jewelry-care2Jewelry is one of our most personal and cherished possessions. There are many ways to clean your jewelry at home and it is also very important to see a professional jeweler at least twice a year. Your jeweler will inspect your jewelry for loose stones, prong wear and general mounting wear. They can also clean your jewelry using an ultrasonic cleaner and steam cleaner.

The simplest cleaning method is to merely wipe down your jewelry with a soft 100% cotton cloth or a special cleaning cloth sold by jewelers for just this purpose. There are also many liquid cleaners on the market that work very well. You can make your own cleaner by mixing warm water and a mild liquid soap or make a ½ and ½ solutions of warm water and household ammonia. After soaking for no more than 30 minutes, remove and gently brush with a soft tooth brush. Rinse again in the solution, rinse in warm water and then dry completely.

When buying liquid cleaners, you should always follow the directions carefully. Certain gems require special care. Never use chemicals on opals, pearls or emeralds. Never use toothpaste. It is great for your teeth, but it contains abrasives that can damage certain stones and the surface of the metal.

Exposure to chemicals can damage or discolor precious metal and may damage some colored stones. Never wear your jewelry in a swimming pool, hot tub or while doing any household cleaning. Many cleaners contain bleach which can cause irreparable damage to the metal. Besides chlorine bleach, acetone, ammonia, denatured alcohol and turpentine can cause harm.

Proper storage is also very important. Jewelry should never be tossed in a drawer. The diamonds can scratch other diamonds as well as other jewelry. Store your jewelry in a fabric lined jewelry box or in the box or pouch that it came in. Make sure to store each item separately.

Put your jewelry on after washing and applying any make-up or hairspray.

Lotions, powders, soaps and even your skin’s natural oils create a film that will cut down on the brilliance of your diamonds and gemstones.

Take good care of your jewelry and it will last a lifetime and more!