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How to Clean Your Jewelry – Gold, Silver and Diamonds

While all of us enjoy flaunting our favorite piece of jewelry, we need to periodically clean it to avoid tarnishing and maintain shine. Whether you need to clean silver, gold, or diamonds, it’s easy and you can clean them on your own with both store bought and house hold products.

Silver Tarnishes

As beautiful as silver is, it’s worst characteristic is that it tarnishes. It’s unfortunate when your favorite piece of jewelry begins to darken and look older than it really is. When new, silver is beautiful and by cleaning it from time to time you can maintain its beautiful shine. There are plenty of reasons why silver tarnishes. One of the main ones is weather: high humidity leads silver to tarnish. Also, products like rubber, wool, and fuel contribute to the tarnishing of silver. Moreover, some foods can effect the appearance of your silver jewelry. Eggs, onions, and oil can all make silver tarnish. Lastly, hydrogen sulfate is not good for silver jewelry so any products with that chemical in them will do damage to your silver. Luckily, there are a few different ways to clean your silver jewelry once it has tarnished and prevent it from getting worse in the future.

Undoing the tarnish

The simplest way to clean silver jewelry that has been tarnished is to buy a polish that’s specific to undoing damaged silver. You can even buy specific polishes that prevent further tarnishing; those are most recommended. However, be certain that you are buying a polish that you can use a cotton cloth to clean with and not a dip. You have to put your jewelry in the dip and let it soak but this can lead to a few problems. For instance, if left for too long, the dip will leave white residue on your jewelry and may even discolor whatever gems are on it. For this reason, avoid using dips and stick to polishes.

If you prefer to use products at home instead of purchasing polishes from the store, you can also clean your tarnished silver jewelry that way. First, simply boil some water. Place your tarnished silver jewelry on top of a piece of aluminum foil that has been slightly wrinkled. Then, you will need to pour a little bit of baking soda over the jewelry (careful not to do too much). Once you have done that, pour enough boiling water to cover the jewelry. There should be bubbling and an unpleasant odor. Move the jewelry around with a utensil, wooden or plastic, and make sure that each piece has come into contact with the foil. Rinse out your jewelry with water and rinse them off with a towel and you will notice that it is brighter and looks newer!

Why does gold tarnish?

As expensive of a metal as gold is, it still tarnishes and discolors over time. Some reasons as to why gold discolors are: contact with hairspray, perfume, smog, perspiration, and make up. While all of these things contribute to the damaging of gold, keep in mind that they are not the only reasons. Thankfully, cleaning gold is just as easy as cleaning silver.

Different ways to clean gold jewelry

The first way to clean your discolored or tarnished gold jewelry is with dish soup. Pour a few drops of liquid dish soap into a bowl of warm water and mix it. Club soda and sodium-free seltzer are great substitutes for dish soap and also work well. Then, simply let the gold jewelry soak in the water and soap for about fifteen minutes. Once you have let it soak, take the gold out and scrub it with a tooth brush. Be sure to use a soft bristle toothbrush so you do not damage or leave scratches on your jewelry. Afterwards you need to rinse each piece of gold in warm water and then use a soft cloth to dry them.

If you’d like, you can do almost the same steps with ammonia instead. Start by mixing one part ammonia to six parts water and soak your gold in the mixture for a minute or less. Thoroughly rinse the jewelry under warm running water and dry it with a soft cloth.

If your gold has gemstones or diamonds, there is a preferred way to cleaning it. First, dab a soft cloth with a little bit of dish soap and then wipe your gold jewelry with it. Wet a cloth until it’s damp and use it to clean the jewelry. Let the pieces air dry but make sure you leave them upside down so that all water will come out and none of it will remain in the setting.

If your jewelry hasn’t tarnished or discolored yet you still want to clean it, you may also use a toothbrush and toothpaste to scrub it. Or you can simply place your gold jewelry in boiling water. You will notice that all dirt, oil, and grime will rise to the surface, leaving your jewelry spotless and looking brand new.

Cleaning diamonds

Keeping your diamonds sparkly and new is easier than most presume. One method to cleaning your diamonds is soft polishing. All you need to do is periodically clean your diamonds with a soft cloth. This will preserve the unique stone.

You can also soak your diamonds in warm water and mix a little bit of cleaning detergent in it. Once you have taken it out, you should use a soft brush to clean every small angle of the stone. This is also a very easy method.

If you want to use a product, you should try an ultrasonic cleaner. They available in most stores and do a lot of good for your diamonds. If not, you can also take your diamonds in and leave them with professionals who will clean them.

Whether you prefer silver or gold, diamonds or not, following these short, simple instructions will help you maintain the appearance of your jewelry, making it look newer and making yourself happier!

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