls, emeralds, turquoise and opals should all be kept away from long periods of time in water and chemicals as much as possible.