The (Jewelry) Spa: Keep Your Baubles Gleaming

 

It’s official: I’ve crossed over to the world of fine jewelry. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll still snap up a cheap pair of chandelier earrings should the occasion arise (anything turquoise-colored will forever be my downfall), but my gemstone, sterling, gold, and diamond pieces (okay, no diamonds – yet) are starting to take over.

How am I keeping these glittering pieces looking like new? Careful cleaning. After raiding Pinterest for all it’s worth, I narrowed it down to these helpful polishing tips. Trust me, your jewelry (and whoever you pass it down to) will thank you:

Sterling Silver
No surprise here: polishing cloths are still the best way to clean tarnished silver. But if you’re looking for a quick DIY version of a store-bought silver cleaner, try this method from Crafted Love:

  1. Line a dish with aluminum foil
  2. Lay jewelry in a single layer on the foil (make sure all pieces are touching the foil)
  3. Sprinkle baking soda over everything
  4. Carefully pour boiling water over everything – enough to almost cover all the pieces (bubbling is normal)
  5. Using a wooden spoon, move pieces around in the solution, flipping and turning to make sure the whole piece touches the aluminum
  6. Dry pieces with a soft towel


Gemstones & Diamonds
Combine 1 cup of warm water with 1/4 cup of ammonia, and let your jewelry soak for about 20 minutes (sounds scary but fear not – Real Simple stands by it). Afterward, grab a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently scrub over the diamonds and the setting. Rinse under warm water and dry with a soft cloth.

Pearls
Mix warm water with a couple drops of dish soap. Dip a soft cloth into the solution and gently polish each individual pearl, doing your best not to soak the strand. Lay flat to dry.

Gold
Little known fact: too much cleaning can actually harm certain gold pieces. Gold is a soft metal and demands gentle cleaning. The best way to keep things shiny? A gentle cleansing with 2 cups of warm water, a few drops of dish soap, and a (very) soft cloth. Steer clear of over-scrubbing and harsh chemical cleaners and your gilded pieces will last forever.

Stock up on future family heirlooms now: Our SLANE Boutique opens Saturday, November 3, at 11AM ET.

By Abigail Kuzia, Editor

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November 3, 2012