My friend, Suzannah, requested that I talk about cleaning jewelry. I really enjoy cleaning my jewelry. I mean really. Like seriously. It brings me pure joy. It’s my zen zone. I have excused myself from dinner before to clean a friend’s jewelry. My mother enjoys ironing. I would rather buy new clothes than have to iron the ones I already have. But cleaning my jewelry. I love to see it sparkle and shine. Diamonds should sparkle. ALL JEWELRY SHOULD SPARKLE!
For most jewelry you don’t need anything special. I have talked to jewelers, read jewelers’ Instagram posts on jewelry cleaning and read a few practices online. Everyone says all you need is a toothbrush and a gentle hand or dish soap. I am currently using an old (used) toothbrush. You may think EW but I figure it’s now softer than when I bought it, right? You can also buy a new one just make sure it’s a soft toothbrush. Ironically, I keep both my toothbrush for my teeth and my toothbrush for my jewelry in the same toothbrush holder. And in case you’re wondering, yes, I have accidentally picked up the wrong one to brush my teeth. Hazards of improper storage on my part. Have I changed that? Of course. NOT.
I put a little soap on the toothbrush, add a little water and then scrub away – gently. I always make sure to get in between all of the nooks and crannies, around the stone(s) and under each stone. Then I rinse it well and lay it out on a towel. I always use a bath towel that’s plush. When I dry them I make sure each angle of the ring (let’s face it you know I’m mostly cleaning rings) is rubbed firmly against the towel – top of the stone, each side of the stone and the under side if possible. I want to make sure all of those little plush fibers get into those same nooks and crannies to dry it. I don’t want any water spots left! Now you should see that sparkle.
When it comes to pearls and opals I’d stick to just a little warm water and soap – no toothbrush. Both are delicate stones and you don’t want to damage them. I have also read online not to submerge pearls in water mostly because of the string in which they are strung on.
When my silver tarnishes I either use silver polish, a silver cloth or the old trick using baking soda. Take a large bowl, line it with aluminum foil, add a few tablespoons of baking soda, lay your jewelry in the bottom and cover with boiling water. Leave it in for a few minutes and the tarnish should disappear. Then once again, towel it off.
Back to gold and gemstones, I have a Bling Brush by @baublerella that I won on Instagram from @gem_hunt. I love it. I use it when I need to do a quick cleaning of my wedding rings and I take it when I travel. I also have a little jar of cleaning solution from a jewelry store that I will soak my rings in before scrubbing with the little brush included. One of my BFF’s, Samantha, also gave me an ultrasonic cleaner. You fill it with water and a little soap, plug it in and let it do its thing. After a few minutes I follow with the towel drying. When she first gave it to me I spent a few hours cleaning just about everything in my jewelry box. It was a good day around here. If you decide to get one of these (they vary in cost) I’d suggest googling the gem stones in your jewelry before using it on everything. It’s safe for diamonds but better safe than sorry. And if it says not to use it on one of your stones it’s likely that warm water and soap are safe. You can look up stones on the Gemological Institute of America’s site, www.GIA.com, and find out most of what you need to know for all kinds of gem stones.
I will say one of the MOST important things to do when cleaning any kind of jewelry is to use the drain stopper! I have had rings bounce around the sink before as my heart skipped multiple beats!!!
So, from now on if you see me your nails should be presentable and your jewelry sparkly. And if you think I’m judging your non-sparkly jewelry, I’m not. I’m trying to figure out how I can politely ask to clean it.