Keeping Your Jewelry Safe + Clean
You may not know, but I worked in fine jewelry sales in college. My cousin, Melinda Sanders, and her husband, Rick Sanders, own Sanders Jewelers in Gainesville, Florida. It was a fascinating experience, and a job that I truly loved going to each day. I mean what girl doesn’t love getting to wear all the diamonds and sparkly things as part of her office uniform. Yes! I could wear whatever I wanted in the store on my shift. So fun! Not to mention, it’s where my engagement ring was made.
Cleaning your jewelry and getting inspected was something we took very seriously at the store, and we made it a point to educate every customer that walked in the door. Why? Jewelry gets more wear and tear than you might expect. Not only do things look less sparkly over time, but the integrity of the piece can deteriorate without proper care too.
I can’t count on my hands how many times customers would almost brag on certain pieces
of jewelry that they “never take off”.
Friends, this is nothing to brag about!
Here are some jewelry rules to live by:
Get your jewelry (especially rings) inspected every six months.
It’s possible to knock your ring too hard on something and bend prongs and loosen stones. Diamonds are especially tricky when they get loose because they are so tough. They can actually “cut” their way out of a setting if they have the ability to move around - even if it’s only a tiny bit.
Do not workout in your jewelry.
See above! It’s so easy to bang and snag your rings, bracelets, and necklaces on equipment. Metal and gemstones are only so strong. They aren’t meant to be worn in the gym. There are so many great silicone band options if you feel like you need to have something on your hand while you’re hitting the weights. My personal favorite is by enso.
Do not sleep in your jewelry. Take it off before you go to sleep.
Necklaces are especially susceptible to wear and tear if you’re sleeping in them. The links rub together and wear down more quickly over time. This makes you more likely to lose a necklace or charm that you cherish.
Do not swim in your jewelry.
Weird things can happen - even if something is made of a precious metal like silver, gold, platinum, rhodium, etc. It’s never a good idea to introduce your jewelry to chlorine. I’ve seen gold turn milky and lose it’s shine.
Pearls should never be submerged in water and are considered much lower on the hardness scale.
Jewelry should be the last step of your “getting ready” routine.
Why? A lot of people end with perfume/cologne, and topping your jewelry with chemicals can cause them to tarnish or become damaged.
Here are some jewelry cleaning options - and just note: the best is just taking a trip to your jeweler because they have a professional ultrasonic cleaner and steamer - which hands down is the most sparkly option!
For your diamonds - Mix warm water (not boiling) with a few drops of dish soap. Brush with an old soft-bristle toothbrush. Yes, it’s that simple, and this is the safest method unless you’re taking it to your jeweler. Using baking soda or vinegar can be abrasive and acidic to the metal and stones. You definitely wouldn’t want to use that on anything porous, plated or soft.
For your sterling silver - I spoke to my bestie, Miriam, owner of Diamond Leaf Jewelers and brain behind my engagement ring. And, she suggested using a cleaning cloth specifically for sterling silver. I don’t use any sort of polish or liquid cleaners. Just a little elbow grease, and with one of these cloths, any tarnish should wipe right off! She recommended the brand called Haggerty’s - which you can snag off Amazon.
Hope you found this helpful, and that it helps keep your jewelry sparkly and safe!