If you can’t remember that last time you cleaned your jewelry, it’s probably well overdue. Your rings, necklaces, and earrings need a little extra care. Over time, they simply get dirty which causes your once dazzling gems to appear cloudy and dark.
This dirty look is caused by an accumulation of soap film and other “yuck” which blocks the natural light from shining through the gemstones. This can make even the largest most brilliant specimen look dull. Since the back of the stone is the most difficult area to keep clean, it’s difficult to get to the grime.
If you don’t have the money let alone the time to take it to your favorite jewelry store for a professional cleaning you can easily do-it-yourself. Here are a few suggestions that will brighten up your favorite jewelry items.
You need to give your jewelry a good bath in a diluted solution of water and common household non-caustic cleaning solution. First mix about 1/3 parts household cleaner with 2/3 parts water in a small jar. Windex, Mr. Clean, Fantastic and 409 will all work well. It’s alright if they contain some ammonia but keep in mind that bleach can react badly with some metals. Also, never do this in the kitchen sink. You wouldn’t want your diamond engagement ring to end up in the garbage disposal.
Getting the back of your jewelry shining like new is tricky but doable. Soaking your stones in this mixture overnight ensures all the hard-to-get-at little spots are reached. This process gives the cleaning solution a chance to dissolve the built up dirt in all those little nooks and crannies of the piece.
When your jewelry has soaked for several hours, or preferably overnight, you are ready for the next easy step. Close your sink drain and layout a washcloth over the closed drain in the sink basin. Turn on the cold water. Hold onto the item firmly as it will be slippery. Rinse the jewelry in the running water over the washcloth. (Just in case it slips, this makes sure it won’t disappear down the drain!) Use a wet soft toothbrush to poke at the open areas of your jewelry to help remove any loose remaining “stuff.”
This method is not appropriate for soft gemstones including opals, onyx, pearls and emeralds as they may be damaged by the cleaning solution. This method does, however, work with most other gemstones including diamonds, sapphires, rubies, tanzanite, amethyst, blue topaz and a lot more. It is also appropriate for cleaning yellow gold, white gold or a platinum jewelry setting.
Be sure never to use toothpaste to clean your jewelry. Toothpaste is abrasive and may actually dull the finish on the metal.
If you are unsure about what gemstones or metals are safe to clean, you can call your favorite jeweler and ask them what’s safe to soak. Following these simple instructions on a weekly or monthly basis will let you say goodbye to dull jewelry. Your jewelry is important to you so be sure to keep it clean and let it shine!