Few material items can hold the sentimental value jewellery does. Whether it be an engagement ring given to you by your partner, a brooch that was once your grandmother’s or a necklace you gifted yourself after a promotion, jewellery made from precious metals and covered in gemstones often act as talismans in our day-to-day life.
So, what do you do do when your favourite gold bracelet has lost its shine and your special diamond earrings their sparkle? We spoke to founder, CEO and fine jeweller Monica Vinader to learn exactly how to clean your jewellery at home.
How can you tell if your jewellery needs a good clean?
‘Jewellery should always have a bit of a sparkle to it, but of course with regular wear, its likely itll begin to lose its shine,’ Vinader tells ELLE UK.
‘The most common reason jewellery dulls is due to build up from the body products we frequently use, like lotions, perfume, self-tanner, hand sanitiser and soap. This doesnt mean you need to stop using any of the above but that you should be more conscious of cleaning pieces regularly so they maintain their beauty.’
Do you recommend using a jewellery cleaner machine?
‘It really depends on the type of jewellery youll be cleaning. Most cleaners use ultrasound waves to break down the dirt particles accumulated on your jewellery – while this can be a good solution for cleaning your plain metal pieces – it can often be harmful for your diamonds, pearls and gemstones.’
What is the best method to clean jewellery by hand at home?
‘Using a soft, lint free cloth is an effective way to keep sterling silver, 18ct yellow and rose gold vermeil jewellery looking shiny and lustrous.
‘A mistake we often hear about is people using tissue paper or paper towels to clean metal – they may seem soft and non-abrasive, but can actually cause scratching.
‘Gemstones do require different care so its important to research how to clean the specific stone you have as it can vary. If the stones are natural, like all of Monica Vinaders are, they are vulnerable to absorbing dirt over time, making it important to clean them regularly after wearing them.
‘Since many natural gemstones can be delicate, hot water, harsh chemicals and cleaners should be avoided at all times, its best to clean gemstones with a clean, soft, damp cloth.
‘Very porous stones such as pearls, turquoise, howlite and emerald should be cleaned using an untreated, dry, soft cloth only.’
What are the best products to clean jewellery at home?
‘The right polishing cloth is an absolute must-have. Try to use ones recommended or given by jewellery brands as theyre specifically designed to work with your jewellery. In a pinch, polishing cloths for eyeglasses will also be gentle enough to use.
‘I really live in my jewellery so daily cleaning is not realistic, but I do try and gently polish my pieces every few days which I find works well to restore shine.
‘I recommend a deeper cleaning every few weeks for the pieces you wear the most often – especially if youre a big fan of lotions and perfumes as these can create residue build up on your jewellery.
‘Im not a fan of jewellery cleaners and polishing liquids as I think they sometimes do more harm than good. Bathing the pieces in a simple solution of warm water and the tiniest bit of non-antibacterial soap will help remove dirt and residue.
‘Follow this with a gentle wipe down using your polishing cloth and the pieces will look refreshed.’
Should you send jewellery to be professionally cleaned?
‘I think getting jewellery professionally cleaned is a great choice if a piece is really precious to you and you want to be extra careful with it, or if you feel like your at-home cleaning is just not doing the trick. [A jewellery professional will’ be able to carefully polish off any residue that just won’t budge while keeping your jewellerys quality intact.’
What should you do to protect your jewellery?
‘To protect the durability and quality of your jewellery you should store pieces in a pouch or soft lined box, ideally placed separately so that they don’t rub together or become tangled.
‘If you live somewhere humid, its essential to place a small packet of desiccant crystals in the packaging to keep jewellery from tarnishing.’
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