Even the most well-crafted pieces can lose their lustre over time or begin to show their age. When you need to reveal your jewellery’s lost sparkle and shine, you have two options. You can rely on a trusted jeweller to restore your favourite items to their rightful glory or you can slip on a pair of rubber gloves and do it yourself. Which option is right for you – and for your jewellery?
Pro or DIY?
If you have jewellery with significant value (either monetary or sentimental), you may feel more comfortable with a professional cleaning. Your peace of mind is often worth the investment. If you would like to do it yourself, there are a variety of methods you can choose. Let’s look at some of the most convenient:
- Make Your Own Cleaning Solution
You can make this solution by raiding your pantry shelves. You will need a small bowl, aluminium foil, paper towel and an old toothbrush. Line the bowl with the foil and add the following ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon dish detergent
Pour 1 cup of hot water over the DIY cleaning solution. Drop in your jewellery and leave for 10 minutes. After that period, take out your pieces and gently remove dust or “gunk” from prongs and grooves. Voila. Your jewellery should be sparkling like new. This solution does not include harsh chemicals that can ruin your pieces.
- Restore Sparkle to Diamonds
You will need a clean soft-bristled toothbrush. Spray the brush with window cleaner (e.g. Windex) and gently brush your jewellery to remove dirt from the area around the diamond. Rinse your pieces in warm water and dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
- Club Soda is Not Just for Cocktails: Clean Your Gold
To clean gold pieces, you will need:
- Small bowl
- Small strainer
- Soft toothbrush
- Lint-free cloth
- Mild dish soap
- Club soda or sodium-free seltzer.
Fill the bowl about ½ to 2/3 with club soda/seltzer and add a few drops of your mild dish detergent. Put your jewellery into a small strainer, and then place it into the bowl to soak. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Then gently brush the crevices and grooves with the soft-bristled toothbrush. Put your pieces in the strainer and run under warm water. Dry them with the soft cloth.
- Fighting Silver Tarnish
Silver tarnishes; there is no way around it. But you can fight tarnish with a few household items. For dully or lightly tarnished items, you will simply need mild dish detergent, warm water, and a soft cloth.
Mix the detergent with the warm water. Dip the cloth into this mixture and gently rub your jewellery. Rinse your pieces in cool water, and then dry with a cloth.
If you have heavier tarnish to contend with, mix baking soda and water in a 3:1 mixture. Wet the silver and use a soft, lint-free cloth to apply this solution. Work it into the grooves and crevices. Rinse and buff dry.
Two silver don’ts: do not soak these pieces. This only exacerbates oxidation and tarnish. And do not use paper towels. These can scratch the surfaces. This latter point goes for all of your fine jewellery. Invest in several lint-free cloths instead.
Keep your pieces looking as gorgeous as the first day you wore it with these easy jewellery cleaning tips.