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Cleaning Jewellery

anyclean
by Nick Vassilev
18 Sep 2007

No doubt you've heard that the best method for cleaning jewellery is toothpaste and an old toothbrush. Well, Grandma was right; it's still the best way, but did you know that different gemstones react differently to perfumes, dyes, and the elements? Learn not only how to clean your jewellery, but how to wear it for optimal longetivity, as well.

Keep'em Dry

Always use a soft cloth to dry after cleaning jewellery, and a soft toothbrush with toothpaste, not tooth gel or anything fancy, to clean your gemstones, silver, and gold. Pearls are porous, and can absorb perfumes and hair dye, so always put on your pearls after you have sprizted yourself with the evening perfume, and try not to wear pearls if you've recently had your hair dyed, wait at least four shampooing just to be on the safe side. Never use a solution to soak your pearls, simply scrub them lightly with the toothbrush and rinse, using a soft cloth to pat dry.

Bar soap and even some toothpaste can leave a dull coating on diamonds. You can soak these all you want, but use a light mixture of baking soda and water to help dissolve any build up and keep them sparkling.

Ultrasonic commercial gem cleaners are supposed to be the easy and economical way to clean jewellery, but they can actually crack softer gems like pearls, agates, or amber. If you own a commercial container for cleaning jewellery, use it for hard stones like diamonds only.

Be Gentle With Your Opals

Opals tend to get greasy. They are formed from silicon dioxide and water, hardening over a long period of time, so they can crack easily and collect dust from the oils on your skin. You can achieve this jewellery cleaning by simply wiping them off with warm water and --if they are very dirty--mild soap. Typically only warm water is needed. The important thing to remember about keeping opals nice is how you store them. Because they are very vulnerable to temperature changes, keeping your opals in a temperature controlled environment, such as a fabric bag where they will not be exposed to extreme hot or cold, or be knocked around next to your other jewellery, is the best storage choice.

Old And Heavily Tarnished Pieces

Heavily tarnished silver jewellery can be cleaned with commercial silver cleaner, but only use it sparingly and wipe it off immediately. Most silver jewellery doesn't need that intense cleaning, though, and you can use a mild soap and soft cloth. To keep silver jewellery from tarnishing, store it in a sealed plastic bag--like a Ziploc bag--between wearing.

Cleaning Gold

The pricier the gold, the softer it is. Cleaning gold jewellery by using a soft cloth and very mild soap is the best way, although the best part of gold is that it doesn't tarnish. You'll only have to clean gold jewellery once in awhile, as in the wedding ring you wear everyday and is exposed to the dirt and grime that your hands are in. As soft as it is, gold is extremely resilient.