I swear each summer goes by faster than the one before. Someone recently said it’s because we’re getting older. I refuse to believe that! The part about getting older that is….
The end of summer around here not only means back to school for most it also means the end of the “season.” The tourist season that is. Those of us who live here year-round can’t wait to have our roads back. It seems we cherish the roads and less traffic more than we cherish our beaches, being able to easily get a reservation at our favorite restaurant or getting in and out of the grocery store quickly on a weekend. Maybe because both of those examples and countless others involve….getting on the road!
We don’t have kids so I am not in the group who is thankful school is starting back up. But I see friends and co-workers thankful to get back into a routine. To be honest, I am also better when in some kind of normal routine and for whatever reason I never feel like I get into a good routine in the summer! This summer has also been different though dealing with a nerve injury at the beginning of the summer and basically all the through July made this summer a little challenging and I think that is why it went by so quickly for me! I was out of commission for about two weeks then had to slowly get back into the groove of work and fun while managing this on meds that make me really tired. And I have to be honest, I’m already tired – ha ha ha! But if that is the worst side effect I have to deal with – I’m thankful.
So, routines. I think back to school is a good time to clean and purge as well. This helps me feel lighter. These days, clutter makes my anxiety rear its ugly head. Just ask my husband. I recently bought a roomba to help with the fur balls and cat litter that is literally all over the house. I like clean counters and tables in our kitchen and living area. Therefore, it should be no surprise that I also like clean JEWELS.
I recently gave my mom a ring that I bought in Mexico. It’s silver and has a beautiful bright blue topaz in it. She has coveted it since the day I brought it home. I rarely wear it so I finally gave it to her. We went out for dinner one night and I said, “Let me see that ring. It’s filthy!” She looked at it and replied, “Geez, you’re right I hadn’t even noticed.” She gave it a good cleaning and the last time she was over it looked so much better. Remember jewels are made to sparkle!
My point here is if you’re cleaning up everything else getting ready to get back into your routine don’t neglect your jewels. One of my first blog posts was about how I clean my jewelry. It’s simple…for gold and silver rings with stones take an old SOFT toothbrush, a little dish soap and some warm water and use the toothbrush to clean under the stone where dirt gets trapped as well as all around the prongs and setting. Then I take a soft, fluffy towel and give it a good wipe down, especially under the stone and around the setting if you can. The reason I like a fluffy towel is that it can be hard to get under the setting so the let the towel fibers work for you!
You can also use a jewelry cleaning machine with a little dish soap but don’t put your pearls or opals in it. Always hand clean softer stones. If you aren’t sure about your stones just google them specifically and you’ll likely be able to find the way to best care for them. And don’t put gold plated jewelry in those either.
The best care for gold plated jewelry is to not use water. This will cause the plating to wear off faster than it normally would. Use a silver polishing cloth on this kind of jewelry. If you can carefully clean stones with a soft toothbrush without getting the rest of the setting/ring wet then go for it but be sure to dry it off immediately. And remember to remove your gold plated rings when washing your hands and all of your gold plated jewelry when bathing or swimming!
Finally, for a quick touch up to your silver you can try the old boiling water and baking soda mix! This is a great way to clean lots of pieces in batches. Line a large bowl with aluminum foil and drop in some baking soda and then pour in water you’ve brought up to a light boil. Then drop in your silver jewelry. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this for all jewelry with stones but it’s safe for sterling pieces with no stones – again this is a big no-no for opals and pearls. My mini-me (as I like to call her), Haley, did this recently and sent me some photos of her progress! She was super happy with the results and was kind enough to send my some photos to share of the before and after and you can see the difference!