Find out how you can safely clean your jewelry in the comfort of your home.
Homemade “solutions” for cleaning jewelry are abundant. Since using gin and toothpaste, the suggested possibilities are immense. But when it comes to high jewelery, these are definitely not the best methods for ridding your jewelry of grease or dirt. However, you don’t have to use high technology to clean your jewelery. Just follow some precautions and pay attention to the type of jewelry you want to clean.
Jewels are made from a wide range of organic and inorganic gems, as well as precious metals of varying degrees of hardness, so it is important to personalize the cleaning taking into account the jewelry you want to clean. For example, diamonds, the most prized gemstones, are oleophilic gems by nature, which means they inherently attract grease. Without regular cleaning, the natural beauty of these stones quickly diminishes.
However, being the hardest gem in the world, with 10 on the Mohs scale, the diamond is not damaged by detergents, which means that a little dish detergent, hot water and a soft toothbrush is the best way to return the sparkle to the diamonds. This is also the best way to clean sapphires and rubies.
There are other gems that should be approached more carefully. This is the case for softer emeralds, as well as other stones of the beryl family, including aquamarine, morganite and heliodor (yellow beryl), all rated 7.5 on the Mohs scale.
It is still possible to clean these gems at home, but only with neutral detergent, warm water and a very soft natural bristle brush, and only for a very short period of time.
Soft and organic precious stones
Organic gemstones, such as coral, natural or cultured pearls, and soft gems, such as opal, require even more care, as contact with cleaning products can damage them. Instead, rub them gently with a soft cleaning cloth.
A note: when wearing jewelry with these stones, avoid being in contact with perfumes and aromatic creams, which can damage their surfaces.
Beware of ultrasonic cleaning devices
Ultrasonic cleaning appliances may seem like a high-tech, time-saving option, but these table machines used by jewelers should be approached with caution. When used correctly, they can, in fact, produce brilliant results by shaking the jewelry and removing stains using an ammonia-based detergent. With any delicate configuration, particularly micropavé, however, small stones can be loosened and even lost in the liquid. Thus, this technological method of cleaning is best reserved for large diamonds in robust configurations.
Consider the composition
Another aspect to consider is the composition of the jewelry. If you have antique jewelry, dating from the 16th to the 18th century, for example, know that in these pieces the precious stones are set in gold or silver and should never be submerged in a cleaning solution, not even in water. The liquid will inevitably enter, affecting the mounting and coating of any stones and potentially irrevocably damage the appearance of the jewelry.
Finally, the way we store our jewelry also contributes a lot to the cleaning and preservation of these pieces. Thus, overcrowded jewelry boxes, with overlapping pieces and in contact with each other, is totally discouraged. To avoid scratches, each jewel should be kept in its individual box or case.
The conditions of the environment where you keep your jewelry are also very important. A damp attic or a hot ventilation cupboard may even be a good hiding place, but the atmosphere can damage jewelry, cause it to lose its luster, or even break it if it is organic.
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