May 24, 2011 – Since childhood, little girls have loved their mother’s jewelry boxes. It’s a place full of beautiful treasures and as soon as you’re old enough, you look for somewhere to keep your jewelry.
For many of us, our jewelry stops looking as bright after frequent wear. Metals tarnish because of exposure to oxygen and moisture, as a result losing their shine.
Other jewelry have abrasions because of poor storage and reactions with perfume or make up.
The one thing we rarely do is clean our jewelry. Different methods work for different types of jewelry, so consider this a 101 on making sure your jewelry lasts.
We all have a collection of beads that we wear all the time. To clean beadwork use surgical spirit. It removes the oils and dirt that accumulate after constant use. Wipe then air dry before storing.
If you’re lucky enough to have it, here’s how to make sure your daughter gets to wear it.
Soak it in warm water with mild dish washing liquid for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and dry it with a soft lint-free cloth.
Sterling silver tarnishes easily and to prevent this you need to polish it often. Store it in air tight bags or alternatively keep a stick of chalk in your jewelry box to absorb the moisture. Change the chalk every 3 months. To clean silver dissolve one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of baking soda in warm water. Line a container with aluminum foil. Pour the mixture in the container and soak the silver items for 10 minutes before rinsing and buffing with a cloth. If there is a layer of tarnish in hard to reach areas you can use a tooth brush to clean.
For antique silver pieces do not use this method, instead use silver polish and buff to shine.
Cleaning jewelry is an occasional activity. Set a date every few months to get your collection looking fabulous. With most other types of jewelry you can wipe them clean especially if they have not been worn for a long time. Take this time to also check if there is any damage and set them aside so you can take them for repair. There is nothing as depressing as discovering your favorite piece is damaged when you want to wear it.
Article by: Saiton Tameno