Jewellery needs to be looked after to look its best.
This doesn’t however mean that cleaning jewellery and caring for it needs to be a major chore.
In fact like with most things in life if you put in a little bit of effort often, you can avoid having to spend more time down the track to remedy the situation once things have gone too far.
To help you out with this we’ve put together a few of our top tips to save you some time looking after your jewellery and also to help dispel a couple of common myths.
First up let’s bust a couple of myths!
All Silver Jewellery WILL Tarnish
You know that black tarnish that appears on your sterling silver jewellery or that green mark that your favourite silver ring might leave on your finger?
Unfortunately this is unavoidable with silver jewellery.
Sometimes you will hear people say that the green mark in particular is a sign that that piece of jewellery in question isn’t real silver – this couldn’t be further from the truth!
A Great example above from the range of sterling silver rings we stock at Evulfi. Like all silver rings even this beauty will tarnish over time - how much depends on the steps you take to care for it :-).
That green mark you get is perhaps the best indication that what you have is real silver.
Check out our other post here for some great tips on how to deal specifically with tarnish on your silver jewellery and also for a bit more information on what exactly causes your sterling silver jewellery to tarnish.
Cheaper Jewellery Does Need to be Looked After too
Just because your new pair of earrings didn’t cost you the price of a small car (wouldn’t that be nice!) isn’t a reason to not take care of them.
Jewellery crafted from more cost effective metals and materials (say for example sterling silver and cubic zirconia as opposed to 24ct gold and diamonds) will still benefit massively from being cared for just like they were a more expensive piece.
The metals in less expensive jewellery is still that ‘metal’ and will still collect dirt, markings and loose its lustre just like the best platinum or gold jewellery.
And the good news is that this jewellery will still respond just as well as more expensive pieces to a bit of TLC every now and then.
Even better news is that in most cases you can do this cleaning and care yourself with every day items you have around the house without having to buy any special jewellery cleaning machines and without a special trip to your local jeweller.
Caring For Your Jewellery
So now we’ve busted a couple of those common myths read on for some of our favourite tips on how to best care for and clean your jewellery.
- Store Separately
This is probably the easiest to accomplish and most effective step you can take to look after your jewellery.
Wherever possible you should store all of your pieces separately.
This can mean in separate compartments in a special jewellery box or just by keeping them in the ring box or jewellery bag they came in.
At Evulfi we ship all of your jewellery to you in custom bags, ring boxes or earring boxes just for this reason :-)
Your jewellery may be made from a metal like sterling silver or gold plate but these metals can still get little scratches or nicks in them from everyday wear.
Contrary to what many people think, these pieces unprotected and bumping around together in a draw or on your dresser is just another way this can happen.
If you don’t have a ring box or jewellery box with separate compartments then don’t be afraid to use a simple resealable plastic bag for each piece.
- Avoid Water and Chemicals
This is a massive one!
All metal will react in some way when exposed to other chemicals.
This can be as simple as the chlorine in drinking water, a bit more obvious like the chemicals found in cosmetics and moisturisers to a bit more extreme like the range of ingredients you find in household cleaners.
Some metals (like sterling silver) will react more quickly or more extremely (think tarnishing) but gold, rose gold and other plated jewellery will also have some reaction.
Similarly water will also have some effect at least on the look of your jewellery over time.
A classic example of the culmination of this is if you wear your rings when washing up or in the bath you might notice over time a dermatitis like redness on your skin under the ring.
This is just a result of the build-up of various chemicals trapped against your skin by your jewellery along with a bit of moisture.
- Last on First Off
One of the easiest ways to avoid a lot of these chemicals (particularly in everyday cosmetics and moisturisers) spending too much time in close contact with your jewellery is to follow a simple principal.
When you’re getting ready your jewellery should be the last thing you put on before you leave the house and the first thing you take off when you come back home.
- Correct Equipment
When it comes to how to clean jewellery:
- Always try to use a soft cotton cloth.
- If you want something with a bit more bite try a baby’s tooth brush or special jewellery cleaning brush with light bristles.
- Never use paper towels or cotton buds as these can leave traces on the jewellery which if then rubbed can actually start to scratch the metal.
- When cleaning also always wipe in one direction (never in a circle).
- If you are using water to clean then always do this over a bowl, never over the sink with the water running in case you want your jewellery to disappear down the sink too.
- And if using water remember to dry your jewellery thoroughly afterwards.
- Don’t Over Expose
When you’re not wearing it keep jewellery out of direct sunlight and store it in a place with a constant temperature.
If you can store it in an airtight container as well this is even better as the naturally occurring gases and dirt in the air will also have an effect on your jewellery.
This doesn’t have to be a flash container and is another reason the resealable plastic bags we mentioned above can be great!
- Inspect Clasps and Claws
Before you put on your favourite earrings, bracelet or necklace always quickly check that the clasps and fasteners are working properly.
This will literally take you a few seconds but can save you a lot of grief.
It’s not often that a clasp or fastening breaks outright on jewellery. It’s more usually the case that it’s not closing or holding as well as it once did and unless you take a quick look to check this, after a little bit of wear it may simply detach.
This is probably the easiest way to lose your jewellery!
The same kind of thing goes for earrings and rings with claw settings.
Over time these can come loose through normal wear and if you don’t take a few seconds to inspect the settings you might suddenly notice that your previously sparkly ring or earrings are now missing that diamond!
And if you want to go that extra step further, particularly for any jewellery pieces that were more expensive or have greater sentimental value, don’t be afraid to stop in to your local jeweller, say every 6 months, for a more extensive inspection and any needed repair.
What Do You Think?
We all love our jewellery and always want it to look its best so we really hope you’ve found all the above helpful.
And if there are any tips on how to clean jewellery or care for it that you think we’ve missed or anything you’d like to add please get in touch or leave us a comment below.
What are your favourite jewellery cleaning and care tips? We’d really love to hear from you!