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You spend lots of time picking out the perfect piece of jewelry, and you wear it constantly because it’s just perfect, right? But after awhile, you start to lose some of the sparkle and shine. Never fear – sparkly-brightness is just a few drops of dish soap away, in most cases!
Sterling Silver – Silver jewelry, as you’ve probably already noticed, is quite prone to tarnishing. The more you wear a piece, the less it’ll tarnish, since it doesn’t have a chance to build up. If you’ve already got tarnish, however, it’s not too hard to get rid of. Line a soup bowl with aluminum foil inside. Sprinkle some baking soda into the bowl, and then fill it up with boiling water. Drop your sterling jewelry in, and let it sit for a minute or two. The aluminum, as it reacts with the baking soda, will attract the tarnish. Fish out the jewelry, and shine it up with the baby toothbrush or a soft cloth.
Gemstones – Gemstone jewelry can get grime buildup over time, even from seemingly harmless things like lotion and soap. Yes, soap. I have a stacking ring with a citrine stone that has an open-backed setting. Every couple months, I’ll realize that my citrine doesn’t look yellow anymore. At all. It’s because the back of the setting gets covered in all that grime from everyday life.
To get rid of all that junk, just mix a few drops of mild dish soap in a bowl or mug of club soda. Drop the jewelry in to soak for about five minutes. Fish it out, and scrub all the nooks and crannies with a baby toothbrush. You want to use a baby brush because they have super-soft bristles. Swish it around in another bowl or mug filled with clean water, and then dab it off, and lay it on a dish towel to dry. This method will even work for diamond studs and rings; just be careful not to drop anything down the drain!
If you’re cleaning jewelry with glued-on stones, don’t soak it. Just shine it up with the toothbrush dipped into the soap-club soda solution. You don’t want to soak off the glue.
Gold – You can actually clean gold the same way as gemstones, as described above. If there are no glued-on gemstones, go ahead and soak your gold jewelry for a good 20 minutes before brushing it clean. I’ve read a few guides instructing you to clean with toothpaste. Don’t do this. Toothpaste is super abrasive, and it could scratch your gold! Be sure that your jewelry is completely dry before you store it, since moisture will just make it tarnish all over again.
Pearls – Never soak pearls, since they’re a bit porous and can absorb whatever you’re soaking them in. Avoid dish soap or heavy detergents, and never use a sonic cleaning device. Just polish them with a soft cloth – either dry or slightly damp. With pearls, your best bet is to clean them each time you wear them, as the acid in your perspiration can wear away the finish, and products like hairspray and body lotion can buildup.
* Disclosure – This post is sponsored by Anjolee, but all content was written by me personally. See my disclosure statement for more information.