Your jewelry needs a little upkeep from time to time, but the method to clean each piece can differ depending on its material. We’re here to give you a quick rundown on how to clean and maintain your jewelry to keep it sanitary and looking it’s best for as long as possible.
Before we begin, please note that this information is purely for general cleaning and upkeep for your jewelry. These are not methods of sterilization.
What NOT to do when cleaning your jewelry:
- Jewelry should never be cleaned with alcohol or harsh chemicals. These could damage your jewelry over time and cause pitting, discoloration, or general degradation of your jewelry. It’s generally best to stick to warm water and gentle, antibacterial soap. Even some mouthwashes have a bit of alcohol in them, so make sure to use a no-alcohol wash if you have a tongue piercing or any other inner-mouth jewelry.
- Jewelry should also not be boiled, nor should you attempt to sanitize it with a lighter.
How to properly care for your jewelry:
- Most Jewelry can be cleaned with gentle soap and warm water. This includes all metals, glass, silicone, bioplast, and acrylic.
- Be careful when cleaning your glass jewelry. Wet glass is slippery glass, so be careful not to drop it! If your glass jewelry has a printed gold-leaf design on the front, avoid excess rubbing, as it could start to remove the design over time. Pat dry if it gets wet, or avoid getting it wet at all and focus your cleaning on the wearable instead.
- Simply use your hands or a soft bristle toothbrush to clean and dislodge any particles.
- Be careful if your jewelry has any kind of gem of cabochon setting and avoid getting water under them. Trapped water can discolor gems or even cause bacterial growth, so you may want to avoid soaking any jewelry with such settings.
- Always dry your jewelry immediately. Some metals like brass or silver will begin to tarnish if left wet.
- If your jewelry is tarnished, you can polish it a couple of different ways, depending on the metal. Silver can be buffed with a polishing cloth, while brass can be polished with a baking soda paste and gentle scrubbing with a soft-bristle toothbrush
Organic & wood jewelry care:
- Cleaning organics is a little different, as they are porous materials and you don't want to soak them. Instead, for your stone, wood, horn, or bone jewelry, gently clean them with a damp cloth to remove any debris or dirty spots, then dry immediately.
- For wood, horn, and bone, apply a bit of jojoba oil or beeswax after cleaning, to keep the jewelry looking rich and shiny and prevent it from drying out.
If you have one, ultrasonic cleaners can also be used for most jewelry, with the exception of organics and softer gemstones. These machines work by pulsating ultrasonic waves through a water and cleaning solution mixture, to help remove unwanted substrates and hard to reach particles. Do note, just like the methods already mentioned, ultrasonic cleaners are for cleaning, and are not sterilizing your jewelry.
We hope this helps you keep your collection clean and looking like new! Thank you for watching and for more, make sure to follow us on all our socials @bodyartforms!