With so much information available on the internet, it’s sometimes hard to distinguish what’s true, what’s false, what’s right, and what’s wrong, and trying to figure out the proper way to clean your jewelry is no exception. There is a plethora of websites that will tell you what to do and what not to do, but in reality, the rules are pretty simple and don’t require a whole lot more than some good, old-fashioned common sense. However, there are some things that you should really never do when it comes to cleaning and storing your prized possessions. We rounded up all the practices you should avoid in order to keep your jewelry in top shape.
Ditch the Abrasives
Harsh cleaning agents that come in powder or paste form might be great for materials like porcelain, but when it comes to precious metals, they’re not the best option. Substances like a standard toothpaste or even Comet cleanser can dry and cake inside of the undercarriages or prongs of your jewelry, specifically if the pieces contain diamonds or other gemstones. That not only looks bad, but it also dulls what should be a bright and shiny look.
Soaking most jewelry in warm water for a few hours with a mild, grease-cutting soap or glass cleaner and then using a soft-bristle toothbrush to clean the piece is a smart way to go.
Avoid the Dish
Many people will take off their jewelry at night and place their rings, earrings, necklaces, etc. on what some refer to as a “ring dish.” And while, in theory, this seems like it would be a good idea, the reality is that you could be scratching up your jewelry by doing so.
Keeping your jewelry separated – even at night as you sleep – is the best thing for its longevity. Whether the metal is high-polished or satin-finished, chances are, it could scratch from constantly being placed on top of other metals or gemstones, so use separate dishes for your items or even portable jewelry boxes by your bedside if possible. (Or you can check out our roundup of our favorite jewelry organizers to elevate your jewelry storage! Read the post here.)
Paying a visit to your local jewelry store to have your jewelry professionally cleaned, checked, and even polished is pretty essential for both the life of your jewels as well as your insurance policy, so whatever you do, don’t put it off for too long. Items you wear every day, like an engagement ring or diamond earrings, need a good soaking in an ultrasonic machine and a solid steam cleaning in order to get them looking new again, so don’t avoid the trip, no matter how painful you feel it may be.
Never Store Chains Together
Unless you have a great pair of pliers handy and a good hour to spare trying to separate them, you should never store two or more chains together in one bag. This is an absolute no-no for any jewelry lover and most have learned this lesson the hard way. (If you’ve already made that mistake, we have a guide to untangling your necklaces and chains for you here!)
Most jewelry cases – either standard or travel size – have loops that you can separate your chains with. If you need to travel and don’t own a case, you can always wrap the chain, stretched out, in tissue paper, then store each one in their own small-sized sandwich baggie to keep them from tangling. Just make sure you keep all baggies together so that you don’t lose the chains you’re bringing with you on your journey. For more tips on how to pack jewelry for travel, visit our post about it here.