Like with anything, it’s important to care for your jewelry to ensure that it stays in the best condition for as long as possible. Whether it’s jewelry you wear all the time or pieces you only get out on special occasions, it’s highly likely that your beloved jewels will need a good polish. Thankfully this doesn’t require crazy expensive products and can be done with items you may already have at home!
We’ve broken this down into subcategories for you to make things easier, as different metals need different care.
How to Clean Gold Jewelry
One way to clean your gold jewelry is by purchasing a gold-specific jewelry cleaner. This is a safe and effective way to clean your gold jewelry.
Another way to clean your gold jewelry at home is to use your everyday dishwashing liquid. Simply mix a small amount of your dishwashing liquid with some warm water and using a soft baby toothbrush, gently brush your jewelry. Once finished, place your item into lukewarm water to rinse and then either air dry or use a paper towel or cloth to carefully dry your jewelry.
Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Your Gold Jewelry
Remember that gold is a soft metal so when cleaning make sure that you brush your jewelry gently to avoid causing scratches.
Soap– Cleaning your gold jewelry with everyday dishwashing liquid is fine, but avoid soaps that are overly perfumed or have unknown ingredients in them. Remember to remove your jewelry before showering as the soap in shampoos and other body washes can cause a layer of film over your gold jewelry and a build up of dirt.
Chlorine– Chlorine, especially in high temperatures like a hot tub, can cause permanent discolouration to your gold jewelry. If you are cleaning with chlorine bleach, remember to remove your jewelry beforehand.
How to Clean Gold Vermeil Jewelry
Gold vermeil (pronounced vur-may) jewelry is sterling silver that has been gold plated. As with sterling silver jewelry, it is important to maintain care to prevent your gold vermeil pieces from tarnishing.
Gold vermeil jewelry should be kept separate from your other jewelry pieces as the gold plating is susceptible to wear. As with sterling silver, gold plated jewelry will tarnish so it is best to keep it in an airtight container to avoid unnecessary oxidisation.
To clean your gold vermeil jewelry you should use a soft, non- abrasive cloth or jewelry polishing cloth to gently rub over the surface in a circular motion. Avoid using a silver-specific polishing cloth as this will remove your gold plating. Make sure that your item of jewelry is completely dry before storing it back in its airtight container or box.
Remove your gold vermeil jewelry before swimming, bathing or washing your hands as these can all speed up the tarnishing process. You should apply any perfume before you put on your gold vermeil jewelry and remove it before bed to prevent wear. As the old saying goes, “Jewelry should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off”.
It is worth noting that all plating will naturally fade with wear.
Why not browse our girls’ gold necklaces now that you know how to clean gold vermeil jewelry with confidence.
How to clean silver jewelry
Over time, silver jewelry, silverware and other silver objects tend to lose their shine and begin to tarnish. Tarnishing is a result of a chemical reaction between silver and sulphur in the air. Silver also reacts with many things that we come into contact with everyday from perfumes, moisturisers, oils on your skin and hairspray. Thankfully there are some ways you can clean your silver jewelry from home that are inexpensive and easy to do.
As with gold, one of the ways you can clean your silver jewelry is to use your dishwashing liquid and soak the jewelry before taking it out and letting it dry completely.
Another at home remedy is to use tin foil and baking soda, products you probably already have in your cupboards. Line a deep tray (preferably ceramic or glass but never a metal one, to avoid chemical reactions) with tin foil making sure that it is shiny side up. You need roughly 1- 5 teaspoons of baking soda for every gallon of water, sprinkle it into the tray. Boil your water and pour into the tray and lay your items in there for roughly 15 seconds. Take out the jewelry using tongs and leave to dry on a paper towel. For more stubborn tarnishing this procedure can be repeated several times until you have the desired lustre. When drying your silver jewelry, in particular girls’ silver necklaces it is important to be gentle with the chain and any dangling parts to prevent breakage.
Never use this method for cleaning silver jewelry with gemstones.
‘Silver Dip’ can also be purchased to polish and clean your silver jewelry.
How to clean gemstones
First it’s important to identify the gemstone, you may know what gemstone your jewelry already has and if not you can take your piece to a local jewelers who will be happy to help.
As a natural product, pearls need to be looked after carefully. When cleaning your pearl jewelry at home, use a soft lint-free cloth that has been slightly dampened with water to gently wipe over the pearls making sure they dry completely before storing away.
Pearls should be stored separately from other items of jewelry as they can scratch easily. To maintain your pearls, they should be wiped with a cloth after every wear to prevent a buildup of oils and other substances that can cause the pearl to lose its lustre. Make sure to remove your pearls when bathing and before bed as both can cause the silk string that often holds pearls together to weaken over time.
Most gemstones can be cleaned with a solution of warm water and mild washing up liquid. You can use a soft brush to gently scrub your jewelry and use a toothpick to get in between those hard to reach places where dirt can often build. It is important to be patient when cleaning your gemstones as you do not want to be too abrasive and cause damage to your jewelry.
To find out more about different types of gemstones head over to our birthstone jewelry page to find out your birthstone and the properties behind it.
Now that you know how to clean and care for your jewelry you can pass the knowledge down to your little one to ensure that their jewels stay sparkly and clean. Still curious on what pieces to pick for your child? Head over to our guide on how to pick the perfect children’s jewelry.