Soaps, lotions, and everyday dirt are just a few elements that can damage your accessory or make gems appear plain. To make your pieces shinier than ever, Palm Springs jewelry shop owners have imparted their knowledge on how to clean and maintain your collection.
Getting Rid of Tarnish from Silver:
If you wish to avoid tarnish, a specific solution is the best way to go – and it’s sold at a very cheap price. But, for a DIY practice, here are your two best choices:
For accessories that are starting discolor, filmy or plain, mix a few drops of mild dish soap with lukewarm water and soak in a soft piece of cloth. Rub the jewelry, rinse in cool water, and wipe with the cloth until it’s dry.
For stronger tarnish, mix three parts baking soda to one part water. Wet the silver and apply the solution with a soft, lint-free cloth. Rub the paste into the crevices, turning the cloth as it gets dirty, then rinse and buff dry. Avoid rubbing silver-plated jewelry too much as it could remove the coating.
Restoring Gold Accessories:
Prepare a bubble bath for gold jewelry by pouring in a few drops of mild dish soap into the small bowl of club soda or sodium-free seltzer water. Place the accessory into a small metal strainer and place it in the bowl to soak for about five minutes. Swish it around and then fish out each piece to go over crevices and settings with a soft toothbrush. Return each piece to the strainer and wash under running water and dry it off with a soft cloth.
Polishing Dull Pearls:
Since they’re porous, pearls easily lose their shine! Whether faux, cultured, or real, you have to clean them with utmost care. First, lay the strand on a soft cloth. Dip a small brush into a mixture of shampoo and warm water and go over each pearl. To finish, rinse the pearls with a well-wrung fabric. Let the strand dry flat to stop the string from stretching. This no-soak practice is also applicable for turquoise, another porous gem.
Restoring Custom Accessories:
For custom jewelry, especially if gems are attached rather than set, dab a cloth into a bubbly solution of water and detergent water. Gently wipe any grime or smudges. Then, rinse with a cloth dampened in plain water. Pat dry and lay the jewelry upside down so moisture won’t soak into the setting. Since gems are often glued on (instead of set), don’t dip accessories in water or the glue would loosen and stones would fall off.
Take off your accessory at the end of the day and give each piece a quick wipe down with a clean microfiber cloth. Seal them inside a zippered plastic bag – one piece per bag – with all the air removed. This way they won’t be subjected to oxygen and should stay looking shiny.