Jewellery Cleaning & Care
Many gemstones have to be altered in order to enhance their appearance. This is usually done to produce colours not usually found in nature. Enhancement techniques improve colour, clarity, reduce porosity, stabilize colour and enhance durability. Depending on the stone and the treatment, such alteration may be easy or impossible to detect. Examples of some of the methods frequently used are: heat treatment, irradiation, impregnation, and assembled stones.
Have you ever wondered why some gemstones get scratched and lose their lustre while others keep sparkling? Gemstone “hardness” is measured using the Moh's scale, 1 being the softest and 10 being the hardest.
So next time you buy a piece of jewellery be conscious of how hard or soft the gemstone is. This way you’ll be able to care for it properly, making sure it lasts for lifetime.
Easy method for cleaning jewellery
Follow these easy steps to give your jewellery the sparkle it deserves:
You will need:
- Clean bowl filled with lukewarm water
- Mild dishwashing liquid or jewellery cleaning solution
- Soft toothbrush
- Soft cloth
Before you commence, also check that the settings of your jewellery are secure so the gems don’t become displaced during cleaning. If you’re using a specialised commercial cleaner, also make sure that it has been properly sealed and is not past its expiry date, since stale cleaning solution could damage certain types of jewellery.
This is the easiest method for cleaning all types of jewellery safely:
- Pour mild dishwashing liquid into the bowl of lukewarm water – the right amount will depend on how many jewellery items you’re cleaning, but generally mix one quarter of lukewarm water with 2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid.
- Place your jewellery into the bowl and let it soak for 10 -20 minutes to loosen any dirt.
- Very gently (so as not to scratch the metal or gems), rub each jewellery item with the soft toothbrush.
- Use the toothpick to tackle any difficult nooks and crannies.
- Once cleaned, place your jewellery into the strainer and rinse it thoroughly under the tap.
- Double-check that your jewellery has been washed clean of all dirt.
- Dry it gently with a soft towel. To be sure your items are completely dry before storage, it’s a good idea to leave them lying on the towel for about half an hour.
When it comes to silver, polishing is crucial as this metal is prone to tarnishing. It’s advisable to use a specialised paste, liquid polish or a treated polishing cloth that is specifically intended for silver.
Jewellery Care Tips
Keep your jewellery free from damage with the following advice:
Ideally, all your jewellery items should be stored individually, either in a soft pouch or plastic bag – this prevents chips or scratches caused by items rubbing against each other. If there are certain bracelets and necklaces you choose to keep together, do fasten their clasps to avoid tangling. It’s also best to keep your jewellery in a cool, dry container that is not exposed to direct sunlight, since this can discolour certain gems. For silver, you can buy special tarnish-proof cloths to wrap it in.
While some metals and gems are more durable than others, all jewellery can be chipped or scratched accidentally, so it’s always best to remove it when doing sports and household chores.
Water is also damaging to jewellery as it tarnishes silver and can weaken clasps, so be careful to remove any items when bathing and doing the dishes. If you do get your jewellery wet, always dry it thoroughly afterwards.
Chemicals, Lotions etc.
As a rule, never let your jewellery come into contact with chlorine, bleach and other chemicals, since these can cause serious damage to gems and metals. In addition, oil based lotions and certain liquids that we use daily such as hairspray, mousse and perfumes will build up a dull residue which causes jewellery to lose its brilliance, and this can then be difficult to remove. For this reason, it’s always best to remove your jewellery when grooming.
These days, there is an unlimited and easily available choice of quality jewellery designs and dazzling gemstones to be had, plus they are becoming increasingly affordable through reputable online retailers such as us. This means that everyone now has the opportunity to build up an exquisite jewellery collection to suit their personal tastes and moods. For such an important expression of individuality and creativity, a little care needs to be taken – by following the easy advice in this guide, your jewellery will never fail to dazzle and shine.