There’s nothing like a brand-new piece of jewelry, right? It seems to sparkle in every kind of light and people can’t help but comment on how beautiful it is! There’s no reason that feeling has to fade – keep that “new jewelry” look well past the first few wears by keeping your baubles in just-like-new condition with a few simple cleaning and storage tips and tricks!
What to do Every Day
First things first: avoid getting your jewelry dirty when you can. Take your pieces off and store them in a safe place when you are doing messy tasks such as gardening, cleaning, and cooking. Take care not to get any lotion, perfume, or hair products on your pieces (they’re hard to get off and can stain both metals and gemstones). I also make a habit of taking my rings off when I am washing my hands – many hand soaps leave residue around and underneath stones that can dull their sparkle. Just make sure you keep track of them!
Storing jewelry in the provided Local Charm velvet pouch will help avoid scratching and possible loss. These can be tucked into a jewelry box or dresser drawer to keep everything neat and organized. How you store your jewelry is up to you: on a jewelry tree, in a jewelry box, on a tray, or in your nightstand. However, it is always best to store jewelry away from direct sunlight – some stones can change color or fade from extended exposure to UV light.
How to Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry
Polish Sterling Silver jewelry with a polishing cloth made especially for Silver at least once a month, or as needed. I love the Connoisseurs brand disposable wipes we use and sell at Local Charm for so many reasons – they are safe for use on stones, travel-friendly, and can be thrown away when they get too dirty. I’ve heard of women using everything from liquid dips to toothpaste to baking soda to clean their Silver pieces. Beware! Many commercial cleaners are actually very damaging to Silver, and, while toothpastes and baking soda might work in a pinch, they are highly abrasive and can scratch both the Silver and any gemstones on your jewelry. Even ultrasonic cleaners should be approached with caution – they’ve been known to loosen the settings of gemstones.
To cut down on cleaning, most jewelry can be kept in an airtight zip top bag, which will help keep your Silver shiny without polishing (Oxygen is Sterling Silver’s worst enemy!). While it isn’t pretty, it sure is effective! Or you can make cleaning your Silver a once-a-month ritual: put on your favorite movie, grab a glass of wine, and polish away!
How to Clean Gemstone Jewelry
Some gemstone jewelry will need additional cleaning to keep the stones looking their best. This should be done on an “as needed” basis, when a stone begins looking dull or you’ve worn your jewelry while doing something messy.
Organics like Coral and Pearl tend to be very porous and needed careful treatment. A soft cloth after each wear to remove dirt and oil is usually all you need. Soap and water cleaning should be avoided if possible– organic pieces can absorb the cleaning solution and become dull and brittle.
Softer stones such as Malachite and Lapis do best with a quick swipe from a jewelry polishing cloth or a soft, damp cloth to remove any buildup. Many softer stones are soap-and-cool-water safe, but a quick soak should be all you need.
Harder, glassy stones can be kept looking in tip-top shape by soaking the pieces in a bowl with warm water and mild dish soap (do not clean over the sink unless you want your heart broken!). Use a soft bristle brush to clear build-up from underneath and around stones. Glass cleaner is also a secret for keeping your stones extra sparkly – a spritz on Diamonds or other hard, clear stones can return them to a mirror-like finish.
In Case of Emergency
If your jewelry needs some serious TLC, it may need to be taken to a professional jeweler for cleaning. When in doubt, ask! If you aren’t sure how to clean something, or have been unsuccessful at cleaning it in the past, bring the piece back to the place of purchase and ask for advice. Local Charm has a Stone Guide at every store that will have specific cleaning instructions for our stone jewelry. We’d love to help you get back that “new jewelry” feeling!