Guide to Jewelry Care and Repair HTML version
Guide To Jewelry Care And Repair
Chapter 2. Jewelry Care – Cleaning Tips
Fine jewelry can very easily become tarnished, dirty and dull. To keep your
favorite pieces shiny, sparkling and new, proper jewelry care is the key. The
wrong method of cleaning can also cause permanent damage to your jewelry!
Please consider the following recommendations to ensuring a long and
beautiful life for your jewelry. This list is not all inclusive and only provides
warnings for some of the most common mistakes in cleaning jewelry.
1. Before you start cleaning jewelry always do a quick visual check to see if
there are any loose or damaged gemstones; cracked or broken metal; bent
or warped prongs/tips; discolored or pitting metal. You wouldn’t want to
cause any further damage.
2. Jewelry should be removed before showering or cleaning. A film can form
if the soap is not washed off completely. This film will then become a
magnet for dirt, dust and other contaminants.
3. Use a nub free, 100% cotton cloth and gently wipe the piece clean using
only the soft pads of your fingers.
4. You can also purchase jeweler's cloths from jewelry stores. Be sure to use
fresh cloths since the dirt and grit left on the cloth from a previous use will
now leave scrapes and pits in the piece you are trying to clean and polish.
5. Commercial cleaners can be purchased at jewelry stores. Always
remember to read the instructions on the commercial cleaners first before
you attempt cleaning.
6. Never clean your jewelry in bleach! Doing this will literally breakdown
your jewelry. Bleach as an oxidizing agent that will react to the metal,
causing it to become very brittle. Similarly, avoid swimming pools and
bathing in hot tubs as chlorine products are added to prevent bacteria
7. Besides chlorine bleach, denatured alcohol, turpentine, acetone, and
ammonia are harmful too. These chemicals can dull or even pit the surface
on softer gemstones.