How to clean jewellery at home

Choosing the perfect item of jewellery is an important decision, whether you are buying for yourself or loved ones.  Just as important is how to care for jewellery items once they’ve been worn, and how to look after the item in the long-term.  Here are a few helpful hints to help care for jewellery at home, particularly for reducing bacteria.

Storage and care

Store your jewellery in a jewellery box when it is not being worn. When storing jewellery, refrain from stacking items on top of one another. Use individual velvet pouches or lined boxes, particularly if jewellery has fragile stones which may get scratched.

Most jewellery can be cleaned with water or with dish soap which helps to remove bacteria, particularly from rings or bracelets.   After cleaning, rinse with cold water and dry your pieces with a lint-free cloth.

Do not expose your jewellery to extremely hot temperatures, dry conditions or sudden changes in temperature, as many stones (emeralds, opals and pearls, for example) are negatively affected by these conditions.

Precious stones and precious metals

To maintain a diamond’s brilliance, soak it regularly in a solution of half ammonia and half cold water for 30 minutes. Then dry it with a soft cloth.  Make sure diamond rings are inspected semi-annually.

Many durable metals require minimal care, yet others are more susceptible to scratching. Get a platinum band buffed every six months to remove scratches.  Remove excess dirt build-up on metals with a jewellery cleaner.  Polish silver regularly with store-bought silver polish.

Remove gold jewellery before showering or using cleaners. To clean gold, place it in a solution of a few drops of ammonia, detergent and water.  To remove grease from gold jewellery, use rubbing alcohol.

Colour stone care

Avoid exposing emeralds to hot water for long periods.

Do not engage in vigorous activity while wearing tanzanite as the stone is brittle.

Clean opals with baby oil.

After wearing cultured pearls, wipe them down with a clean, damp cloth to remove makeup, hair products or perfume. These chemicals are harmful to pearls and can shorten their life.

Antique or vintage jewellery

If your jewellery item is antique or vintage then additional care may be required.  Consult an expert for the best way to look after these treasured items.

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