Regularly cleaning your jewelry is the best way to keep them look new longer. Exposure to dust and dirt, soaps and even sweat, air and moisture can dull your favorite pieces over time, they will stick to the surface of your jewelry, stealing some of that high shine and making it look a bit more dull.
It's possible to clean most of your jewelry without heading to a professional jeweler. When your sterling silver, gold plated or solid gold jewelry has lost its bling, consult these tried-and-true DIY cleaning methods. Read on for how to clean plated, solid gold, and silver and brass jewelry.
Cleaning Plated Jewelry
Gold / rose gold plated jewelry, including both sterling or brass , has a layer of gold on top of the base metal. When cleaning plated jewelry, extra care needs to be taken so that the layer of gold is not completely worn off. Follow the followings instruction when cleaning gold/ rose gold plated jewelry:
- Use a soft cotton cloth to wipe down the surface of your jewelry daily after each wear. This method should be done with care and extra gentle
- Use a mixture of warm water and a tiny bit of dish soap, dip the pieces in the solution, and then dry with the microfiber cloth or cotton.
- Do not Use anything abrasive. This will remove the plating more quickly from the piece.
- Do not use chemical cleansers. This will take away at the plating as well.
- Do not Soak pieces in the cleaning solution for a long time, especially pieces that have gems. Depending on the gem and how it’s set into the piece, this can damage the stone or loosen the setting if glue is used to hold it in place.
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Cleaning Solid Gold Jewelry
Solid gold jewelry can withstand a bit more scrub than plated jewelry since you don’t have to worry about removing a layer of plated and exposing a base metal. However, gold is a soft metal, so extra care should still be taken so that the surface of your jewels don’t scratch. When cleaning solid gold jewelry:
- Use the same method and solution for cleaning plated jewelry, but for a deeper clean on dirtier jewels, use a soft bristled toothbrush in gentle circular motions to remove extra build up.
- Soak your piece in your water and dish soap solution for 15-30 minutes *if* your piece does not have semi precious stones. Certain stones (like opal and pearl) should never be submerged in water, but harder stones like diamond and sapphire will be fine.
- Use any abrasive materials. Solid gold is meant to last, but it’s soft and scratches easily..
- Try to get large build ups of dirt, especially around gem settings, clean on your own. For deep cleaning of solid gold jewelry, take your piece to a local jeweler.
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Cleaning Silver & Brass Jewelry
Brass and silver jewelry can appear dirty more quickly and requires more frequent cleaning to keep it nice and bright, but it’s also the easiest to clean. When cleaning brass and silver jewelry
- Use a brass and silver polishing cloth. This is the fastest way to remove tarnishing from the surface of your piece (plus it’s immediate and super satisfying)
- Use the same soap and water mixture listed above if you don’t have a polishing cloth handy.
- Use an alternative cleaning solution for extra dull pieces. Brass and silver can withstand a bit more than plated and solid gold jewelry, so for a more intense tarnish, cut a lemon in half, dip it in salt, and gently rub the lemon on the surface of your jewelry. Rinse with warm water and dry with a microfiber cloth.
Some Other Pro Tips for Cleaning Your Jewelry
- When cleaning your jewelry, plug your sink, this prevents the risk of falling down the drain.
- Be extra mindful of pieces with semi precious gemstones. To be 100% safe, avoid soaking any gem in water.
- Take jewelry off when washing your hands, showering, cleaning, swimming, applying skincare, etc. Limiting your piece’s contact with water, chemicals, and any substance that causes build up will keep it looking cleaner longer.
- When in doubt, take your piece to a professional to be cleaned.
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