iIt is that time of year again, time to dust off the cobwebs, clean out the closets and reset for the coming warm weather. We all want to sparkle when we get out to enjoy NE Ohio’s spring bloom, but what about our jewelry? Most likely yours needs a little TLC. People often ask me how I keep my rings so sparkly and my jewelry so shiny, well being an avid jewelry enthusiast, as well as an enamelist that creates jewelry with glass and fine silver, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Let me share them with you, so your jewels sparkle as brightly as you this coming Spring!
It always surprises me that people often forget altogether to wash their jewelry. Metals, like gold, silver, platinum will become dull as body oil, perfume, lotion, and perspiration all build up over time. Just a quick swish with warm water and a mild soap will give it a big boost! Remember, if possible don’t wear your precious metals or stones all the time in the shower. Shampoo, conditioners, and body washes can have chemicals and/or fragrances that can be dulling and damaging. And PLEASE don’t wear your precious metals and gemstone jewelry in a chlorinated pool.
A Sunshine cloth is an excellent way to keep gold and silver jewelry shiny and free of tarnish. They are inexpensive, readily available, and last for quite some time. Just use until COMPLETELY black all over and toss. Wipe the jewelry well, rinse in water and mild soap and pat dry with a soft cloth.
Commercial jewelry cleaner is a popular choice for cleaning jewelry. It is easy and works fairly well on gold, diamonds, and precious stones. It does not however clean tarnish off of sterling silver and gold.
Ultrasonic cleaners are another popular choice for jewelry enthusiasts. They do an excellent job of removing tarnish and debris embedded in spaces in the jewelry. You do need to be careful with loose stones, diamonds, and soft stones such as opals, pearls, and turquoise. The vibration can damage the stones. Proceed carefully and read ALL instructions before cleaning your pieces.
If you are a jewelry collector or just love to be heavily adorned, then my recommendation for a jewelry cleaner is the Speed Brite Ionic jewelry cleaner. This cleaner tackles tarnish on silver and gold like a champ and cleans diamond, precious stones, and even opals, pearls, and most soft or porous stones in under a minute. It is gentle enough to clean glass enamel and does not require heat. It is the most expensive option, but if you own and wear a lot of jewelry, it is worth it!!
AND FINALLY-——— for everyday maintenance of your jewelry the homemade remedies are still the best, will give you the best result for general cleaning, and are the most cost-effective.
DIAMONDS: gently scrub the stone with a soft bristle brush ( a baby toothbrush works well) and a mixture of warm water, mild soap, and a couple of drops of ammonia. Pat dry with a soft cloth.
GOLD: Mix 1 tsp of dishwashing liquid (Dawn is a good choice) and 1 Cup of warm water. Add 1/2 tsp of ammonia. Dip the jewelry in the solution and use a soft brush to remove residue. Rinse in clean water and pat dry.
STERLING SILVER: to remove tarnish, line a small bowl with aluminum foil, shiny side up, fill with warm water and several TBS of baking soda. Let the jewelry sit for 15-30 mins. Rinse and wipe clean.
RUBIES, AMETHYSTS, SAPPHIRES, GARNETS: Using a soft brush, gently clean with warm water and mild soap. Rinse well and pat dry!
Happy Cleaning! It is your time to SHINE!