Cleaning Your Jewellery

Cleaning Silver Jewellery

For Jewellery that is just dull, filmy, or starting to discolour, mix a few drops of soap with warm water, and dip in a soft cloth. Rub over the jewellery, then rinse in cool water and polish with a cloth until dry. For more tarnished items, mix a paste of three parts baking soda to one part water. Wet the silver and apply the cleaner with a soft, lint-free cloth. Work the paste into the crevices, turning the cloth as it gets grey. You can also use Aluminium Foil to clean tarnished silver. Line a tray with a piece of crumpled aluminium foil and place your jewellery on the foil. Sprinkle a layer of baking soda over the jewellery, and then pour boiling water over it. The tarnish will transfer from the jewellery to the foil. You may need to turn the jewellery around so all sides come in contact with the foil.

Other methods to keep your silver jewellery shining is to purchase a specially impregnated silver polishing cloth or Silver Dip only use it very occasionally followed by a gentle wash in soapy water to remove any residue. Always follow the manufacturerís instructions.

Donít soak silver; this speeds up rather than removes tarnish.

Donít use abrasive cleaners on silver jewellery

Donít use tissues, cotton wool, paper towels or anything abrasive for cleaning silver. These products can scratch the silver.

Cleaning Copper Jewellery

Copper jewellery can lose its bright shine and take on a patina of its very own. This can be wonderful to a point, but when it starts to discolour your skin a strange shade of green, it can discourage you from even buying copper jewellery again. The simplest way to clean dull copper jewellery is to use anything with a high acidic content such as Lemon Juice, Tomato Ketchup or Worcestershire Sauce.

Place your copper jewellery in a glass, or plastic container, not metal and pour the chosen cleaning agent over the item and allow it to sit for about 10 to 20 minutes. You may have to change the cleaning liquid a couple of times if the copper is extremely dirty. You may use your old toothbrush to gently scrub into the cracks and crevasses when you have achieved the desired cleaning, rinse in water and pat dry with a towel. Please DO NOT leave your jewellery in the acid soak for any extended period of time OR if youíre copper jewellery has pearls, or any other soft stone DONíT use any of these ways of cleaning!

Cleaning Soft & Porous Materials

Jewellery that has pearls and turquoise, you need nothing more than soap and water to get them looking their best. Place them quickly in a solution of 2 cups warm water and a few drops of soap. Wipe each pearl with a soft, dry cotton cloth and lay flat to dry. Turquoise doesn't even need soap to come clean. Simply dip a soft-bristled toothbrush into warm water and scrub the stone clean. Dry with a clean soft cloth, itís important to let these items air-dry for several hours before storing.†

Wearing Your Silver Jewellery

Be gentle, silver is soft and impressionable, bending, scratching and snapping will occur with careless treatment. Avoid harsh chemicals e.g., bleach, washing up liquids and chlorine, as they will tarnish sterling silver. Put your make-up, perfume, moisturisers and hairspray on before you put your jewellery on as the chemicals in these will react with your silver and can cause tarnishing. Remove your jewellery before you go swimming, sunbathing, exercising or before bedtime. Remove your jewellery before undertaking any household duties such as gardening and washing up.

Storing Your Jewellery

Ideally store your jewellery separately in re-sealable plastic bags or wrap up in soft material to protect them. Keep in a dark place in an airtight container or jewellery box. Silver is more prone to tarnishing caused by over-exposure to light and air, so if you can limit this when you aren't wearing it, the less tarnish will occur. Chains and necklaces should be fastened, laid flat and wrapped up. Keep each item of jewellery separate in your jewellery box so they donít scratch each other.

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