Your 101 Guide to Cleaning and Caring for Your Jewelry


We often don’t realize how dirty our jewelry is until it’s cleaned and sparkled from a mile away. While a professional deep clean is great and recommended on a regular basis, it is not actually necessary for the next level of radiance.

“Every day a client comes in saying ‘I never take off my ring’. Can you imagine the bacteria accumulating on something you NEVER removed?” Vice President Robin Williams, H Tim Williams’ Jewelers, He added that the COVID-19 virus can live on metal for five days. “We strongly recommend that you regularly clean your jewelry as often as possible and have it professionally cleaned and checked every six months. “Remember that jewelery also includes your watches. You don’t need anything fancy to clean your jewelry, everything you need will be in your home.”

What is used to clean jewelry?

“When cleaning jewelry at home, we recommend mild, gentle cleansers that are known to be gentle and effective, such as Dawn dish soap,” says Kristy Cullinane. Plum Diamonds. “There is something in the formula that cuts through the grease but is still very light. Use a soft baby toothbrush and warm water.”

Alternatively, Williams recommends mixing a solution of dishwashing liquid (one or 2 drops) and water. “If needed, you can add ammonia or Windex or a 409 or similar cleaner to remove heavy buildup.”

To clean your watch – use the toothbrush to remove any buildup and rinse with a damp cloth. “Be careful not to immerse the watch in water unless it is waterproof. If in doubt, don’t screw it up. It’s okay to dip metal watch straps,” says Williams.

If all this doesn’t sound like something you’d actually do on a regular basis, consider shiny. They make a hand soap designed to double as a jewelry cleaner so you can clean without removing your rings/bracelets.

What should not be used to clean jewelry?

Cullinane notes never to use anything that could be abrasive or contain harsh chemicals. “Keep your fine jewelry away from bleach and household cleaners that can damage precious metal alloys. Also, beware of ultrasonic cleaners if your jewelry has small diamonds – ultrasonic vibration can cause diamonds to become loose or lost. It’s better to use your mix of warm water and dish soap with a soft toothbrush.”

Williams also emphasizes never using toothpaste or baking soda, as they are abrasive and can scratch metal and gemstones, and to use nothing but soap and water on costume jewelry (plastic, beads, crystals) or pearls. Finally, don’t use Coke, as your grandmother suggested, as it will leave a sticky residue and contribute to future buildup.

How often should jewelry be cleaned?

As long as you use mild cleansers, Cullinane says you can clean as often as you like. “Our rings get soiled at different rates, depending largely on the skin oils, lotions, soaps and other products we use. I usually clean my rings once a week when I see a buildup of lotion or when they start to look dull. Diamonds absorb too much oil and do not shine as they should when dirty.”

Image: Kwangmoozaa for Getty


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