One of the things I get asked the most is how can I clean my jewelry? While there are some store-bought solutions, I do prefer to recommend options with what you can find at home (and are eco-friendly too!)
Yes, you can use mild liquid dish soap to bring the shine back to your jewelry. Try to find one without ammonia or other harsh chemicals. Mix the soap with warm water and soak silver and gold jewelry for a few minutes, you can use a soft bristle toothbrush to clean hard to reach spots and behind stones. Rinse with clean water and dry with a soft cloth. This method will help remove dust and dirt trapped in the piece as well as the shine.
If your jewelry has pearls or other opaque porous stones such as turquoise, malachite or lapis lazuli, dip them in the soap-water solution for 10 seconds before drying thoroughly with a soft cloth.
Baking Soda and Lemon
Baking Soda is a commonly used eco-friendly household cleaner, and its power is not limited to the kitchen and bathroom. To make it even better, you can mix it with lemon to make a paste that will work wonders on jewelry. What I like to do is put baking soda on a small plate (quantity depends on how big the piece I am going to clean is) and then add drops of lemon little by little. Use either a soft cloth or a soft bristled toothbrush to apply and rub the paste on the piece. Leave it for a couple of minutes, then rinse and dry thoroughly. This method removes tarnish and oxidation.
Be careful when using this paste around stones as it may harm them, apply carefully avoiding especially porous stones (pearls, turquoise, malachite, opals, jade, lapis lazuli)
If the piece of jewelry you want to clean is made of silver or gold and has only diamonds, rubies or sapphires, you can clean it with hot (not boiling) water. Heat some water either on the stove or microwave and soak your jewelry in it for a few minutes. Take it out and clean with a soft bristled toothbrush and dry with a soft cloth.
Another commonly used eco-friendly cleaner is white vinegar... it's not only for salads anymore! Mix white vinegar with a little table salt and warm it up (it only needs to be warmed, not heated) and soak your gold, silver, brass or bronze jewelry in it for 5-10 minutes to remove tarnish. Never use this method for jewelry with gemstones. Afterwards, polish with a polishing cloth.
If you have a string of gemstones that needs some gentle cleaning, sometimes the best solution is to use a soft cloth to rub it down. I like to use old cotton t-shirts cut up into squares.
It is best to clean jewelry regularly to keep it from getting too dirty and dull. The best method to prevent tarnish is to store pieces in air-tight containers or bags, separately to keep them from tangling and scratching each other. For more ideas on how to take care of your jewelry, check out the Jewelry Care section.
If you have any questions regarding cleaning your jewelry, feel free to contact me anytime.
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