Sparkling jewelry adds a splash of energy to your appearance. Keeping it clean and shiny improves its ability to catch and reflect light. No matter how careful you are, jewelry gets dirty as body oils, dust and airborne particles collect on the surface. Restoring it to its original shine and luster is easy once you understand the proper cleaning process. How you clean your jewelry depends primarily on the design and style of the piece you wish to clean. By following a few basic guidelines, nearly any piece of jewelry can be cleaned safely at home.
Step 1 - Soak gold jewelry in a solution of warm water with a few drops of liquid dish detergent. Think mild here and go for the one that is known to soften the hands.
Step 2 - Remove jewelry from the mixture of detergent and water and scrub gently with a soft-bristled brush. The object is to remove any excess dirt and grime, but go easy on the pressure to avoid scratches to your jewelry. An old electric toothbrush with soft bristles is ideal.
Step 3 - Rinse with warm water and wipe dry with a soft cloth. Moisture or soap residue left on jewelry prevents shine and dulls its appearance.
Step 1 - Line a bowl or cup with aluminum foil and place the piece of jewelry in the bowl.
Step 2 - Sprinkle baking soda over the jewelry so it is barely covered.
Step 3 - Pour hot water over the jewelry so it is completely covered. The baking soda will dissolve, releasing air bubbles. The tarnish on the silver will release from the jewelry and bond to the aluminum foil in a chemical reaction.
Step 4 - Remove jewelry and rinse with warm water. Buff to a shine with a soft cloth. If tarnish remains, repeat the process until jewelry is free of tarnish.
Pearls and Gemstones
Step 1 - Fill a cup or bowl with warm water and a little baby bath or baby soap. Not only is baby bath gentle, it is pH neutral and will not harm pearls or gemstones.
Step 2 - Soak the jewelry for a minute or two and remove from the soapy water. Rinse with warm water to remove traces of soap and dirt residue.
Step 3 - Clean with a soft cloth. Avoid any form of abrasion on soft gemstones and pearls. Harder gemstones may be cleaned with a soft-bristled brush.
Step 4 - Polish to a shine with a clean soft cloth.
Cup or bowl
Mild dish detergent
Soft bristled brush
Soft dry cloth