Your engagement and wedding rings, as well as your other pieces of jewelry, are some of your most prized possessions.
Over time, dirt, oil, and daily grime can dull your favorite pieces over time and rob them of their sparkle. Dirty jewelry can also become a breeding ground for bacteria, which in turn could also lead to skin irritation and allergies, as well as degradation of the jewelry’s quality.
For these reasons, it’s important to have your jewelry cleaned to keep them sparkling and in top condition. Even the most durable of gemstones will still require ongoing care.
Implementing a regular jewelry cleaning process will preserve the lifespan of your favorite pieces and keep them looking great for many years to come.
Jewelry cleaning: How often should you do it?
In many cases, the frequency with which you should clean your jewelry will really depend on how often you use it. Some pieces require regular cleaning more frequently than others do. For example, everyday jewelry should be cleaned regularly compared to heirloom jewelry kept in storage.
Jewelry that’s worn every day, such as an engagement ring or a wedding band, usually comes into contact with our sweat, makeup, and dirt. Thus, they should be cleaned every two weeks.
For fragile, vintage jewelry, all you need is a quick and gentle wipe with a polishing cloth once or twice a month.
Cleaning jewelry doesn’t require a special cleaning product or fancy equipment. For gold jewelry, keep it simple by putting a few drops of liquid dish soap and warm water in a bowl. Put your jewelry in this mixture, scrub the grime with a soft child’s toothbrush, rinse with water, then buff with a cloth before drying it out.
For silver jewelry, you can use the same dish soap solution. Another alternative is to mix 3 parts of baking soda to one part water, then rub this paste onto your silver jewelry until it becomes shiny again. Use a toothbrush for crevices that are harder to reach.
Before cleaning jewelry with gemstones, it’s important to know what it is made of so that you don’t accidentally damage it. Each stone reacts differently to chemicals. Stones like diamonds are durable and can withstand most cleaning methods, while stones like pearl, opal, and turquoise are on the softer side of the Mohs Hardness Scale, and will need to be treated with more care. When in doubt, consult with a trusted jeweler to find out the best way to clean your gemstone. Remember, it’s always better to be safe and to reach out instead of risking any damage to your irreplaceable pieces.
Keep in mind that the soap-and-water method works best for mild build up, but for major tarnishing or product build up, you’ll need to enlist the help of a professional jeweler.
When cleaning on your own, avoid harsh cleaning agents, vigorous scrubbing, and submersion in liquids for too long, as these can damage your jewelry in the long run. For a more thorough clean, you can buy an ultrasonic jewelry cleaning machine. However, it’s important to note that this machine does not replace a professional cleaning service. In fact, you cannot clean certain stones like pearls using this gadget.
You’ll still need to have your jewelry inspected and cleaned by your jeweler at least once or twice a year. A professional cleaning service extends the life of your piece, and more importantly, it also allows your jeweler to check for damage, scratches, loose prongs, and general wear and tear.
For best results, combine safe and gentle home cleaning treatments with professional cleaning to keep your jewelry looking good as new as the day you bought it.
Tips for maintaining jewelry
To reduce the need for rigorous jewelry cleaning, make sure to remove jewelry before putting on your skincare and makeup products. It’s also good practice to put your jewelry on last, and then take it off first at the end of the day.
Instead of tossing your jewelry on a nightstand or putting it in a catch-all tray, put it in a box with compartments and dividers. If you don’t have one, store them in individual soft cloth bags or in the original boxes they came with to prevent the harder stones from scratching the softer ones in your collection.
For best results, visit Zadok Jewelers. We provide free steam cleaning and brightening to all of our customers at no additional charge.. As one of Houston’s oldest and largest family owned jewelry stores, we are honored to help you maintain and care for all of your beloved pieces of jewelry.