Keep Your Jewelry Looking It’s Best
Sterling Silver and Gold are both precious metals. They can easily be scratched and dulled by chemicals. Gemstones, minerals and fossils can also be dulled and damaged by chemicals especially the softer gemstones such as pearls, turquoise or opals. To keep your jewelry in great shape, take your jewelry off before:
- Cleaning the house – Contact with the chemicals in cleaning products can damage your jewelry.
- A dip in the hot tub or jacuzzi – Avoid wearing your jewelry in rapid temperature changes like a sauna or steam room.
- Jumping into the Pool – chlorine and bleach accelerate tarnishing.
- Participating in physical activities or sports.
Cleaning Mirror Polished Sterling Silver and Gold
Sterling Silver will require cleaning from time to time. Gold will not tarnish, but can lose it’s original shine and become dull. Use a jewelers cloth to remove light tarnish and dullness. Heavier tarnish, body oils and grime can be removed with a mild dish washing soap (Dawn) or Windex and a soft toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly in warm water and pat dry. (Hard bristles will scratch the metal and softer stones) Rinse well and pat dry with a soft towel.
A jewelers cloth is impregnated with chemicals that will gently remove tarnish from the silver.
Many commercial silver cleaning products can be too harsh for your stones. DO NOT USE silver cleaners that require you to soak the piece in it. Instead, dip a soft tooth brush into the cleaner and apply to your piece avoiding the stones. Note: I have found through the years that many commercial cleaners actually accelerate tarnishing.
Cleaning Oxidized Sterling Silver
When the Sterling silver has a dark black patina applied, it should be cleaned carefully with mild dish washing soap (Dawn) and water and a soft toothbrush if necessary. Let it dry completely before storing it in your zip-lock bag to prevent scratching.
Cleaning Pearls and Gemstone Beads
The best and easiest way to keep your pearls and beads free from body oils, dirt and grime is to gently wash them from time to time with dish washing soap (Dawn). Rinse well in warm water and pat dry with a soft towel.
Storing Your Jewelry
Wrap your pieces in a silver cloth or individually store them in clear zip-lock bags with an anti-tarnish strip – this will keep the piece from scratching and tarnishing as quickly.
Hagerty Silversmith’s Polish
By far the best cleaner I’ve ever used and is safe for use on porous stones such as Turquoise and Pearls. This product must be used outside and shaken 60 seconds before spraying on the piece. Once the product dries, use a soft cloth to clean remove tarnish. A soft tooth brush will remove residual cleaner from crevices. After using this, I always wash each piece in soapy water, pat dry – then finish drying with a hairdryer.
The tarnish preventative actually keeps the piece tarnish-free for a longer period of time.