4 household cleaning recommendations for jewellery

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You’ve no doubt spent time and money building up your jewellery collection, so it’s only natural that you’ll want to keep your prized accessories looking their best. But, while precious metals and gems are pretty hard-wearing and long-lasting, they can still get dull, dirty, and tarnished over time. Just think of all the body lotion, sun cream, and other grease and grime that can build up over the course of the day — it’s certainly not what you want on your most treasured gems and accessories. 

Luckily, it’s easy enough to get your jewellery sparkling again: all you need are a few everyday household essentials. Here, Ramsdens Jewellery have shared four handy hacks you can use to bring the dazzle back to your favourite pieces, including tips for cleaning gold, diamonds, pearls, and even chunky and fine chains. The best part? You’ve probably got most of the supplies you’ll need at home already.

Go for gold with sparkling soda water

Pure gold doesn’t tarnish, but it’s quite a soft metal and can easily be scratched or damaged. This is why most gold jewellery is made from an alloy mix that includes other, harder metals. These alloy metals are more resistant to scratching or breaking, but the downside is that they make the jewellery more prone to tarnishing.

To clean tarnish, dirt, and grime from gold jewellery that doesn’t contain porous gemstones or pearls, you’ll want to soak your bling in warm water with a bit of mild dish soap. Leave for 15 minutes, and then grab a soft, damp cloth and polish them to remove tough dirt — it may help to use a cotton bud to get inside any nooks and crannies.

If your gold is heavily tarnished, substitute the warm water for carbonated soda water: the fizzing action will help to dislodge dirt for a deeper clean.

Wear pearls often to preserve their lustre

When it comes to class and elegance, you can’t beat pearl jewellery. But, owing to their organic, porous nature, you need to take care when cleaning pearls.

For one thing, you should never soak a necklace or bracelet in water, as this can weaken the string, increasing the chances of breakage. You should also avoid using any kind of soap, as even the mildest soaps can discolour pearls or spoil their lustre. Instead, buff them gently with a clean, soft microfibre dish cloth. Then, wipe them with warm water to remove any build-up, before drying flat.

There’s another way to take care of pearl jewellery that’s also super easy: wear it! It’s thought that contact with bare, clean skin can help restore the oils in the nacre of the pearl, helping to maintain that lustrous, iridescent sheen. However, we’d still recommend giving your pearls a quick wipe with a soft, clean cloth after each outing, to remove any traces of body lotion, sun cream, or perfume that might have transferred onto your pearls.

Use eco-friendly cotton buds and brace brushes to clean diamonds

Diamonds are famously hard-wearing, but they can still get dirty, especially inside and around the settings holding the gems in place. To clean your sparklers, start with a good soak in warm water and a bit of dish soap to remove the worst of the grease and grime. Then, grab an eco-friendly cotton bud dipped in soapy water, and use it to clean any hard-to-reach spots around the setting. For ornate jewellery with lots of awkward embellishments or settings, a soft orthodontic brace brush can be really handy.

When cleaning diamond jewellery, it’s important to avoid using abrasive or corrosive products — like bleach, chlorine, or toothpaste — as these can all diminish your diamond’s brilliance and sparkle. If your diamonds are looking dull even after a thorough clean using the methods above, you might want to take them to a jeweller for a professional polish.

Clean chunky chains using toothbrushes

Chunky chains are one of the most in-demand trends at the moment, but they can be a bit of a pain to clean. The solution? A trusty toothbrush! It’s the perfect size and shape to clean between each of the links.

We’d recommend using an extra soft, unused baby toothbrush, which will be gentle on your jewellery. Lay the necklace flat and wipe with a clean, dry cloth to remove any dust. Then, dampen the toothbrush with warm water mixed with a few drops of mild dish soap, and gently work over the chain, being careful not to use too much pressure. When you’ve cleaned the full length of the chain, flip it over and repeat on the other side. Lastly, wipe the chain with a soft cloth soaked in clean water to remove any residue, and pat it dry with a cloth or some kitchen roll.

Fine chains can be especially difficult to clean, and the delicate links need to be handled with care. So, with fine chain jewellery, it’s best to swap the toothbrush for a smaller, softer brush — an unused eyeshadow brush will be ideal. Then, use the same soap-and-water method outlined above, being extra gentle to avoid accidentally damaging the links.

“You don’t need to spend a fortune on specialist cleaners to get your fine jewellery looking sparkling, as you can clean almost anything using stuff you’ve got around the house. Mild dish soap is your go-to solution for almost all metals and non-porous gems, as its powerful enough to lift grease and grime, but gentle enough that it won’t damage the finish. Plus, you only need a tiny amount to get great results. 

“That said, you should only ever try these DIY methods if you know for certain what a particular piece is made from. If you’re in any doubt, take your jewels to a jeweller, who will be able to advise you on the best cleaning methods. I’d also recommend taking any antique pieces to a professional for cleaning, as older jewellery can be much more delicate.”

If your jewellery collection is looking a little grubby, try a few of the household cleaning hacks we’ve shared here — your gems will be back to their dazzling best in no time.

Please note, Ramsdens Jewellery is not liable for any accidental damage that may occur as result of using the cleaning methods outlined above. If you’re in doubt about the best way to clean a piece of fine jewellery, please consult a professional jeweller.

About the brand:

Ramsdens Jewellery offers a huge selection of new and pre-owned jewellery at great prices, both online and in store. Part of Ramsdens Financial Limited, the brand buys and sells all kinds of fine jewellery, including designer watches and diamond jewellery. The first Ramsdens branch opened in 1987 in Stockton-on-Tees, and since then the brand has been trusted by over 1 million people to provide a simple solution to meet their needs, with branches located on high streets throughout Northern England, Scotland and Wales.

To learn more, visit: https://www.ramsdensjewellery.co.uk/

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