March, 21 | Jewelry
Cleaning jewelry: learn how to make your favorite jewels shine brighter and last longer

Carefully and correctly cleaning your jewelry is a good way of maintaining your favorite pieces in perfect conditions. Learn how to make your precious jewels shine brighter and last longer.

Dust, dirt, grease and tarnish can damage noble metals and precious stones. With time, the interaction with these jewelry's dangerous enemies may result in broken pieces or lackluster gemstones. A clean and brilliant gemstone will always outshine a pale stone that has been uncared for.

But before venturing into cleaning your precious jewels, it is important to know that some rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and gems need professional care and treatment, such as ultrasonic cleaning or steam cleaning. Depending on what's at stake, it may be a good idea to ask for a professional's advice first.

However, in most cases, you can safely clean your jewelry with simple, homemade solutions,to restore its natural beauty. But because not all gemstones and precious metals behave the same when in contact with liquids and substances, it is critical to look into their specificities.

Gold jewelry: clean it with club soda and a couple of drops of detergent

Gold

Gold is a special metal that deserves a special treatment to bring its delicate luster back to life. Here's what you need to get your golden pieces glowing:

1. A bowl of tepid sodium-free seltzer water or club soda;
2. A high-end mild dish detergent;
3. A soft-bristle toothbrush;
4. A soft cloth.

Place a couple of drops of detergent in a bowl of club soda/seltzer water. Let the jewel rest in the mixture for 15 minutes. Gently scrub off any dirt with a soft toothbrush, rinse with warm running water, and then dry the jewelry piece with a non-abrasive soft towel.

If your gold pieces include glued gemstones, they should not be exposed to any liquid, including water. In that case, you can instead use a slightly wet cloth to clean the metal.

Gold jewelry should never be worn in a swimming pool, and you should avoid using it in the shower as well.

Silver jewelry: clean it with a salt and aluminum solution

Silver

Silver is a sensitive and fragile metal. A gentle cleanser is all you need to restore its natural beauty. If your silver jewelry pieces are tarnished, a simple salt bath will solve the problem. For silver ornaments, you'll need:

1. A bowl of hot water;
2. One tablespoon of salt;
3. A sheet of aluminum foil.

Split the aluminum foil into small pieces and mix them with the hot water, then submerge the silver piece in the water and aluminum solution for five minutes. Rinse the piece under cool running water, and dry it gently with a soft cloth. If you need to remove any extra tarnish, get a silver polish.

Stones in rings: clean them wisely with a toothbrush

Gemstones

To clean loose gemstones or ornaments encrusted with precious and semi-precious gems, you'll need to use some of the tools listed above. However, first look for information about the characteristics of the specific gem you are about to clean and remember to use everything with moderation:

1. A soft-bristle toothbrush;
2. Glass cleaner, baking soda, or ammonia cleaner dissolved in water.

Diamonds, for example, don't need much to get cleaned. Gently brush them with a new, nonabrasive toothbrush and soapy water. Pearls, on the other hand, are extremely sensitive: clean them only with a slightly damp cloth. If you own a very delicate piece of fine jewelry, you should always hand it to a professional jeweler to clean it.

Jesus Peiro | Porto