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Cleaning jewelry: the best tips and home remedies
We hope that expensive jewelry will last a lifetime. We may even have inherited special parts or dream of inheriting them ourselves. However, in order for the jewelry to stay beautiful for so long, it needs a little care. Even high quality materials need to be cleaned from time to time.
However, there are a number of things you can do wrong when cleaning jewelry. Because not every piece of jewelry can be treated in the same way. We have summarized the most important tips and tricks for you.
Clean gold jewelry
Gold is actually a very robust precious metal. However, because it is very soft, it is mixed with other metals to make jewelry. Hence there is 333, 585, 750 and 999 Alloys.
As a rule of thumb you can remember: the lower the gold content, the faster the gold jewelry starts to run. Accordingly, 333 alloy jewelry must be cleaned more often than 750 gold jewelry.
Since gold is a very soft metal, care must be taken when cleaning that it is particularly gentle. If you approach your gold pieces with hard bristles, the likelihood of scratches is high.
It is best to clean your gold jewelry in a very simple soapy solution. Put some soap or detergent in warm water and leave your gold jewelry in it for a few minutes. Then you can rinse the jewelry with lukewarm water and dry it with a soft microfiber cloth. If you want, you can polish up your gold jewelry with deerskin afterwards - for an extra portion of shine.
Professional tip: cleaning jewelry with ultrasound
If you don't have the time or don't feel like cleaning your jewelry by hand, we recommend an ultrasonic cleaner. The device, which is also used by opticians and jewelers, works with water and is therefore particularly gentle. And best of all: You can also get your stainless steel glasses or watches squeaky clean.
> There is a top-rated ultrasonic cleaner on Amazon that is particularly cheap.
Clean gold jewelry with home remedies
Toothpaste or denture cleaner: Tarnished gold shines again when it is placed in a glass with denture cleaner overnight. Alternatively, you can clean the gold jewelry with toothpaste and a very soft brush. However, be careful with toothpaste, which promises extra white teeth. These often contain microplastics that could cause unsightly scratches in the gold.
Baking powder: Baking powder is also suitable for cleaning tarnished gold. All you have to do is spread the baking powder on the jewelry with a microfiber cloth and then rinse everything off.
Clean silver jewelry
Silver is also a very soft metal and therefore needs to be cleaned as gently as gold. In the case of slight discolouration or soiling, a soapy solution and treatment with a soft toothbrush is sufficient. Then the jewelry is dried with a soft cloth.
However, silver tarnishes significantly faster than gold, especially if it is not used more often. If there is a patina around silver, it is silver sulphide, a combination of oxygen and hydrogen sulphide from the air.
To remove this, silver baths, pastes or special silver cleaning cloths are suitable. They contain substances that separate the silver sulfide from the jewelry. The advantage of baths is that the active ingredient can penetrate into the smallest cracks in jewelry that could not be reached with towels.
> There is a cleaning foam for silver on Amazon
Clean silver jewelry with home remedies
Citric acid: Put citric acid in a bowl and dip a soft toothbrush into it. Then you clean your silver jewelry with the toothbrush and then rinse off the citric acid with clear water. You can also add some baking soda for a stronger effect. At the end of the cleaning, the jewelry is dried and polished again.
Baking powder: Cleaning with baking soda works in a very similar way. Mix some water with baking soda and rub it on your jewelry with a soft brush. After an exposure time of about 30 minutes, you can rinse, dry and polish everything.
Clean tarnished silver
If you don't have any special cleaning products for silver in-house, but still want to see tarnished silver shiny again, you can go to Aluminum foil and salt to grab. To do this, put your jewelry together with aluminum foil in a hot water bath with salt. The aluminum then combines with the hydrogen sulfide. The aluminum foil will change color and your silver jewelry will shine again.
Danger! Cleaning with hot water is only advisable if you want to clean pure silver jewelry. Pieces of jewelery with precious stones often cannot tolerate such temperature fluctuations.
Cleaning jewelry with precious stones
When it comes to gemstone jewelry, one must be very careful when cleaning it. Aggressive cleaners, hot water, but also household remedies can damage the stones. However, you have to distinguish what kind of gemstone it is.
In the past, a distinction was often made between semi-precious stones and precious stones. In the meantime, this distinction is no longer made. They are usually grouped under the term gemstones, but are divided into hard or soft gemstones. So there is soft gemstoneswho are particularly sensitive, and hard gemsthat are much more robust.
Cleaning soft gemstones: With soft gemstones, you should in principle keep your hands off hot water and cleaning agents. They are really sensitive and can even be damaged by normal soap. It is best to clean it with a very soft toothbrush and lukewarm water. Then dry the jewelry with a soft cloth.
Soft gemstones are for example: amber, opal, moonstone, turquoise, coral, lapis lazuli and many more.
Not always, but often the stones that used to be called semi-precious stones are soft gemstones. So this can already be an indication of how the gem should be cleaned. If in doubt, it is worth taking a look at the so-called Mohs hardness of the stone. A value below 7 is considered soft. The higher values up to 10 are considered hard. The hardest mineral is diamond with a Mohs hardness of 10.
Cleaning hard gemstones: More robust, hard gemstones can be placed in lukewarm water with a little mild detergent for a few minutes. Gaps in the socket can be carefully cleaned with a toothbrush with soft bristles. The piece of jewelery is then rinsed off with lukewarm water, dried with a soft cloth and then polished up.
Hard gemstones are for example: diamond, sapphire, ruby, aquamarine, topaz, rose quartz, amethyst and many more.
Tip: Anyone who is unsure should treat every gemstone like a soft gemstone. So just use lukewarm water and a very soft toothbrush for cleaning. Most of the time, this method is sufficient. Only when you have tried to clean your jewelry this way and have failed should you consider special cleaners.
Clean pearl jewelry
Pearls or mother-of-pearl are also among the delicate pieces of jewelry. In addition, their surface is sensitive to acids, so that sweat lying on the skin attacks the jewelry in the long term. Pearls are also sensitive to moisture. If they are not moist enough, they will crack; if they are too moist, they will swell and lose their shape.
So the best tip for cleaning is actually prevention. It is best not to wear pearls at all at the hairdresser's or on hot days when you spend a lot of time in the sun. Pearl jewelry should also be removed when showering or bathing. Pearls must also never come into contact with chlorine or salt water.
However, pearl jewelry should still be worn regularly so that the pearls are supplied with sufficient humidity. Then the jewelry should be stored separately from other jewelry on a soft surface.
The best way to clean pearl jewelry is with a soft cloth. Polish the pearls with a dry, soft microfiber cloth. For most pollution this is perfectly sufficient. If you can't avoid wet cleaning, you should use clear water and then let the pearls dry on a towel. Otherwise the pearl silk can tear when wet.
Professional jewelry cleaning
Professional cleaning is often recommended for particularly high-quality jewelry. So you can be sure that the jewelry will not be damaged and will look like new again afterwards. Jewelers and also many opticians offer professional jewelery cleaning at a low price.
In the case of heavily soiled or scratched jewelry, you can also consider reprocessing it at the jewelry store. It is best to call the jeweler you trust and get advice.
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