When you have a piece of well-loved jewelry, sometimes you can overlook its maintenance. Not to say that you don’t care for its upkeep, it is just that you love it so much you don’t want to take it off! Now, first you have to know the general rules for the correct preservation of jewelry:
- Take it off when you need to (cleaning, swimming etc.)
- Clean it (we will go more in depth about this below)
- Maintain it (yourself or professionally)
- Store it correctly
Unfortunately, even if we do take it off when needed, maintain it periodically and store it perfectly, we still have to pay close attention to number two. Namely we have to clean it and well. Imagine if you wore a pair of socks as often and as long as you wear your most treasured rings – I am certain that you would be dying to give them a scrub. You just need to ensure you clean your jewelry correctly, so as not to damage it and to get the best results.
What is Tarnish?
Firstly, what is tarnish, and why does our gold jewelry suffer from it? Tarnish is actually a thin layer of corrosion – I know, that sounds scary but it’s not I promise – of the outer layer of the gold. It comes from the metal reacting with the oxygen over time. It appears as a dark discoloration of the gold, with higher karats of gold tarnishing slower. If your jewelry tarnishes that does not mean it is not real gold, however it does mean you need to spruce it up using the method below.
Getting rid of Tarnish in a Few Easy Steps
- Mix one cup of club soda with a few drop of gentle dish soap into a bowl.
- Place the jewelry in a strainer and submerge into said bowl
- Leave the item to soak for five minutes
- Remove the strainer with the item in, andgentlyscrub with a soft toothbrush until the tarnish disappears.
- Place the strainer under warm tap water and rinse
- Finally, dry with a soft cloth.
Hey presto! Your jewelry will look as sparkly and shiny as the day you got it. Remember to only ever use warm not hot water in pieces with gemstones, as some of these can crack with an extreme temperature change. Other solutions use ammonia, but this can be too harsh and caustic on jewelry, so I prefer the above method. Just make sure to treat your jewelry with the love and respect it deserves and it will last for generations to come.