There are a few golden rules to follow when it comes to jewelry care and maintenance. What’s the best way to make sure your sparkle will sparkle and your glitter will shine? Adhere to this list of jewelry rules to ensure your glitz will always be wearable and continue to look brand new.
1) Organize It. Besides keeping everything looking tidy and neat and easy to find, investing in some basic organizational pieces is the easiest way to keep your necklaces tangle free and your earring hooks attached to your earrings. Store rings and bracelets in a fabric-lined jewelry box, and hang your earrings and necklaces from a jewelry tree. If you don’t feel you have enough jewelry to necessitate these items, or you just have a flair for creative decorating, then you can hang your favorite necklaces from decorative hooks on the wall so that they’ll always be on display and you’ll be sure to grab them on the way out the door.
2) Buff Your Silver. Sterling silver tarnishes easily, so keep a soft cloth nearby to polish it with. Any cloth will do, but jewelry stores sell chemically treated cloths specifically designed for this process that will do the job much more efficiently.
3) Clean Your Diamonds. There are several methods for cleaning diamonds. One of the simplest ways is to fill a sink with cold water and a ¼ cup of mild dish soap. Swish your diamond jewelry around in the solution then gently clean it with a soft brush and set it on a cloth to dry. Another simple and very effective solution is to clean diamond jewelry with a small amount of toothpaste on a soft-bristled toothbrush. Moisten the brush as needed, and rinse the diamond under warm water. Not good at remembering to clean your diamonds, but wear them often? Pop into the jewelry store at the mall next time you’re out and ask them to shine it for you. Most stores will oblige without asking where the stone was actually purchased.
4) When in Doubt, Take it Off. Be sure to remove your jewelry before using hairspray, lotion or cleaning chemicals, as these substances will create a coat on your silver and speed up the tarnishing process. Chemicals and household cleaners are best kept away from gold and precious stones as well. This rule is especially true for casual jewelry that may be made of weaker metals and glues. Chlorine in swimming pools can weaken jewelry, and any rough activities can scratch and dent your silver and gold. If you’re going to be playing sports, hiking or doing arts and crafts, then play it safe and take it off!
5) If You’re Not Going to Wear It, Store it Away. Jewelry that isn’t worn or is only used on very special occasions should be sealed in an airtight plastic bag, and kept in a fabric lined jewelry box to prevent danger from humidity and oxidation. Keep that family heirloom in perfect condition so that you can pass it on to the next generation with pride.
Crystal Gonzalez writes on a variety of subjects ranging from DIY crafts and home improvement to music and entertainment news. She is currently working on her MA in Composition and Rhetoric with plans to teach writing at the college level.