How to clean and maintain your jewellery
During a time where sanitisation is king, it’s never been so important to properly clean and maintain the accessories you wear everyday.
Jewellery offers a killer way to define your look from day to day. But did you know your most beloved pieces could be harbouring around 428 times more germs than the average loo seat? And that’s after just one week’s wear!
As well as keeping your jewels as hygienic as possible, giving them a good clean and making sure you follow the golden rules of jewellery maintenance will ensure your favourite pieces stand the test of time.
Keep your jewellery clean and sparkling for years to come by following our top tips.
Store and polish to minimise troublesome tarnishing
Recycled sterling silver is just one of the fabulous materials we like to use here at Dainty London.
But like many metals, over time and without the right care, silver can begin to lose the shine it’s known for.
While silver is one of the least reactive metals out there, everyday life presents several challenges that increase the likelihood of tarnishing.
Heat and humidity are the number one culprits, and prolonged exposure to water (including perspiration) also causes silver jewellery to become tarnished over time.
Even the beauty, skincare and makeup products you use can have a chemical reaction with silver, which has an abrasive effect.
Those who take the cleaning of their silver jewellery seriously may find the simplest practices do more harm than good too as The Suntrics explains:
“When you clean your silver items, you want to wear vinyl gloves. Cleaning silver items with your bare hands can transfer oils and dirt from your hand to the silver. If you use wool or latex gloves, this can also tarnish the silver items.”
To minimise troublesome tarnishing in both the short and long term, remove jewellery when applying beauty products or when coming into contact with water.
You should also clean with a jewellery cloth regularly to keep your sterling silver shining.
Invest in a baby’s toothbrush – yes, really!
You don’t have to spend a fortune purchasing expensive jewellery cleaning products and accessories.
All you need is a soft baby’s toothbrush and a little liquid soap to keep your jewellery spotless and sparkling.
Simply add the soap to the toothbrush and use circular motions to work up a lather. It’ll keep germs at bay and enhance its lustre.
Remember not every occasion is jewellery friendly
With summer swiftly approaching, many of us will be busily planning a much-deserved beach holiday or seaside staycation.
While our stunning jewellery pieces offer the perfect way to accessorise, whatever the occasion, there are some instances where it’s best to leave your jewellery tucked away.
Swimming in the sea or a pool could in fact damage the metal and affect the colouration of your stone. The salt and chlorine found in sea and pool water causes a particularly powerful reaction.
The hot weather that inspires these coastal days out is also bad news for stones and can cause cracking. But don’t worry too much! If you have purchased one of our Dainty London gemstone pieces then you will be pleased to hear that we specifically seek hard wearing stones.
Prolonged exposure to water (especially hot water) can cause silver to tarnish at a much faster rate. Be sure to place your jewellery in a safe place when showering or relaxing in the tub.
Know your stone and clean accordingly
For jewellery set with gemstones, such as birthstone rings and necklaces, knowing your stone well is of the utmost importance.
Every gemstone has different properties after all, and may need a different regime to keep it in tip-top condition.
Pearls for example are softer stones that can dent and dislodge easily. They should be cleaned with a soft cloth, and despite their delicate nature should be given a good once over after every wear to remove the oils, dirt, and debris that can damage and dull. Never spray hairspray or hair styling products directly onto the surface of your pearls as this can erode the outer shell.
Garnets on the other hand may be harder and tougher than pearls but are particularly sensitive to heat.
We recommend leaving your jewellery to soak in some warm, soapy water for 10 minutes to soften up any debris and grime collected in the crevices of the jewellery due to prolonged wear. Then use a soft bristled toothbrush to rub the stone with a mixture of warm water and washing up liquid.
Once cleaned and dry, use the complementary jewellery polishing cloth we provided to you upon purchase to rub again over the jewellery surface. You will literally see your jewellery coming back to life!
For further information The International Gem Society (IGS) offers some great guidance on how to clean each type of gemstone.