Metal and gem requires regular cleaning to remove soap film, soil, dirt and other accumulation. There are multiple steps to clean our jewelry and they are safe for all kinds of methods. Here are things we should do:
• Cold water soak:
We could mix half household ammonia and half cold water in a bowl. Soak the jewelry inside the solution for about 30 minutes. However, we should avoid leaving it overnight. After 30 minutes, we can gently clean any details of the jewelry with the eyebrow brush. Finally, we can swish the jewelry in the solution after cleaning, rinse it with plain water and drain it with tissue. We shouldn’t use this method on jewelry that has pearls or ivory elements.
• Detergents bath:
We can mix warm water and mild detergent in a bowl and immerse our jewelry in it. Brush the piece with a soft eyerbrow brush and rinse it with running water, preferably warm. Pat it dry with lintel cloths and we should avoid cleaning jewelry with pearls and ivory with this method.
• Quick dips:
We can quick dip jewelry in commercial jewelry cleaners. There are many types of cleaning products for jewelry, so we should read instruction carefully. Unless we check with jewellers first, we shouldn’t use these cleaning products.
• Ultrasonic cleaners:
There are multiple ultrasonic cleaning equipments in the market. Instead of using brush and chemical solutions, these tools emit high frequency sound waves to remove chemical accumulation. However, we could also combine it with the usual liquid-based methods. Again, we should be sure to follow directions with care, because there’s a possibility for the sound waves to dislodge smaller gems from their slots.
Some jewellers could argue that ultrasonic cleaners are not safe for specific gems, including diamonds.
Metals also require regular cleaning and we should treat them with care.
Like silver, copper could also tarnish in presence of sulphur and moisture. In this case, we should choose copper jewelry with baked on lacquer that can prevent tarnishing. Copper jewelry is usually more affordable and we could use typical commercial cleaners. However, it should be noted that ammonia may erode copper.
Gold will look discoloured at lower karats number, due to the higher presence of cheaper, base metals. Regular cleaning with ammonia, water and mild soap should help gold to shine. Gold could also cause our skin to discolour and it is said that spraying our gold jewelry with hair spray can prevent it from leaving dark marks on our skin. However, we shouldn’t apply hair spray on any kind of gem.
Silver can be cleaned with some ammonia, water and soap. Silver can tarnish quite easily, so we should clean it more often to remove perspiration and make-up. Older silver jewelry will have more permanent patina and we may not be able to remove it without causing damages.
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