Caring for your Jewellery

General jewellery care

Your jewellery should be the last thing you put on after all your lotions & potions and the first thing you remove after a long day (or night!)

Try not to let your pieces rub up against each other, other types of metal, or any harsh surfaces - they might get scratched. Don't expose them to too much weight or force. You should also avoid harsh chemicals from coming into contact with your jewellery - and you!

It's a great idea to store your pieces in small boxes or pouches when they're not being worn to help keep them clean and prevent them from becoming tangled (believe me - it's annoying when that happens!). All jewellery purchased from my online shop comes in either a linen pouch or a small gift box - perfect for storage.

Metal Tarnish

Tarnishing is a natural process which is caused by oxygen and moisture coming into contact with various types of metal. If your once shiny metal has turned dark, this is likely to be the reason why. Understanding tarnish is key to cleaning your jewellery.

All precious metals can tarnish to some degree. Platinum and pure gold are the most tarnish-resistant metals and should show minimal if any tarnish.

Sterling silver jewellery tarnishes relatively easily, meaning it will turn a brown, grey or black colour over time. The reason sterling silver tarnishes more easily than other metals is because of it's alloying with copper, this has the benefit of making the metal harder and much more suitable for making jewellery than pure silver.

Preventing tarnish on silver:

Wearing your silver jewellery regularly can help to slow down the process of tarnishing as the metal moving against your skin and itself will help to keep it clean.

Keep pieces out of the damp when not being worn.

Cleaning your jewellery

Your jewellery can be cleaned as needed using tarnish removers or warm soapy water to remove dirt and grime.

Polishing cloths:

Polishing cloths for silver are impregnated with chemicals which remove tarnish and are soft enough to not scratch the metal.

These are generally the safest option to remove tarnish from your precious metal jewellery. To remove tarnish rub your jewellery gently with the polishing cloth, doing your best to get into crevices. You'll find the cloth getting black marks on it as the tarnish is removed - you can keep use these cloths until they are black - they shouldn't be washed.

These magic cloths are great for cleaning tarnish from your jewellery, but they might not remove general grime and dirt (yuck!) from hard to reach places. Mild soap, warm water and a soft toothbrush are best for that.

My eco friendly silver cleaning method:

A low tech cleaning method that will help to remove tarnish. Best of all, you will probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen.

Line the bottom of a small bowl with aluminium foil. Pour a cup of hot water into the bowl and mix in the following:

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon dish washing detergent

Put the jewellery to be cleaned into the bowl so it sits on top of the foil and is covered by the solution.

After about 5 minutes you can rinse your jewellery in cool water and dry it with a soft cloth. Discard the solution and the foil (which is likely to be quite murky!). Repeat if necessary.

Dont's:

Don't rub bicarb, toothpaste or any other harsh cleansers into your jewellery. This actually removes metal from the surface, causing scratches and over time will deplete the precious metal content. Honestly just don't use them!

Gemstones:

Gem set jewellery can be cleaned using warm water and a gentle colourless detergent to remove dirt and grime. You can also use a soft brush or cloth.

Jewellery with hard gemstones such as diamonds, rubies and sapphires is generally safe to clean in an ultrasonic cleaner, but other softer gemstones may not be. If you're not sure, avoid using an ultrasonic with gemstones.

Never use ultrasonic cleaners with pearls, turquoise, opal, lapis lazuli and other soft gemstones as they are porous.

Pearls in particular can be discoloured by soap, perfume and make up, so take extra care with them.