How to Care For and Clean your Jewelry at Home

August 5, 2021

Caring for your jewelry at home is much easier than you may think. Whether your jewelry is Sterling Silver, Solid Gold, Gold Vermeil, Gold Filled, or Gold Plated these tips will help you maintain your pieces for years to come. Most precious metals can still discolor, scratch, or lose their shine over time so cleaning and care are vital to keeping your jewelry looking new.

For all your jewelry it is best to start by thoroughly cleansing it. Discern what your jewelry is made of by looking for a stamp on the piece to determine the best care. All jewelry sold in the USA requires a stamp identifying the material (ie. 14K for 14k Gold, .925 for Sterling Silver). From there you can easily follow these steps to care for your jewelry collection. 

After you wear your favorite pieces out and about it is best to give them a light wipe down with a soft jewelry cloth. You can purchase an appropriate polishing or cleaning cloth for you jewelry material at many stores. You can also use any microfiber towel to lightly wipe away any oils, products, or soaps from your piece.

Next, after wiping down your jewelry you should wash your jewelry with a mild dish soap. For pieces that are looking less than shiny a mild soap can help clean away any grease or grime. Give your pieces a lukewarm bath in a little bowl with dish soap to clean off any impurities. Go one by one so nothing gets tangled and so your pieces don’t scratch each other. 

Once your jewelry has been cleaned properly give your jewelry a good wipe down to make sure it is fully dried. Ensuring your jewelry is properly dry by leaving it out on a towel for a couple hours is always helpful. Putting jewelry away wet can increase the risk of tarnishing or damaging your jewelry. Cleaning your jewelry regularly will also help prevent tarnishing.

For jewelry with gemstones, complex designs, or inlays using a super soft old toothbrush can help make them shine again. Dirt and dust can get in between the cracks of your more intricately designed pieces leading to dull look. Using an old toothbrush can be helpful when cleaning a chain or any jewelry with an intricate design. If after cleaning you’re still missing that new lustrous shine it is time to polish your pieces. 

Polishing your jewelry is much easier than it seems. You can buy a multitude of polishing creams, cloths, or brushes for polishing. We recommend keeping it simple and buying a polishing cloth. A good jewelry polishing cloth can work wonders on tarnished or dull pieces of jewelry. Take your time with the cloth and go over the jewelry several times until it looks shiny again. Even gold plated jewelry that seems like it can not recover can easily be polished back to shine with a good cloth. 

Whether it is your favorite name necklace or your go to bar necklace you want your jewelry to last forever. Following these few simple steps will keep your jewelry clean, shiny, and looking new for years to come. 

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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