by Naomi Shaw Jewelry is an investment in your personal style; it’s used to mark special life events, such as your wedding and anniversaries, and is passed down through generations. So the thought of using harsh cleaning agents on your precious pieces should make you cringe. Instead of using anything too abrasive, opt for eco-friendly cleaning choices. Here are some that will buff and shine your jewelry so that it can look its best again – without releasing fumes into your home!
Mild Dish SoapYes, you read that right. Mild dish soap can be a great cleaner for a variety of jewelry: silver, diamonds, and even delicate pearls. Purchase an eco-friendly dish soap that is free of harmful chemicals, such as ammonia, that should never come anywhere near your precious jewelry. Silver: All you have to do is mix dish soap with some warm water and then dampen a soft cloth in this solution. Gently rub the jewelry pieces before rinsing them off with cool water. Diamonds: Things like dirt, bacteria, or hand lotion can become trapped in the tiny gaps in diamond jewelry. You can amplify the cleaning effects of the mild soap by using a brush that has soft bristles on it. This helps you reach any hidden places where dirt has accumulated over time. Pearls: When using this on pearls, bear in mind that you should dip them in a soapy water solution for about 10 seconds then dry them with a soft cloth. This is more gentle than scrubbing them, which can cause damage to pearls.
Baking SodaBaking soda is a commonly used eco-friendly cleaning agent for a variety of areas in the home. And it can even help to make your jewelry shine, especially if your pieces need deeper cleaning. Baking soda can be used on different metal bracelets to maintain their properties. Here are some tips and precautions to follow:
- Silver: Dampen a cloth, rub it into some baking soda, then gently polish the silver with it.
- Diamonds: Simply place the diamond jewelry in a cup of hot water that has a teaspoon of baking soda in it. After a few minutes, take it out and dry it with a cloth.
- Gold: You can also use baking soda to clean gold jewelry. Sprinkle some baking soda onto the gold, gently rub it, and then after a few minutes wash it off.
A Dry ClothGemstones are very delicate and need to be handled with care. Although some stones can withstand soapy water when you want to clean them, such a sapphires and rubies, others are too delicate for this. Opaque gemstones, such as jade, lapis, opal, malachite, and turquoise, are porous stones. This means they absorb liquid, so they shouldn’t be cleaned with it. A simple way to clean them is to slightly dampen a lint-free cloth (that’s gentle and won’t cause scratches) and use this to rub away dullness or dirt.
VinegarAnother handy all-round eco cleaner, vinegar can help to bring your gold and silver jewelry back to life.
- Gold: Vinegar is a natural cleaner! Pour some into a bowl and then place your gold jewelry in it. Allow it to soak for about 20 minutes, then take the jewelry out and scrub any stubborn spots with a soft bristle brush. Don’t let it sit for longer than 20 minutes as vinegar can damage the gold. Rinse the gold afterwards with lukewarm water. Finish off by drying with a cloth.
- For silver jewelry that needs extra cleaning, dampen a cloth with vinegar and baking soda, then rub it into the jewelry.
- You should never use vinegar on gemstones or pearls as it can damage them!