Whether it’s a diamond ring to mark a special occasion or a necklace passed down from generation to generation, jewelry often holds great financial and sentimental value. However, keeping it looking its best can seem like an expensive recurring bill. According to Jack Jahan, head of e-commerce at Ramsdens Jewelrycleaning your beloved jewelry doesn’t have to break the bank.
He said: “You don’t have to spend a fortune on specialist cleaners to get your beautiful jewelry sparkling, because you can clean almost anything using things you have around the house.
“Mild Dish Soap is your go-to solution for almost all metals and non-porous gemstones because it’s strong enough to remove grease and dirt, yet gentle enough not to harm the finish.
“Plus, you only need a small amount to get great results.”
However, before embarking on an at-home cleaning, the expert says you need to “know for sure what a particular room is made of”.
He also advises against using homemade cleaning solutions on antique jewelry, as it can be “much trickier”.
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Here are four home cleaning methods to leave your jewelry “sparkling.”
Use sparkling soda water to clean gold
Gold chains, bracelets and rings can be cleaned with a mixture of soap and warm water.
But, for extremely tarnished items, Jahan recommends sautéing them in sparkling soda water instead.
He said: “If your gold is badly tarnished, replace the hot water with carbonated sparkling water: the sparkling action will help loosen the dirt for a deeper clean.
Jewelry can only be soaked in water if it does not contain porous gemstones or pearls.
Mr Jahan explained: “To clean tarnish, dirt and grime from gold jewellery, you’ll want to soak your bling in warm water with a bit of mild dish soap.
“Leave on for 15 minutes, then take a soft, damp cloth and buff away any stubborn dirt – it may help to use a cotton swab to get into nooks and crannies.”
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Polish the beads using a microfiber cloth
Unlike gold jewelry, pearls cannot be soaked in water because of the string that holds the necklace together.
Mr Jahan said: “When it comes to class and elegance, you can’t beat pearl jewelry. But, due to its organic and porous nature, you have to be careful when cleaning pearls.
“For one thing, you should never soak a necklace or bracelet in water, as this can weaken the cord, increasing the chance of breakage.
“You should also avoid using any type of soap, as even the mildest soaps can discolor pearls or ruin their shine.”
Instead, buff them gently with a clean, soft microfiber dishcloth.
Then, wipe them down with lukewarm water to remove any buildup, before drying them flat.
The more often you wear your pearls, the easier it will be for you to “maintain their brilliant, iridescent shine”.
However, it may be useful to polish them from time to time with a soft, clean cloth.
Use eco-friendly cotton swabs and brushes to clean diamonds
Diamonds are hard-wearing stones, but they can still collect dirt and grime.
Mr Jahan said: “To clean your sparklers, start with a good soak in warm water and a bit of dish soap to get the worst of the grease and dirt out.
“Next, take an eco-friendly cotton swab dipped in soapy water and use it to clean hard-to-reach places around the decor.
“For ornate jewelry with lots of embellishments or awkward settings, a soft orthodontic brush can be very handy.”
When cleaning diamond jewelry, it’s important to avoid using abrasive or corrosive products, such as bleach, chlorine, or toothpaste, as these can all diminish the sparkle of your diamond.
Clean large chains with a toothbrush
Chunky chains are all the rage right now but can be tricky to keep clean.
According to Jahan, however, a toothbrush could be your best friend when it comes to cleaning between the links.
He said: “We recommend using an unused extra soft baby toothbrush which will be gentle on your jewelry.
“Lay the necklace flat and wipe it with a clean, dry cloth to remove dust.
“Next, dampen the toothbrush with warm water mixed with a few drops of mild dish soap and gently work the chain, being careful not to use too much pressure.
“When you’ve cleaned the entire length of the chain, flip it over and repeat on the other side.
“Finally, wipe the chain with a soft cloth dampened with clean water to remove any residue, and dry it with a cloth or paper towel.”