How to clean jewelry

Jewelry cleaning is the practice of removing dirt from jewelry to improve its appearance.

Maintaining a clean diamond can sometimes be difficult, as jewelry settings can obstruct cleaning efforts, and oils, grease, and other hydrophobic materials adhere well to a diamond’s surface. Some jewelers provide their customers with sudsy ammonia cleaning kits. Many jewelers use steam cleaners. Some other jewelers sell small ultrasonic cleaners. Home-based cleaning methods include immersing the diamond in ammonia-based or ethyl alcohol-based solutions, or even a solution of mild grease dissolving detergent and warm water. Silver jewelry can be cleaned using aluminum foil, baking soda, and hot water. However, this practice is not recommended by most jewelers. —-

Certain types of cleaning can damage some jewelry. For example, some class rings are coated with a dark pigment to reduce their shininess. Some gemstones, such as white topaz, have an overlay to produce certain colors. Ultrasonic cleaning can remove this coating, if it is not a quality piece. Ultrasonic cleaning is also contraindicated for opals, pearls and amber, and any other gemstone that is porous. Gemstones that are glued in (a common practice with semiprecious stones in non-precious methods, and in class rings) should not be placed into an ultrasonic cleaner. An ultrasonic cleaner can cause stones that are loose in their settings to come out. Jewelry should always be examined for overlays and loose stones prior to cleaning with an ultrasonic cleaner or a steam cleaner.

JEWELRY CARE

There are a number of things owners can do to prevent build up of dirt and prevent jewelry from becoming tarnished. Namely, store jewelry carefully in its original packaging or a jewelry box. Clean jewelry using warm water, mild soap and a soft bristle toothbrush. Use a non-abrasive silver cloth or soft lint free cloth to polish jewelry and remove tarnishing. Don’t expose jewelry to harsh chemicals or perfumes as this could cause damage and discoloration. Don’t wear jewelry when using household cleansers. Also try to avoid sweating while wearing jewelry as this will result in a grimy buildup. Try to avoid spraying jewelry with beauty products such as hair spray, cosmetics or perfume as this can tarnish or discolor the jewelry.

Bangles, earrings (particularly those manufactured from hollow tubing) and chains should be worn with care in order to avoid surface damage, and should be removed before going to bed. Check for signs of wear and tear regularly, especially on catches and joints. Stone settings can become loose over time, especially if they have been hit against a hard surface or snagged on clothing.

BEAUTY OF GEMS

Although it is not one of the 4 Cs, cleanliness affects a diamond‘s beauty as much as any of the 4 C’s (cut, carat, color, clarity).

A clean diamond is more brilliant and fiery than the same diamond when it is “dirty”. Dirt or grease on the top of a diamond reduces its luster. Water, dirt, or grease on the bottom of a diamond interferes with the diamond’s brilliance and fire. Even a thin film absorbs some light that could have been reflected to the person looking at the diamond.

Colored dye or smudges can affect the perceived color of a gem. Historically, some jewelers’ diamonds were misgraded due to smudges on the girdle, or dye on the culet. Current practice is to thoroughly clean a gem before grading its color as well as clarity.

Cleanliness does not affect the jewelry’s market value, as jewelers routinely clean jewellery before offering it for sale. However, cleanliness might reflect the jewelry’s sentimental value.

ULTRASONIC JEWELRY CLEANING

Ultrasonic cleaners are useful for jewelry cleaning and removing tarnish. they use ultrasound waves and chemicals combined to create bubbles that “cling” to the foreign particles such as dirt, oil, and unknown substances. The high frequency waves are sent out and pull the contaminants off of the object. the bubbles collapse after they attach to the contaminants and move to the surface of the chemical solution creating what appears to be a boiling solution.

CARE OF GOLD FILLED JEWELRY

Gold filled jewelry is cared for in the same manner as other precious jewelry. The absolutely best thing you can do for your Gold Filled jewelry is to clean regularly using a little bit of warm water, and a soft cloth to dry and shine after. Many chemicals marketed for cleaning jewelry are actually somewhat abrasive or corrosive and can cause some damage or color alteration to your jewelry. The best way to avoid this is to keep it simple. Warm water and a soft cloth are the best thing you can do to maintain the beauty of your jewelry.

THINGS TO AVOID WITH YOUR JEWELRY

To maintain the beauty of your jewelry, whether it is gold filled or solid gold, salt water, chlorine (swimming pools) and all heavy detergents and cleaning agents should be avoided.

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