The Jewelry Box

FOR SMART, STYLISH JEWELRY LOVERS EVERYWHERE

The Jewelry Box Blog

Spring into Jewelry Cleaning With Confidence

on Mar 24, 2011 3:12 PM

Amy HeleinSpring has a unique way of putting that extra hop in our step, adding a special sweetness to the air, and giving us the innate urge to clean.

As you scrub the floors, clear the closets and wash the walls, don’t forget to bust open that jewelry box too for annual jewelry cleaning. It’s likely that your bling has lost its zing.

Are you cleaning your jewelry correctly? We thought we were until we spoke with our colleague and GIA Graduate Gemologist, Amy Helein.

Maybe her tips can help you too.

Put down the toothpaste and listen to reason

“One common misconception jewelry owners have is that it’s okay to clean their jewelry with toothpaste,” said Helein. “Although toothpaste does give diamonds that extra sparkle, it can cause damage.

There are abrasives in toothpaste that can scratch your metal and stones, so toothpaste should never be used.”

Instead, Helein recommended using an ammonia-based cleaner or rubbing alcohol with a soft toothbrush to clean your diamond. Then dry with a soft, clean cloth.

Another “pearl of wisdom:” If you own a strand of pearls, use a slightly damp cloth to wipe the dirt off. “You don’t want to get the string wet as it can cause the string to stretch out and weaken,” added Helein.

Stay clear of the sink

As obvious as it sounds, we think we’ve all caught ourselves making this mistake once or twice, but NEVER CLEAN YOUR JEWELRY OVER THE SINK!

Those tiny pieces get slippery when wet and can pop out of your hand and down the drain in seconds.

Be mindful of labels

When shopping for cleaning supplies, keep an eye on the label. There are some jewelry cleaners for diamonds only and others for silver, while still others specifically for pearls, opals and emeralds.

Helein advised, “When in doubt, use warm water and a soft bristle toothbrush.”

More helpful hints:

  • Have your jewelry professionally checked and cleaned one to two times a year. (The pieces you wear most often are the pieces you’ll want to have inspected more frequently.)

  • Visit your jeweler anytime you bump your ring and think you may have a loose stone or chip.

  • During yearly inspections, have your jeweler check the current value of your jewelry to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage in the event of loss or damage.

Jewelry cleaning

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