So, you have just purchased an expensive item of jewellery which you want to treasure for years to come and potentially pass down to future generations but … how do you ensure it stays in perfect condition and how do you look after jewellery at home with tender loving care? See below for top 10 hints and tips on jewellery care at home from Braithwaites Jewellers York – your local, independent family run, jewellers in York.
- When handling your jewellery item, treat it with care and try not to drop it as, even with heavier set items, there may be delicate parts which can damage easily!
- Be careful with personal hygiene substances – Perfume, hairspray and deodorant sprayed onto or near your jewellery can damage its delicate surface and also some natural stones.
- Ensure you remove your jewellery if using household cleaning products of any kind as there are often chemicals within these cleaning products which can damage your jewellery.
- How can you wash jewellery at home? – It is possible to wash jewellery items gently in “original, dark green”, Fairy liquid with warm water to gently remove any trapped dirt from behind any gemstones within the item with a soft child’s toothbrush. Always make sure you rinse it well after cleaning in clear, warm water and be sure to dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth or duster – Silver jewellery may need extra care by a professional due to its susceptibility to oxidisation when exposed to air
- If you do have silver jewellery to clean at home, it is possible to buy “Silver dip solution” (also Silver Foam and Long Term Silver Polish) type cleaners which are fine to use on some silver items. Make sure you only dip the item in the solution for a few moments and ensure you rinse the item thoroughly under medium to hot water afterwards to remove the solution fully and then dry well. This is not to be used on any organic gemstones.
- If you have beaded or pearl jewellery to clean at home, do not wet the thread they are strung on. It is possible to wipe with a soft ‘damp’ cloth after wearing and dry thoroughly however, if in doubt, always ask for specialist advice to avoid damage.
- When not wearing your jewellery, ensure it is stored carefully, preferably within a jewellery box, and ideally within its own compartment so each item does not touch any other item and they are not all jumbled together. Some items such as pearls, opals and other stones can scratch and chip very easily.
- When putting your jewellery away, always fasten any loose chains or chains on pendants to avoid them getting tangled and damaged.
- Never swim in your jewellery if you can help it – the chemicals used in swimming pools may react adversely with the alloys in the metal and tarnish or damage it. (However, if the item is not insured or your insurance does not cover the item left unattended, wearing it may be the only option, but talk to your jeweller prior to swimming with any item, to make sure this isn’t going to adversely damage the item permanently.)
- Be careful wearing jewellery on the beach or on holiday – both sand and suntan lotion can dull the shine and finish on jewellery however, be sure to check your insurance policy, as often wearing the jewellery means it is insured in case of loss, whereas leaving it in a hotel bedroom may not be so. In this instance, it may be safer to wear the item and then get your local jeweller to polish and check it on returning home.
Any items purchased from R.A.Braithwaite can be professionally cleaned free of charge for the first year after purchase and, at a reduced cost at any time thereafter. Your items will be returned to you as good as new with that special sparkle.
It is advisable to get all jewellery items checked at least once a year by a professional for any signs of wear and tear to prevent any loss of stones or the complete item of course. In the unlikely event of any damage to your precious items, we are always happy to advise and assist with any correction needed.
If you have any questions for us on jewellery cleaning, just post a message in the comments below and we will reply as soon as possible with some helpful hints if we can!