For the recipient new to jewelry care, it can be difficult to know exactly what to do.
Jewelry items are amongst the most precious (yes, our preciousssss) items you will find in the average household, and not just from a financial standpoint. Beautiful necklaces, brooches and rings are frequently passed down as heirlooms and should be treated with the reverence they deserve. But how exactly should we do that?
In this article, we are sharing key jewelry care tips so you can ensure your jewelry remains in top condition for the longest time.
5 Essential Jewelry Care Tips
1. Keep Your Jewelry Dry
Probably the most important of all jewelry care tips – keep your items of jewelry dry whenever it’s possible. This might be an obvious idea in regard to sensitive items like chronographs, watches, but it is also true of rings, necklaces, and other precious items.
Water can erode and leave marks on metals, either as part of a chemical reaction or by leaving debris upon evaporating. All jewelry should be kept dry to prevent this. This means you should take off your jewelry before washing your hands, getting in the shower, or sauna, and before you go swimming.
The chemicals in the pool can especially tarnish the metal, and you also run the risk of it falling off while you’re in the water. Taking your precious jewelry off and leaving it safely in your bag is the best course of action.
2. Keep Your Jewelry Safe
The words ‘keep it safe’ might seem particularly glib when talking about jewelry, but we’re not talking about jewelry thieves (of course, always be aware that they exist).
Taking care of the safety of your jewelry does not mean just keeping it from harm in public. It also means ensuring that your jewelry remains in the best possible state at home, to avoid unnecessary scratches and tarnishing.
For example, if you choose to keep all your jewelry loose in the same box, you run the risk of certain gems scratching or otherwise cutting into other items as they jostle in place. Cheaper bijouterie items are especially prone to fast tarnish if kept close to each other in the same container.
In order to preserve the best possible value for your valuables, storing them properly should be a priority. This might mean hanging high-value items apart from other items or wrapping certain pieces separately in their own protective shroud to prevent damage.
Investing in a safe could also be a way to go. If you have some items that are very high-value or particularly sentimental, keeping them locked away will be best for them.
3. Keep Your Jewelry Clean
Jewelry care tips must also include the proper cleaning strategy.
Damage can occur not just from direct interaction between items of jewelry (or other items), but also quite simply from the presence of grime or contaminants. This is particularly true for cheaper items of jewelry with plated finishes, which can tarnish and wear in the mere presence of humid air. But don’t be fooled – even silver can react with the hydrogen in the air, leaving a dull finish.
As such, your jewelry should be kept cool, clean, and dry where possible. Placing silica gel packets in your jewelry drawers or boxes can stave off the impact of humidity on certain items while keeping others covered can keep harmful dust from settling in them.
Learning how to clean your jewelry properly will also help in the long run (we’re touching on this right away). When you’ve finished wearing your jewelry, clean it before storing to help it last even longer. Gentle jewelry care can also keep your blings looking brand new.
How To Clean Jewelry?
Before you start cleaning your items, you need to be looking at the shape, materials, and age of the items. Using the correct cleaning solutions for the type of metal you’re looking at is very important as the wrong chemicals will have different impacts on the metals.
1. In many cases, if there aren’t any gemstones, simple jewelry items can be cleaned very gently with gentle dishwashing soap. This will help to remove any build-up that is on your jewelry and, as long as it is dried properly, it will benefit the item. If there are any bits where water can get stuck, then leaving it in a position to drain will help to get rid of it.
2. While there are some cleaning procedures that involve ultrasonic jewelry cleaners (you have probably seen them on TV), this method should never be attempted at home. Leave ultrasonic or chemical cleaning tasks for professional jewelry cleaners!
4. Be Extremely Careful With Chemicals
Our next jewelry care tips will help you prevent serious damage to your jewels.
Taking care of expensive and cheaper jewelry means avoiding chemicals that are around us – including the chemicals that are present in cosmetics. Taking your rings and jewelry off before putting on creams and moisturizers, sunscreens, and especially – fake tan will help to keep it in good condition.
Of course, it’s impossible to completely avoid hand creams and body lotions, so the trick is to put your jewelry on after using them. If you’ve already moisturized before putting your rings, then you’re not going to get a lot of cream stuck underneath it (or between the jewels of it).
How about perfume? Perfume is a chemical too, so avoid spraying it on your jewelry. Putting things like necklaces on after your perfume will mean it gets splashed with fewer chemicals.
Most importantly, never allow your jewelry to come in contact with any kind of chemicals (like various types of household cleaners, cleaning solutions, and glass cleaners).
Never allow your jewelry to touch any acids, including the acids found in food (like tomatoes, and lemon juice), cosmetics (like AHA, BHA, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, azelaic acid), and household care (like vinegar). Wear protective gloves if you are using any of these things, or take off your jewelry altogether to minimize any risk.
5. Wear Your Jewelry Last
By now, you have learned about 4 essential jewelry care tips. Here’s our last one.
In order to reduce contact with different surfaces, it can be helpful to wear your jewelry in the safest possible manner. Simply put, wear (or put on) your jewelry last.
There is a temptation, especially amongst ring and necklace wearers, to place their jewelry first. However, this increases the likelihood of such items breaking or getting damaged (or getting snagged on other items of clothing or jewelry!).
Your jewelry items should always be the last items to go on, and the first to come off. This way, the condition of everything can be maintained at all times.
Let’s sum this all up! To take proper care of your jewellery, make sure to:
- Keep it dry as much as possible;
- Store it safely, separated from each other;
- Keep it clean, and clean very gently, according to the metal your jewelry is made of;
- Never allow your jewelry to touch any harsh chemicals or acids;
- Put your jewelry after you moisturized, put on your clothes, and used your signature scent.
Doing just these 5 things will help you to prevent a lot of possible damage to your bling-blings.
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