When we buy jewelry it is all shiny and sparkly. Then time passes by and we realize that it needs cleaning. What should we do? Maybe take it to a jeweler? This is an option. However, there are a few ways that you can try at home, so you do not have to go anywhere and spend your time and money.
|Lucky charm bracelet, sterling silver|
Make sure you are keeping your jewelry in a jewelry box. The pieces should not touch each other to avoid scratching. Scratches cannot always be removed easily (you might be surprised how much it could cost you, depending on the job!) Keeping jewelry in Ziploc bags is maybe not fancy, but that protects your silver jewelry from tarnishing. (This is how I keep jewelry that I make for sale).
If you have silver without stones or silver with hard stones (agate, jasper, garnet, diamond, ruby, topaz, sapphire, quartz - to name most common), the best way to clean it as follows:
Take a china, a plastic or a glass bowl and line it with a piece of aluminum foil. Put your jewelry in, add some baking soda (not too little) and pour boiling water over it. Leave it there for 30 seconds. Then get rid of water and look at your jewelry. Do it again if needed, then rinse.
I would not do it if my jewelry had pearls, coral, turquoise, amber, glass stones (crystals, rhinestones, etc.) or other soft or porous stones in it. Instead do it a little bit differently. Mix baking soda and toothpaste 50/50. Apply the mixture onto your piece, avoiding touching the stones and leave it over night. Then use soft toothbrush to clean it and then rinse it.
Diamonds can be cleaned with ammonia. Just let them soak in 4 parts of water + 1 part of ammonia for 15 minutes. Then use a soft toothbrush if needed.
Gold jewelry can be cleaned with the white vinegar if the stones are hard. Soak it in the white vinegar for 15 minutes, then use a soft toothbrush if needed and then rinse.
Pearls, turquoise, coral and glass stones can be washed with a piece of damp soft cloth and soap. Do not soak them!
There is also a type of jewelry that cannot be cleaned by brushing or soaking at all. I give this ring as a sample. It is inlaid with cold enamel. For jewelry like this you may use only jewelry polishing cloth that you can purchase at a jewelry supply store (it is inexpensive and you will use for a long time for any of your jewelry, gold or silver)
|Wide sterling silver ring with a squirrel ornament and black enamel|
I hope these simple tips will help you to keep most of your jewelry clean without spending any money!