If you’re anything like me you have a ton of jewelry, but just when you want to wear it, it’s not looking its best. Trouble is you’re too afraid of ruining your favorite pieces to give it a go, and sending them to be cleaned professionally is just out of your budget. Here are some things you can try.
Pearls: tap water has chlorine and other chemicals in it so do not soak your pearls in it, they may pitt or even worse disolve! Try wiping with a damp cloth, preferably use a microfibre cloth and try wiping with a little fresh milk or use a little wool wash in warm water, allow to soak for about 2 minutes and then dry carefully. Then use a fine polishing cloth to bring back the sheen.
Costume Jewelry : Never soak anything that has been glued or is on string, try swishing around in a little warm water to which a tablespoon of metholated spirits or eucalyptus oil and some dishwashing detergent have been added. Swish and dry immediately – using a soft cloth or even better your hairdryer set to ‘cool.’
Silver Jewelry: If the tarnish is only light a toothbrush and some toothpaste will work really well, or use my grandmothers trick if you have more time – get a bowl and add a sheet of aluminium foil and some baking soda to it and then pour in really hot water (2 cups of water to a 10″ sheet of foil and 2 tablespoons of baking soda). (Do not use these hints with gold jewelry) Once you have added all the ingredients together place your silver jewelry on top of the sheet of foil and allow to soak for as few minutes. Dry with a soft cloth.
Another trick that you can use with both silver and gold is to mix 1 cup of warm water with 1/2 cup of ammonia and soak your jewelry for about 15 to 20 minutes, dry with a soft cloth.
Best of all: Wash your jewelry often in a little warm water and dishwashing detergent or wool wash, if you do this regularly your jewelry will never need to be cleaned by more abrasive or damaging methods. Keep your jewelry in separate soft pouches in a box or drawer with a moisture inhibitor in it, like a bag filled with chalk or one of those things you can use for damp cupboards.