Do you own some jewelry that you’ve been keeping for decades?
You might be planning to sell them soon. If so, cleaning them is one of the first things to do before offering them.
The current health crisis affected people’s spending on jewelry, watches, and other luxury items. Regardless, the market remains. Someone out there is always looking to invest in old jewelry.
Knowing how to clean jewelry should be your priority. Continue reading below for a must-read guide on cleaning jewelry the right way.
Cleaning Jewelry Begins with Determining the Type
The first step to cleaning jewelry properly is to identify its proper type. Some people believe there’s a single way to clean jewelry, regardless of the type of materials. It couldn’t be any further from the truth.
Cleaning gold jewelry requires different steps compared to cleaning silver jewelry. The same thing goes for jewelry with gemstones or metal.
Also, they use different cleaning materials. Some jewelry only needs soapy water. Other jewelry owners use ultrasonic cleaners and UV light sanitizers.
Regardless of the cleaning solutions, identify the type of jewelry before proceeding with the actual cleaning.
Tell If Your Jewelry Already Needs Cleaning
Another crucial step is to know if your jewelry already needs cleaning. Cleaning jewelry is one of the keys to increasing the resale value of your precious items. If your jewelry doesn’t look appealing right off the bat, you’ll have a hard time finding a buyer.
What are the telltale signs your bracelets, earrings, or necklaces need their shine back? Examine your jewelry closely. Revisit its details and take note of its overall appeal.
If it is starting to look dull, it’s time to clean it. Many factors contribute to jewelry’s dullness. For starters, your body products are one of the main culprits.
It includes perfumes, lotions, soap, and tanners. Another culprit is dust since it accumulates between the jewelry details. These things happen as your jewelry begins to age.
Cleaning Metal Jewelry
To clean your metal or stainless steel jewelry, prepare a small bowl and fill it with warm water. Get some liquid soap and give the bowl a few drops. Soak your jewelry into the bowl for about five minutes.
Take out the jewelry from the bowl and rub it using a soft cloth. Ideally, use a microfiber cloth. Avoid using tissue paper.
To clean the engravings and grooves, use a toothbrush with soft bristles. If the soapy water method isn’t satisfactory, wash the jewelry using baking soda. Put some clean water in a bowl and add a little baking soda.
Mix until the consistency becomes paste-like. Take a small amount and rub it gently on your jewelry. Next, rinse it in warm water.
Dry it up using a soft cloth and store it separately from other jewelry.
Cleaning Silver Jewelry
For silver jewelry with some tarnish, a salt bath will do the trick. Get a clean bowl and pour two cups of hot water. Add more water if you’re cleaning multiple pieces.
If the silver jewelry comes with gemstones, don’t soak them in the saltwater solution. Add one tablespoon of salt into the bowl and stir until it dissolves.
Take a sheet of aluminum foil. Tear a few strips and drop them into the bowl. The combination of the foil and salt will eliminate the tarnish.
Drop your jewelry into the solution. Let it sit for about five minutes while gently stirring the solution. As you stir, check if the tarnish is separating from the jewelry.
Continue stirring until you achieve your desired level of shine. Complete the process by rinsing the jewelry with cool running water.
If this method is tedious, use jewelry steamers and ultrasonic as alternatives.
Cleaning Gold Jewelry
When it comes to gold jewelry, the soap and water solution is your first option. Fill a bowl with warm water and add a few drops of mild dishwashing soap. Soak your gold jewelry inside the bowl for about 15 minutes.
Take out of the bowl and gently scrub it using a toothbrush with soft bristles. The bristles will get rid of the dirt and grime on the jewelry.
If the soapy water method doesn’t work, steam cleaners or ionic cleaners are your next options. You can find these cleaning machines online or in stores selling home goods. Some drug stores even carry these items.
After cleaning your gold jewelry, add the finishing touches by polishing it. Polishing requires a special set of tools. It also needs a skillful hand, meaning it’s better to send your gold jewelry to a professional jeweler for polishing.
Cleaning Gemstone Jewelry
Does your jewelry come with diamonds, sapphires, or rubies? If so, the soapy water technique should do the trick. After soaking the jewelry, take a soft cloth and buff the gemstone.
For jewelry with diamonds, clean it once a month.
As for pearls, baby soap is your best friend. Make sure the soap is pH neutral. This type of soap is gentler on pearls compared to other types of cleaners.
When cleaning the pearls, secure them in their proper place. Dip the soft cloth on water and baby soap solution before rubbing the pearls.
In case your old or new jewelry features soft and porous gems like Lapis and Opal, it’s best to have a professional handle the cleaning. Soap can easily damage them. Also, they require a special cleaning technique.
Increase the Value of Your Collections Now
By cleaning jewelry the right way, you can restore its old beauty. You can boost their elegance and increase their resale value. However, old jewelry is not the only thing with significant value.
If you have other valuable items in your collection, learn how to preserve them.
If you liked what you read, then check out our other blog posts. We share helpful tips to help increase the value of your collection.