How to Care for Your Jewelry

How to Care for Your Jewelry

You found the perfect jewelry; you get compliments when you wear it, but how do you keep your jewelry looking new? First, there are some things to know about jewelry.

  • Most jewelry, even fine jewelry, does best when you keep it dry. This is because most jewelry contains copper; even Sterling Silver, 14K, and 18K gold contain some copper. Copper naturally patinas, especially when it mixes with moisture, including sweat.
  • On that note, it is best not to swim or shower with your jewelry on. Again, it is the moisture that we want to avoid to prevent tarnishing.
  • Leaving your jewelry out in the open is not wise because there is moisture in the air. As we know, jewelry and moisture are not a good combination.
  • Another culprit to jewelry is our body oils. Sometimes, the oil can help and protect our jewelry, but the oil can often trap moisture.

What are the best things to keep your jewelry looking fresh and new?

  • Wipe your jewelry with a dry cloth when you take it off.
  • If possible, put your items in an air-dry container. Wrap the items in tissue and put them into a zipped plastic bag.
  • Store your jewelry in a jewelry box that is not in a moist area. Avoid bathrooms and rooms near showers or other water sources.
  • Keep your pieces of jewelry separate from each other. This prevents chemical reactions with the metals and ensures your items do not get tangled.
  • If you have any desiccant packs from your purchases of handbags, shoes and such, put them next to your jewelry. They help to keep moisture away. 

What if your item is tarnished or dirty?

Don’t fret; most of the time, it can be cleaned- it just depends on what happened and the materials involved.

First, use the gentlest microfiber cloth to see if the tarnish or dirt will lift off the jewelry. Most of the time, this is all that you need. But, if this doesn’t work, then find a solution based on the material of the jewelry.

  • Use a polishing cloth or jewelry cleaning kit made for the metal of your item. Make sure to read the instructions thoroughly. Some kits are for very specific metals and may cause damage if used.
  • Proceed with care, but you may also want to try the baking soda method to clean your jewelry.
  • If you are not sure or do not want to risk damage to your jewelry, then take your items to your local jeweler. They usually will charge a nominal amount.
  • Never use harsh chemicals, including bleach or ammonia. Both of these cleaning solutions will severely damage your jewelry.
If your item is coated in patina and nothing will remove the tarnish, all may not be lost. This is a natural process, and it gives an antique look to your jewelry. You can still wear it and enjoy it!
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