Easy Jewelry Cleaning Hints and Tips
Gold and Silver
Take an hour or so to do some quick jewelry cleaning and your treasures will last forever looking bright and shiny. Gold jewelry should be polished with a chamois cloth. If the gold is dirty or tarnished, soak it in a solution of water and a few drops of mild dishwashing detergent. Let sit for 10 minutes then brush with an old toothbrush. Thoroughly dry, then polish with a chamois.
Silver or silver plate is more prone to tarnishing. Interesting enough, the more you wear your fine silver pieces, the less they will tarnish. Silver should be stored in a tarnish resistant cloth or in acid free paper in an air tight pouch. To remove tarnish, use a cup of warm water with a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid. leave the item in the solution until bubbles appear on the surface. Remove and dry with a soft cloth then use a silver polishing cloth.
Diamonds, Rubies and Sapphires
If the stone is set in gold or platinum, make a solution of a cup of water with a quarter cup of ammonia. For stones set in silver, use water and a couple of drops of mild dishwashing liquid instead of the ammonia. Gently drop the piece into the solution and let it stand for 10 minutes. Use warm water to thoroughly rinse the jewelry then place on an absorbent cloth to air dry.
For other gemstones like opals, you can wipe them with a soft cloth and, to be safe, check with your jeweler for specific gemstones. The jeweler will be happy to clean the jewelry for you. They will use either a steam method or ultrasonic cleaning depending on the item to be cleaned.
Pearls must be handled very carefully and stored the same way. If you wear your pearls often, have them restrung every year or so. Pearls should be cleaned individually by gently wiping them with a cloth dampened in a solution of warm water and a few drops of mild dishwashing detergent. Dry them thoroughly then let them air dry overnight.