How To Clean, Protect Your Jewelry At Home:
For Gold That Glitters:
- Use warm soapy water, cleaning any crevices and around gem settings (don’t forget to examine the back too) with a baby toothbrush.
- For jewelry that’s lost just a bit of its sheen, sparkle turmeric and rub to a high shine.
- For minor intricate pieces (filigree or chain links, for instance) dissolve powdered alum in warm water and soak ornaments in it for 15-20 minutes before cleaning.
- For plain gold, without enamel, pearls or stones, a warm dilute solution of vinegar works too.
Gold With Gems:
- Immerse in 1/2 cup gin or vodka for half an hour, then wipe and buff as usual.
- Alternatively, for stubborn grime or grease, wrap in clean cloth and hold packet with tongs in steam from a kettle spout to loosen dirt.
- Non-abrasive silver polishes are made for the purpose. Simply apply with soft cloth, working into stains and crevices gently, then wipe off any excess and buff.
- For larger objects, the home-grown option of lime paste (white) mixed with the juice of lemon and water works well. Heat this solution to a boil. Immerse your silverware in it and “boil” for 5 minutes. Then brush clean and rinse with warm running water.
- Add a squirt of toothpaste, a tablespoon of baking soda and a splash of dish-washing liquid to 1/2 cup water, soak silverware for 15 minutes, then rinse and buff.
- Gently wipe pearls with cotton wool soaked in spirit.
- Have pearls professionally cleaned and re-strung every 2-3 years if they are in regular use.
- Mix mild dish-washing liquid with warm water to clean diamonds. Dip the gem in, rub clean with a soft toothbrush, rinse with warm water and pat dry.
- Or try a solution of 1 part ammonia to 6 parts water for a stone that’s its spark. Use the same method to clean as above.
- For a quick clean, apply a little toothpaste, leave for 10 minutes and as you rinse the gem, gently clean it with a soft toothbrush.
- Another quick-clean idea: Drop two fizzing tablets in a glass of water, immerse the diamond for 2 minutes, then rinse.
- Do not leave diamonds to air-dry if they were washed in tap water – the film left behind as it evaporates dulls their sparkle. Blow-dry on a low setting instead.