As anyone who owns jewelry knows, the luster can wear off over time. But there are a few things you can do to keep your pieces looking fresh. One is to clean them regularly with a jewelry cleaner. This solution comes in a variety of forms—liquids, cloths, wipes and machines—and can help you eliminate buildup from lotions, perfumes, hair spray, soap and other sources. Jewelry cleaners come in a range of formulations, too, with some being safe for a mix of metal and gemstones, while others are more suited to a specific type of metal or gem.
When shopping for a Jewelry cleaner, the first thing you need to consider is what type of jewelry you own. Some types of stones are more porous and will need to be cleaned more delicately, while other materials may be more prone to scratching or tarnishing. You will also want to pay attention to any care instructions that are provided with your pieces, as these will often provide tips on the best way to clean them.
A simple solution is to combine warm water with mild dishwashing liquid. Add your jewelry to the mixture and let it soak for a few minutes. Then, rinse it with cool water and gently scrub it if necessary with a soft-bristled toothbrush to loosen any stuck-on grime. This method is safe for gold and most other metals, though it might not be effective against tarnish or major spots, especially on textured stones like opals and sapphires.
Another way to clean jewelry is to use a tumbler, which is a mechanical device that polishes away dirt, oils and tarnish from items of jewelry. Many jewelry shops offer them, but you can also purchase a tumbler at a home improvement store or online. Most tumblers are large, noisy and can crack or break delicate items through thermal shock. Using a tumbler can be effective for some pieces, but it’s not the right choice for delicate or heirloom jewelry.
For a hands-free option, consider this natural steam cleaner from Steamfast. This machine uses heated water to produce powerful a steam that removes grime and oil from jewelry without chemicals or abrasion. It’s suitable for most metals, though you shouldn’t use it on glued stones like pearls. This product is safe for the environment and doesn’t require any special cleaning tools, but it will need to be plugged in to work.