Basic Jewelry Care
Apply lotion, cosmetics, hairspray, and perfume before dressing in jewelry.
When undressing, wipe each piece with a clean soft cloth to remove oils and perspiration.
Store in a fabric-lined box, separately or individually wrapped in tissue to prevent scratches.
Never wear jewelry when doing physical work such as housekeeping, gardening or exercise or to household cleaning products or to chlorine swimming pools.
Jewelry Care and Jewelry Cleaning Tips
How to Care for Your Jewelry
Cautions when Cleaning Jewelry and Gemstones
Jewelry care and recommendations for cleaning and storing your jewelry. This list is not all-inclusive and only provides warnings for some of the most common improper practices used to clean jewelry.
To care for your jewelry and keep it clean and ready to wear, gently wipe off excess make-up and skin oils after each wearing. Use a nub free, 100% cotton cloth and gently wipe the piece clean using only the soft pads of your fingers. Store in jeweler’s tissue or a soft bag.
To help retard tarnish on sterling silver, wrap the piece in jeweler’s tissue paper and place it inside a plastic zip-lock bag and seal.
When cleaning sterling silver remember that it is a very soft metal and can easily be marred by a fingernail or wadded piece of fabric pushed roughly against the metal surface. For this reason, use one of the following methods to clean heavier soils and tarnish:
To remove fingerprints, light grease or dirt, add a small amount of mild liquid soap to a half cup of warm water, soak 2-3 minutes, rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry completely before storing in an airtight plastic bag.
Be very careful when using any soaking method to clean jewelry that has soft stones such as amber, lapis lazuli, or turquoise. Extended soaking in any solution may harm the polish on the stone. Never use chlorine bleach to clean jewelry.
To remove excessive tarnish, polish with a 100% cotton cloth and a good nonabrasive metal cleaner. Be sure to remove any remnants of the cleaner from gemstones and rinse thoroughly with clean water. Never use toothpaste! (see more about this below).
1. To maintain the original condition of your silver jewelry, polish your pieces regularly using a non-abrasive cleaning cloth.
2. Remember do not dry silver off with paper towels or tissues, always use a soft cloth.
3. When you are not wearing your silver jewelry, store them in a cool, dry place. Zip-lock bag and individual cloth pouches are ideal for this and will help prevent both tarnishing and scratching by other pieces.
4. Never immerse your silver jewelry in chlorine, saltwater, mineral springs, and suntan lotion. Remember, some household cleaners contain chlorine bleach; these will cause discoloration and also loosen the gemstones.
5. Avoid abrasive cleaners, detergents, and commercial jewelry cleaners “dips” especially if the pieces have an oxidized finish. Using harsh polishing cleaners will alter the antique look of your jewelry.
6. Never use an ultrasonic cleaner, ammonia, or any chemical solution to clean opaque gemstones, such as turquoise, malachite, onyx, lapis lazuli, and opals. They are porous stones and may absorb chemicals, which build up inside the stone and cause discoloration. Simply wipe them gently with a moist cloth until clean.
7. If your jewelry contains gemstones or pearls, do not immerse in water, as this can loosen some settings. Never use dips or abrasives cleaners on gemstones.
Other Common Chemicals and Solutions to Avoid
Besides chlorine bleach, denatured alcohol, turpentine, acetone, and ammonia can cause harm. These chemicals can dull or even pit the surface on softer gemstones. Petroleum-based products can actually “melt” amber if allowed to remain on the stone and they can do significant damage to pearls.