Everyday Jewelry Care
The image on the left pictures yours truly working at my jewelry shop desk in Southwest, Oklahoma. I am preparing to write a helpful article for my customers about some aspect of the jewelry industry. These articles will cover a variety of subjects which will be both informative and educational. This one is about basic cleaning.
When dressing and getting ready to go out, put your jewelry on last to avoid getting cosmetics or hair spray on it. Remove rings and bracelets before doing housework, home repairs, or gardening. Protect your jewelry from sharp blows, harsh chemicals, and extreme temperatures.
After wearing, gently wipe each piece of jewelry with a soft 100% cotton cloth to remove make-up, hair spray, salts, and skin oils. This is especially important for pearls. Always use 100% cotton, since paper, polyester, and coarse fabrics often contain wood fibers or synthetics which impart fine scratches.
Sterling silver tarnishes naturally and requires occasional cleaning/polishing. Silver will tarnish more rapidly in a humid climate than in a dry climate. Clean and polish Sterling Silver with a good quality commercial polish and soft, 100% cotton cloth or gloves. Be careful when using polish on pieces set with soft stones such as turquoise, lapis, lazuli, and coral. Try to avoid getting the polish on the stones as it may cause discoloration, particularly when the stone is untreated.
To clean tarnished liquid silver, sprinkle a fair amount of dry baking soda powder on a soft cloth and hold it in the palm of your hand. Firmly rub the strands of liquid silver while gently pulling them through the cloth. Do not pull too hard or you will break the strand. After cleaning the strands, shake them to get rid of the excess powder. Brush with a soft brush if needed. Do not dip liquid silver in silver dip. The dip, no matter how well you rinse it off, will leave salt deposits between each bead. This will make the necklace strands stiff.
Store your jewelry separately, rather than heaping it together in a drawer where one piece may scratch another. To help retard tarnish on sterling silver, wrap it in a soft cotton or special anti-tarnish tissue and place it in an air-tight plastic reseal able bag. Never store pearls in a plastic bag; a chamois or velvet pouch or box is best.
Remember: All of my educational articles will be archived in my JDesigns store under the category Jewelry Articles to read, print or download without cost, so, invite your friends to use them as well.
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