Cleaning and Storing Your Jewelry

Your jewelry needs to be clean to look its best. Jade, turquoise, malachite, tourmaline, pearls, opals, and lapis are among softer and more porous stones that should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner or soaked in jewelry cleaner solutions – just wipe off with damp soft cloth and air dry. In fact, it’s not a good idea to soak your jewelry regardless of the metal or stones involved. Stones such as the ones listed above require extra careful treatment. You should avoid using hot water on these stones, too. If more cleaning is required try wiping off with soapy water on a soft cloth. Dry thoroughly.

Avoid exposure to household cleaners and chemicals that can damage your jewelry. Remove your jewelry before dealing with chemicals. Pearls and other porous stones can obviously be damaged by the chemicals, but even karat gold can be discolored by chemical exposure (chlorine, for example), even something like a soak in a hot tub. Use rubbing alcohol to remove grease from karat gold. Remove earrings when you have your hair done, especially if you are having it colored.

Apply all of your cosmetics, make-up, hair spray, and perfume before putting on your jewelry. Remove bracelets and rings before applying hand lotions and creams. Remember that you should remove your jewelry before working in the garden or engaging in other physical labor, exercising, swimming, bathing, etc.

Don’t just toss your jewelry into a jewelry box or drawer – your pieces will scratch each other. Jewelry often comes in a protective bag or box and you should store your jewelry in these boxes and bags or flat in a plastic bag in a clean dark dry place. Store pearls in soft bags away from other jewelry which might scratch the pearl’s surface. Store your silver jewelry in tarnish resistant bags.

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