A guide to cleaning jewellery

diamond ring on finger

Recently, I had the urge to clean some of my jewellery.

Having found some old silver pieces gradually dulling in my drawer, I started Googling around for top tips on getting jewellery clean. And after successfully getting these silver pieces sparkling again, I started to move on to other items, including gold and cheapish costume jewellery (that honestly looked past it!).

So I thought I’d share what I’d found. However, I hasten to add – if you’ve got a sparkly new diamond ring, you should seek the advice of your jeweller before doing anything, especially if you’re dealing with precious metals like white gold or platinum!

Cleaning Silver

If your silver is just starting to dull, a bit of washing up liquid in some warm water should do the trick. Use a soft cloth to rub the jewellery before rinsing everything off and buffing to dry.

Heavier tarnish may require something a little more active, like bicarbonate of soda. Apply three parts of this to one part water and apply with a lint-free cloth. Work around the piece until the cloth seems grey, then rinse off and buff.

Always try not to rub your silver too much if it’s plated because this can affect the finish.

Actually, did you know – one of the best ways to keep silver clean is to wear it because your skin’s natural oils help keep it sparkling.

Shining Gold

All gold needs to start shining again is a little bubble bath.

Mix a few drops of washing up liquid with some soda water (this helps loosen debris). Then place your jewellery in a strainer (a sieve works too) and lower it into the bowl. Leave for around 5 minutes before taking a toothbrush to those harder-to-reach places. Place back in the strainer and run under water to rinse before drying with a soft cloth.

Polishing Pearls

Fake or real, pearls need looking after properly, especially as the genuine ones are incredibly porous.

To start, lay them on a soft cloth before dipping a clean make-up brush into some water that’s got a drop of shampoo in it. Brush each pearl gently with this solution. Then use a damp (but well rung out) cloth to rinse the pearls and dry them flat so the string doesn’t stretch.

You can also use this method for other porous stones such as turquoise.

De-Gunking Costume Jewellery

With this type of jewellery, you’ll often find that the ‘stones’ used are glued in place, so you need to go careful here.

Get your mix of water and washing up liquid ready to gently wipe away dirt and grime. Then rinse with a damp cloth before patting dry. Leave them to dry naturally, positioning them so no moisture will soak into the crevices as this could loosen the glue that’s holding everything together.

And there you have it! It really is that easy to get your jewellery collection looking fabulous again.


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