How to Clean a Necklace at Home
Everyone loves the look of well-maintained jewelry. Whether your favorite necklace is solid gold or a piece of costume jewelry you've had forever, a good cleaning can make it shine. The good news is that you don't need a special cleaning solution or a trip to the store to get the shine of clean gold. Check out these DIY jewelry cleaning tips that can help you get a new jewelry shine without leaving your home.
Why You Should Plan for Routine Jewelry Cleanings
Routinely cleaning your jewelry is a great way to maintain it and make sure it stays flawless for years to come. Precious metals can corrode and tarnish if they are left in humid environments or if oil sits on them too long. Regular cleaning is especially important for costume jewelry, which may contain base metals like brass or copper that can oxidize when exposed to moisture for long periods.
Spending time cleaning your necklaces also allows you to inspect your pieces for any damage. If you see any broken chain links or knots, you can take this opportunity to fix them before they cause irreparable damage. If you can't repair the necklace yourself, you can also take it to a jeweler for repair.
Finally, frequent maintenance of your fine gold and silver jewelry keeps them always clean and ready to wear. You don't have to worry about trying to shine a piece before going out. Instead, your favorite sterling silver or gold necklace is ready and waiting for you, right in your jewelry box.
Tools You Need to Clean a Necklace
You don't need expensive jewelry cleaners or equipment to clean your necklaces at home. In fact, you probably have everything you need for a professional-looking DIY jewelry cleaning in your kitchen or bathroom.
Generally, you only need four things to bring your jewelry to a bright, sparkling finish: warm water, a mild detergent, a soft brush, and a cleaning cloth. These four basic elements can help you bring any piece, including fine gold jewelry, to a flawless finish.
Some pieces, like sterling silver or costume jewelry, can have unique cleaning methods. While you can use warm soapy water, you can also use a special solution made from baking soda and aluminum foil to bring tarnished sterling silver back to its original shine.
There are several other household items you can use to clean your necklaces. White vinegar is an excellent option as it can prevent water spots. If you're on vacation and need to spruce up some tarnished silver bangles, you can look right in your toiletries bag for some toothpaste to buff and clean your pieces.
How to Clean Your Favorite Necklaces
When it comes to cleaning your favorite necklaces, you want to make sure to be gentle. Using gentle tools, like soft brushes and mild detergents, will help make sure that you don't damage them accidentally.
You can start the jewelry cleaning process by soaking your necklaces in warm, soapy water. Dish soap is a great, gentle detergent that will help loosen dirt and grime without hurting the finishes on gold or costume jewelry. After your jewelry soaks for 10 minutes, you can use a soft toothbrush to buff the surface of the jewelry and lift dirt that may be stuck in any crevices.
Make sure only to use soft or extra soft toothbrushes. Hard bristles can actually leave scratches in soft metals like 24K solid gold. Soft bristles help make sure that your jewelry stays in immaculate condition through the cleaning process.
After scrubbing your jewelry, you can dip it in the water once more to clean off any suds. Then, transfer the piece to a soft, microfiber cloth to thoroughly dry it. Gold jewelry shouldn't tarnish, so you can leave it to air dry after cleaning.
Make sure to never use any harsh chemicals like bleach or undiluted ammonia when cleaning your jewelry. These chemicals can damage precious metals by causing discoloration or etching the surface.
How to Clean Silver and Costume Jewelry
While fine jewelry is relatively straightforward to clean, sterling silver and costume jewelry have some special considerations. These jewelry types can be prone to tarnishing, which means it's essential to clean them properly to keep them in good condition.
Using baking soda and aluminum foil is a great way to clean tarnished silver. These two elements cause a chemical reaction that can bring sterling silver to a brilliant shine. Simply place a small sheet of aluminum foil in a heat-resistant dish with ¾ cups warm or hot water and ¼ cup baking soda. Don't use boiling water for this process, especially if your piece has gemstones. Place your silver jewelry in the dish so it touches the aluminum foil in a few places, and let it sit until clean.
After soaking, remove the jewelry and clean it with a soft cloth. For an extra shine, you can apply silver polish with a polishing cloth.
If you're cleaning costume jewelry, use cool water instead of hot water, which can weaken the glue used to hold gemstones in place. Take extra care when cleaning to make sure you don't damage any gold or metal plating. Since costume jewelry is often made with base metals, take care to thoroughly dry each piece with a clean cloth so you don't leave behind any moisture that can cause further corrosion.
Next time you wear your favorite necklace, you can make sure to keep it in excellent condition by putting it on after your beauty routine. Some everyday products like hairspray, lotion, and perfume can cause buildup on jewelry, making it look dull. Make sure to regularly clean your favorite pieces to return the luster to the surface and keep them sparkling.
If you're looking for your next favorite necklace, make sure to check out Alexis Jae Jewelry. We have plenty of fine gold and silver pieces that will go with whatever outfit you're wearing. Our expert jewelers can help you care for your favorite necklaces, so they continue to look stunning for years to come.