First, examine the jewelry and determine if any of the stones are likely set with glue. If so, only use a dry method of cleaning. Any liquid solution is likely to dissolve the glue and dislodge the stones.
For dry method of cleaning, we highly recommend our Blitz polishing clothes, which are excellent for all types of precious metals. They are a set of cloths, sewn together. The inside cloth takes off the tarnish, oils and grime. Then the outside cloth polishes to a gleam. Just like new!
For liquid method of cleaning, we recommend Tarn-x, which you can buy in the detergent aisle at your grocery store. Look for the black plastic bottle with white lettering. Tarn-x is an instant shine, safe for all precious metals and all crystalline gemstones, but not organic gems*. Just pour a little in a tiny cup, like a measuring cup, pop in your jewelry for 5-10 seconds, then wash the jewelry in a sudsy de-greaser like Dawn dishwashing detergent, rinse thoroughly, dry thoroughly with a soft cloth like a dish towel. Just like new! Let the jewelry sit out to air dry completely for an hour or two. Some hard waters can make marks on precious metals.
After your jewelry is clean, we recommend you store it in the plastic bags we used when we packaged your jewelry for you, and in the boxes we sent, or in a jewelry box that closes to keep out the light.
The legal definition of “sterling silver” in the US and UK is 92.5% pure silver. The remaining 7.5% is a metal alloy added for strength and a smooth surface. Pure silver hardly tarnishes at all, but when the oxygen in the air interacts with the metal alloy in sterling silver, the result is tarnish. If you can limit the amount of oxygen the jewelry encounters over time by sealing it in plastic, you can slow down the tarnishing process.
But there is an exception to this rule: Never seal organic gems* in plastic.
Light speeds up the silver tarnish process, so if you can store your jewelry in a box or jewelry box, you can slow down the tarnish process.
Chemicals like perfumes, colognes, hair spray, makeup, can also speed up the tarnish process. Always follow this rule: “Last on, first off.” Put your jewelry on last after you apply perfume and makeup. Take it off first when you undress. This will also keep the clasps from catching on the fabrics in your clothes.
Storing your jewelry in a box or jewelry box, instead of hanging it on a jewelry tree or leaving it out on your dresser or bathroom counter, will also protect it from chemicals we spray on ourselves when we dress, like deodorants, perfumes, hair spray.
Never wear your jewelry in the shower, pool, or spa. In fact, it’s a good idea not to get your jewelry wet if you can help it. If there are any glued-in pieces, water can dissolve the glue. The chemicals in your shampoo, conditioner, soaps, bath oils can instantly tarnish your jewelry and dissolve glue as well. Chlorine and other chemicals in your pool or spa can also instantly tarnish jewelry, dissolve glue, and even pit the surface of silver.
Need jewelry you can wear 24 hours a day, even in the shower? Please consider our stainless steel jewelry. It’s nearly indestructible.
*An organic gem is anything that was the result of an organic process, like pearls, coral, amber, horn, bone, etc. These pieces need to “breath,” and sealing them in plastic or submerging them in chemicals will make them dull and brittle over time.