How to keep your jewellery looking new & shiny
These days, we get our jewellery in so many different ways in so many different conditions. There is second hand jewellery we pick up at vintage stores or on classified sites like Kijiji, or that is passed on from generation to generation as family heirlooms. Then there’s new jewellery you can purchase that ranges from high-end fine jewellery to the more budget-friendly costume jewellery. On top of all that, jewellery comes in different metals with different stones that all affect the way you have to take care of it.
Whether you plan on passing your jewellery down to someone in the family, selling it after you’re done with it, or keeping it beautiful and new in your jewellery box, here are some inexpensive and easy ways to keep your jewellery looking its best.
Effective and simple DIY jewellery cleaners can be found right in your own cupboard!
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Although store-bought cleaners work really well, did you know that most of the ingredients you need to make your own jewellery cleaner can be found in your own home!
Here are just a few easy DIY mixtures you can whip up in a flash:
- Take a half a cup of ammonia mixed with half a cup of warm water and simply let your jewellery soak for 5-10 minutes, wipe off gently with a polishing cloth and then admire the difference!
- Soaking precious stones like diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and so on in a cup of club soda overnight brings their original gleam back out
- Beer (we know, it sounds a little out there), but pouring a bit of light beer onto a polishing cloth and rubbing your solid metal jewellery brings out its natural shine. (Who would have thought?!)
- A half cup of vinegar with 2 tablespoons of baking soda creates another great at home solution you can whip up in a second. Soak your silver jewellery in it for 2-3 hours and then rinse under cold water. As with most other cleaning solutions, be sure to dry the jewellery off completely with a soft polishing cloth.
Store your jewellery in the right place.
It would be nice if we could just show off our jewellery and wear our entire collection all the time, but unless you want to look like you’ve drowned in your jewellery box, it’s not exactly realistic. Costume jewellery and silver (even sterling) tarnishes over time, as does gold (although a little slower), so to keep jewellery looking new even over a long period of time, it’s important to keep your jewellery stored correctly.
- Ziploc bags can be your very best friend. They may not look like anything special, but for the purpose of keeping the sulfur from oxygen away from your jewellery (which is what causes tarnish), they’re perfect. For smaller or finer pieces of jewellery, you will want to find the miniature Ziploc bags.
- Storing your jewellery in a velvet or soft fabric lined jewellery box is another good place to keep your bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. Anti-tarnish strips can be bought and added to your jewellery box or the Ziploc bags mentioned above for added protection.
- Felt jewellery pouches are the “higher-end” Ziploc bag, (if you’re an aesthetics-type person) and again, serves the purpose of absorbing the air’s sulfur and keeping your jewellery from tarnishing. Keep in mind, although they look a lot better, they’re not airtight like the Ziploc bag, so while they will keep the tarnish at bay, it’s not as effective as the Ziploc for long term protection.
Remember, different types of jewellery need different types of care!
jewellery with certain precious stones or pearls have to be treated with just a little more care since they are softer. They shouldn’t ever be soaked in harsh chemicals. Instead, always wipe them down gently with a damp soft cloth.
Pearls, which are a little extra sensitive to scratches and discoloration from sweat or chemicals from perfume, require a little extra TLC. Never store them with other stones like diamonds, and avoid applying perfume in the area where you’re wearing pearl jewellery. Unlike plain silver or gold, jewellery with pearls shouldn’t be kept in airtight plastic bags as it can cause some damage to the pearls.