Learning How to Take Care of Your Jewellery
Learning how to take care of your jewellery isn’t hard. With a little bit of attention and know-how, you can ensure your favourite pieces stay looking nice and fresh for years to come.
Unfortunately, however, it’s not as simple as rinsing your favourite jewellery with soap and water. Depending on the type of piece, its metal, and other elements like stones or detailing, different jewellery needs to be cared for in different ways.
Below, we’ll walk you through exactly how to clean your favourite jewellery, depending on what the piece entails. Here, we will provide advice both for cleaning at home and professionally. So without further ado, keep scrolling to learn more about caring for your gold, silver, and diamonds.
Following these best-practise guidelines will keep your jewellery feeling and looking as shiny as it did on day one.
How to Clean Jewellery at Home
Figuring out how to clean jewellery at home isn’t rocket science, but it is something you should be careful with. Before you start to go crazy with DIY at-home cleaners, first consider the jewellery you’re cleaning and whether any of the suggestions might actually harm it.
While some pieces might be alright to soak (like a gold chain), others can be damaged and weakened if too wet (like pearls). Always do your research first to avoid accidentally wrecking your jewellery.
Depending on what you want to clean, you can use a pre-made solution or even mix your own. Dish soap, baking soda, toothpaste, water and seltzer water all have their own uses, so if you’re planning some TLC to your jewellery, do a little research and add these items to your list.
Other useful tools for at-home jewellery cleaning include:
- Bowls or other containers to soak the jewellery
- Small strainers
- Microfiber cloths
Another bonus tip: If you’re doing this in the bathroom or near a sink, make sure to plug the sink beforehand. The last thing you want is for your beloved engagement ring to fall straight down the drain!
Caring for Gold Jewellery
If you’re anything like us, odds are you are pretty obsessed with gold jewellery. And the good news is, it’s a little slower to tarnish than silver. However, that doesn’t mean you can simply ignore it and hope for the best.
Like all jewellery, a little love can go a long way in terms of preserving the appearance.
Here is what you need to know to make sure your gold looks great for years to come.
- Be careful: Gold is a soft metal, so this means that it will scratch and dent easily. Take off your gold jewellery before doing any handy work, or doing intense exercise — especially if it involves equipment.
- Keep gold away from water and chemicals: Whether showering, swimming, or cleaning, always remove your gold jewellery first. Chlorine weakens gold’s structure, and cleaners with harsh chemicals can wreck the finish. Even if you only take short showers and baths, it is also recommended that you remove gold jewellery first. Consistent exposure to water, soap and shampoo will eventually dull its lustre.
- Soak: As per instructions on Good Housekeeping, you should soak your jewellery in a solution of warm water and a few drops of dish soap.
- Scrub and rub: to bring back the shine, scrub gold jewellery with a very soft toothbrush, or rub it with your fingers or a cotton swab
Caring for Silver Jewellery
While you might find your silver jewellery tarnishing with time, sterling silver actually improves with age if cared for properly. If you make sure to take care of your jewellery well, silver pieces can develop a sheen and shine with wear.
Even a little attention can go a long way. Here is what to keep in mind when caring for your silver pieces.
- Keep silver away from water and chemicals: While water itself won’t harm the metal of your jewellery, harsh chemicals, soap and cleaners can tarnish your silver jewellery over time. Just like with gold jewellery, you should always be careful to remove your silver jewellery before showering, swimming or cleaning.
- Be careful with layers: Too much friction can cause silver to tarnish, so if layering is your thing, try to opt for necklaces of different lengths.
- Put it away when you take it off: Silver jewellery should always be stored individually in anti-tarnish pouches. If you just throw it in a drawer or jewellery box, your piece might become scratched, but it will also be exposed to air and light which dulls its appearance.
- Polish: Silver jewellery benefits hugely from a polish every now and then. Either use a specified silver polish to do the job, or make a DIY one with baking soda or toothpaste. Gently using a soft toothbrush when you polish, make sure to gently scrub every angle of the surface to ensure an all-over shine.
- Soak it with foil: If you’re looking for a way to clean your silver that’s a little less hands-on, this method from The Today Show uses chemistry to reverse the chemical reaction of tarnishing. All you need is a boil, foil, some boiling water, and baking soda.
How to Clean Diamonds
So now we know how to clean gold and silver, but what if your jewellery also features diamonds? Depending on how the diamonds are set your approach might be a little different, but the basics remain the same.
- Soak in solution: Good news, the same solution that works to clean gold and silver also benefits diamonds. Soaking your diamond jewellery in a combination of warm water and a few drops of dish soap will make your diamond look bright and shiny.
- Scrub: If you’re going to scrub, choose a very soft toothbrush, and have a gentle touch as you work your way over top and around the fastening of your diamond.
- Professional cleaning: For diamond jewellery, the standard rule-of-thumb is to get a professional clean about once a year. Unlike scrubbing at home, an ultrasonic clean with a professional can get buildup, dirt and residue off of your diamond in the most hard-to-reach places.
Infinity Rings: How to Clean Rings with Diamonds
One of the most difficult-to-clean styles that we get asked about constantly is our infinity rings. But the good news is, it’s really not too complicated once you figure it out.
As mentioned, gold, silver, and diamonds can all benefit from a simple soak in a solution of warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Let your ring soak for at least ten minutes, and then it’s time to scrub.
Ensuring that any drains are plugged before you begin, remove your ring from the solution and gently pat it dry with a microfibre cloth. You can then use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a fine touch to get between diamonds and remove any buildup. A cotton swab can also be handy here, helping to rub clean any dirty areas.
If you are too nervous to fiddle between the stones, however, we suggest getting your ring professionally cleaned by us or a jeweller in your local area.
What to Expect from Normal Wear and Tear
Knowing what to expect from normal wear and tear can help you keep in mind how to care for your jewellery both now, and as it ages.
Depending on the metals, stones and types of jewellery you’re considering wear and tear might look different on different pieces.
With time, it is normal for small changes to occur. Rings might become shaped around your finger, and clasps can become worn and weak with constant opening and closing.
As mentioned, gold and silver are both soft metals, so over time, it is likely that they will accumulate some scratches and dents as you go through your everyday life.
Gold-plated jewellery, if not kept away from water will eventually start to tarnish — so ensure that you keep it dry all the time. This means no showering or spraying perfume on it.
For silver pieces, they will naturally tarnish with time and exposure to the elements. However, following the steps above can help you remove any tarnishing and make them look as-good-as-new.
How We Can Help You Care for Your Jewellery
If you’re serious about caring for your jewellery and ensuring it lasts for years to come, we highly recommend that you consider our annual services.
A yearly touch up can go a long way in the lifetime of your jewellery, and our complimentary cleaning will leave your piece feeling brand new.
For more information, please contact us, specifying the piece you are seeking help caring for.
We’ve partnered up with the jewellery insurers at Q Report to give you peace of mind with your favourite Kate & Kole pieces.
In the unfortunate event that your jeweller is lost, stolen, up to 125% of the agreed value can be covered, and you might even be eligible for a replacement from Kate & Kole. On top of that, you get the support of us and Q Report every step of the way, to make a bad situation feel a whole lot easier.
If you would like to chat to us about insuring a piece that you have previously purchased or a new piece send us an email and we can go through some finer details, or get a quick quote by clicking here.