Caring for Jewelry – Tips on Storing and Cleaning Jewelries
Both ladies and gents nowadays have an excess amount of jewelry in their collection and when our formerly favorite pieces fall out of our regular rotation, they fade, lose their luster and are just outright wasted. If you think about it this way, poor upkeep of jewelry is a waste of money that keeps you buying more only to have them end up in the same fate, a sad end for our favorite statement pieces. In this article, you will learn how to preserve your jewelry’s luster, beauty and how to make them last longer, all achievable just by you knowing how taking care of jewelries is valuable to you and your pocket. These tips will help in caring for jewelry.
Proper storage of jewelry
When you have a collection, your first instinct is to just put them in a box or anything you have nearby. In most cases, these are old wooden boxes or novelty decor items. The material of your storage actually matters a lot, as this is where your pieces will be sitting the majority of their lives. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got solid gold or certified silver, wood in contact with your jewelry can actually speed up the tarnishing process. Hang them up instead on stands meant for jewelry keeping. Box or pouch from the store that is given with the jewelry piece is the best place to store where your items will be in absolute safety. Moreover, jewelry boxes with individual padded slots are also ideal. This kind of box contains anti-tarnish cloth and has separate sections for rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces.
Air tight and world proof
Who knew we could protect our jewelry from the elements the way we already do with our increasingly expensive cell phones? We know that exposure to the elements can cause our pieces to gradually fade and tarnish. In order to prevent this from happening faster, keep them in tightly sealed zip lock bags. Squeeze the air out from the bags before sealing. Afterwards, you can store them in a dedicated jewelry drawer. However, don’t put several items in one bag, as they may get scratches.
Moisture can speed up the tarnishing of your pieces, but is it possible to control our immediate atmosphere? Apparently, chalk can suck moisture in from its immediate vicinity, making it useful to store with your jewelry. Especially silver items need to be kept away from moisture, as silver metal soaks the humidity in the air. If you’re devoted to really preserving your jewelry, buy a dehumidifier and place it near you would store your jewelry. At this point, caring for jewelry can seem like such a bigger undertaking but it is well worth it if you value your pieces.
One other way you can prevent the aging of your pieces is to keep them dry, meaning if you don’t need them anymore, it’s okay to put them away. A lot of us wear our jewelry around the clock and forget that they’re even on us most of the time. So, if you’re doing chores, exercising, showering or doing skin care, it’s best to just take them off and wait until you need them again. Moreover, the worst enemy of jewelries is washing dishes wearing them. Excess water and detergents cause the discoloration and loosen the gemstones. This will also damage the surface of pearls and some porous gemstones like turquoise or opal.
Too much light and heat
On the other hand, too much dryness and exposure to sunlight can also eat away at your jewelry. This will drain the color from your gemstones and leave them looking washed out and weaker in luster. Harmful rays of sun can affect the color and durability of gem stones. For example, amber can darken under too much sun light, while pearl and ivory may bleach. Also, gemstones like topaz and amethyst can also fade and lose their natural beautiful look. Temperature changes as well as excess heat negatively impact on gems and cause fractures. Opal, for instance, can dry out and develop cracks, and turn its color brown or white.
Play the field
This applies to your jewelry, too. We all have favorites, but we can wear our favorite pieces out, and before you know it, it’s just noticeably sadder in appearance. Or if you simply just use it too often after some time you realize that gems have fallen out. Try different pieces here and there.
Much needed care
Always apply perfume, cosmetics, hairspray and lotion before wearing a jewelry. Also, before diving into swimming pool or doing household chores remove fine jewelry. This way you will preserve them from tarnishing and getting damaged because of chemicals. At the end of the day, it’s good to wipe them down with non-tarnish cloth to preserve their beauty, much like skin care that we do on ourselves. This clears away dust, grease or dirt left over before you store them.
Only for your teeth
Only our teeth can endure the abrasive nature of toothpaste because we’ve got germs we need to get rid of, but our jewelry doesn’t deserve that abuse. The damage may not be immediately apparent, but will speed up the process in the long run. Soft gems like pearl or azurite should be cleaned with makeup brush as tooth brush may scratch its surface. Sterling silver is the softest metal that used for jewelry, so silver pieces also better to clean with soft brush instead of hard tooth brush.
A better way to clean your jewelry is to squeeze a few drops of dish washing liquid into a bowl of warm water. Gold and diamond pieces gently clean with soft toothbrush – baby toothbrush is also suitable. After scrubbing rinse them in warm water and dry them out with soft cloth. For polishing you can use special polishing kit that will add extra shining and remove tarnishing.
As for silver items, be extra careful. Silver is very soft metal, plus it tarnishes very quickly. To remove tarnish or dirt clean your jewelry with a gentle non-abrasive cleaning cloth. Leave it out, buff with dry cloth and let cool.
A gentle touch
Ultrasonic cleaners is another way to clean jewelries. However, never use ultrasonic cleaner or other chemicals to clean gemstones such as opal, onyx, turquoise and malachite. They are porous stones and may absorb chemicals that may lead to discoloration. For more precious items or porous stones like pearls, dip a makeup brush into water and soap run along the stones gently to clean them. To dry them out, use a soft cloth and run it along the stones gently. If you want to keep your jewelries sparkling never use paper towels or tissues, only soft cloth.
All these recommendations are important in caring for jewelry, their durability and magic look.