The secret to cleaning your jewellery at homeJanuary 2, 2014
One of the most common questions the staff at JVC get asked outside of work is “what’s the best way to clean jewellery?”
Many people believe that you need a special solution, or that you have to take it in regularly to your jeweller for a professional clean. While both of these options are great, it’s still entirely possible to clean your jewellery with items you already have in your cupboard at home.
And it’s pretty easy to do so.
The un-edited before and after photos below show how just a bit of detergent and a toothbrush can work wonders for the look of your jewellery.
Why should you clean your jewellery?
Besides the attractive sparkle of a clean piece of jewellery, it also prevents bacterial build-up. Despite regular hand-washing, dead skin can accumulate in crevices and behind stones along with other substances the item may come in to contact with. This is unlikely to make you seriously ill, but wearing clean jewellery is just another way of maintaining good hygiene.
If nothing else, you don’t want to find yourself in the position of one JVC customer who thought a stone was missing from her ring, only for us to find it was hiding behind a thick layer of dirt!
Which types of jewellery can you clean using this method and what should you do with other types?:
Gold or platinum jewellery and precious stones such as diamonds and sapphires can be cleaned using the detergent and toothbrush method. Diamonds are best cleaned with boiling water, while precious stones are a bit more delicate and therefore the water should be warm to hot but not boiling.
Opals and moonstone should be washed in warm water only.
Stones that are glued into their setting should not be cleaned using this method and should be taken to a jeweller for a professional clean.
Plain silver items with no stones should be cleaned using a widely available silver dip and a clean cloth.
Pearls are best cleaned with a gem cloth or by a professional.
How often should you clean your jewellery?
Try to clean your jewellery at least once a month if it’s something you wear often. The more regularly you clean it, the quicker it will take.
What you’ll need:
· A small bowl,
· an old toothbrush,
· dish washing liquid,
· a clean cloth,
· a recently boiled kettle and
· a fine sieve if you have one.
The sieve will protect your fingers from the hot solution and will catch any stones that may come loose (not a nice thought, but if your stone is loose this is one of the best ways to find out).
Your 3-step cleaning process
Step one: Add a generous amount of detergent to the bowl and pour over the water (see above for appropriate temperatures). Place the item in the sieve and lower into the water. Ideally the item should be soaked for 15 minutes, especially if there is a lot of build up to be removed.
Step two: Remove the piece of jewellery from the water and scrub it lightly with the toothbrush. Make sure you include the back of the setting as that is where much of the dirt accumulates. You will need to swirl the item in the water regularly to clear away the dirt you have removed. If there is a large build-up you may also want to apply some detergent directly to the item before scrubbing. This is especially useful in clearing away any oils that can create a slight film over the stones.
Step three: Pat the item dry on your clean cloth. Chains may need to be left on the cloth to dry completely.
Cleaning your jewellery at home can be so quick and simple.
Because JVC Valuers’ customers receive a complementary jewellery clean when they bring in their items for valuation, they often tell us their piece looks as new as when they bought it. Using the three step method above, you can keep your jewellery looking its best all year round.
If you found this handy hint helpful, please share it with others’ who you think will benefit.