Perhaps you are just starting to build your jewellery collection or you have inherited an item of jewellery that you would like to restore. Depending on whether the item is silver, gold or platinum, or whether precious or semi-precious gemstones are set into your jewellery item, here are some essential tips and tools for cleaning and polishing your jewellery at home, including when to ask a jeweller for advice.
Inspect the item
Are there any cracks in gemstones, or damage to the mount? Is the item valuable? You may need to consult a jeweller for advice on professional care for your item, especially if platinum as the durable metal means it will last a long time before needing a polish, but should be taken to a jeweller.
A small brush will be useful to clean around the settings. You may even find a soft toothbrush is the perfect tool for this job, as the bristles will be the most flexible.
Washing up liquid is more practical to remove grease rather than soap, which contains oils and can stick to gemstones and settings.
A silver polishing cloth, which can be used on silver and gold, however, be cautious not to use the cloth on matt or satin jewellery as this will affect the finish.
A rotating polisher, such as a dremel or pendant motor, can be used at home, using a range of heads, depending on the stage of polishing your jewellery item. A mounted felt mop is good for polishing inside rings, a mounted stitch mop will help to remove scratches and radial discs are good for cleaning findings. A polishing compound, or jeweller’s rouge, is a fine, abrasive filler which can be used on a rotary polisher to achieve a mirror-like finish, and a cotton mop can be used for the final buff.