Customer Service

How to Clean Your Jewelry

Diamonds

Diamonds are natural magnets for oil and grease, so they’re not easy to keep clean. When a diamond is handled, the oils from your fingers stock to the diamond’s surface and affect its radiance and sparkle.

A simple way to keep your diamond jewelry looking beautiful is to soak it in a gentle degreasing solution every now and again, such as water with a few drops of mild dish soap. After you remove the diamond from the cleaning liquid, use a soft toothbrush to remove any remaining dirt in the hard-to-reach places like the settings and back of the diamond, which tends to collect the a lot of oil and dirt, don’t forget to be gentle with the toothbrush.

DO NOT USE HARMFUL SOLUTIONS SUCH AS Chlorine bleach or abrasives (such as household cleansers or toothpaste) should never be used when cleaning diamond jewelry. Chemicals like chlorine can damage some of the metals used to alloy gold for diamond settings and abrasives can scratch gold and other metals.

Gold

Unlike silver, gold does not develop a dull tarnished finish over time if it’s not worn. However, gold can still easily accumulate dirt and grime with normal everyday use.

  1. Stir a few drops of liquid dish soap into a bowl of warm water. DO NOT use hot or boiling water.
  2. Soak the gold jewelry in the solution for 15 minutes.
  3. Gently scrub the jewelry with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  4. Rinse it under warm running water.
  5. Blot it dry with a soft cloth.

Silver

Silver is one of the most popular materials for jewelry designs and most ShanOre’s pieces are made with Sterling Silver.

To keep your silver jewellery in beautiful condition and tarnish free while in the jewelry box can take a small amount of care. When oxygen and/or sulfur come in contact with silver, they bond to its surface and this causes silver to appear discoloured or slightly dirty.

Caring for silver and reducing tarnish can be as simple as washing the dishes. With a few facts about the silver and a couple of tips and tricks for care and cleaning. With this quick guide, your silver will always shine.

“Oxidized” is another term used to describe silver. For some ShanOre silver jewelry our silversmiths intentionally allow parts of the jewelry to darken and oxidize, typically small details, to make them stand out more. This detailing can be lost if the oxidized parts are shined up, though, with excessive cleaning and polishing. So be sure to identify any intentionally oxidized jewelry you have and put them aside for separate cleaning.

Preventative care can assist better shine for your pieces.

Wear it: You can avoid tarnish by wearing your jewelry often as the oils in your skin will “clean” the silver and keep it looking shiny.

Avoid exposure to chemicals: Contact with household chemicals, perspiration, rubber, chlorinated water, or any substances which contain sulfur (e.g., mayonnaise, eggs, mustard, onions, latex, wool), will cause corrosion and tarnish. It’s a good idea to remove silver jewelry when doing household jobs. Also direct sunlight can also causes silver to tarnish, so be sure to take off your silver jewelry before you go swimming and sunbathing.

Lotions, cosmetics, hair spray and hair products, and perfumes are also “unkind” to silver and will speed up tarnishing. There’s a reason why women have been getting dressed with jewelry last, as a finishing touch!

Storage: As exposure to air tarnishes the surface, storing silver in airtight plastic bags with anti-tarnish strips is a great preventative measure. Just make sure you don’t store more than one jewelry piece in the same bag: silver is a very soft metal, so pieces can scratch each other. Link or chain bracelets should be kept unclasped or unhooked to help prevent scratching. You can also place a piece of chalk, a packet of activated charcoal, or a container of silica gel in the storage area to minimize tarnish.

Polishing

Simply polishing your silver works well when the tarnishing is not too heavy. It’s also the best method for cleaning oxidized silver, as you can stay away from the intentionally tarnished areas.

Silver is soft and can become scratched easily. You can use a special silver cloth to polish your items. Do not use paper towels or tissues to polish your jewelry as they contain fibers that can scratch the silver.

When polishing, use long back-and-forth motions that mirror the grain of the silver. Do not rub in circles, as this will magnify any tiny scratches. Also, change to a different section of your cloth frequently to avoid placing tarnish back on the silver. You can use a Q-tip to get into small, detailed areas.

If your pieces are heavily tarnished and you don’t have the time to clean them, take them to a professional silver cleaner. Very old, fragile, or valuable pieces should also be cleaned by a professional.

Soap and water: Warm water and a mild, ammonia and phosphate free dishwashing liquid should be your first method if the polishing cloth fails to remove tarnish. Soap and water should also be used to clean your pieces before using any of the methods listed below.

Baking soda and water: Make a paste of baking soda and water and use a clean cloth to apply a pea-sized amount to the silver and polish. For detailed items, thin the paste with more water and use a clean, soft toothbrush to get into the small details, cracks and crevices. Run the silver piece under running warm water and dry with a clean lint free cloth.

Olive oil and lemon juice: Mix 1/2 cup lemon juice with 1 tsp. olive oil in a bowl large enough to hold the cleaning solution and a small microfiber cloth. Dip the cloth in the solution and wring it out so that it doesn’t drip, then polish the silver, rinse, and dry.

White vinegar and baking soda: Use this gentle cleaner to remove heavier tarnish that’s preventing you from polishing your silver. Soak the tarnished piece in a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tbsp. baking soda (be prepared for the fizzing!) for two to three hours, then rinse and dry.

Baking soda, salt, aluminum foil, and boiling water: You can take advantage of a simple chemical reaction to clean your silver: all you’ll need is some baking soda, salt, and aluminum foil. Line a glass roasting pan or the kitchen sink with aluminum foil, dull side facing down. Place the silver pieces on top of the aluminum foil. Then pour boiling water over the pieces until they are covered and add 2 tbsp. each of baking soda and salt. Stir the solution to allow the baking soda to dissolve — you don’t want any granules scratching the metal.

The reaction causes the tarnish to transfer to the foil, and in about 5-10 minutes you’ll see the tarnish “magically” disappear from the jewelry. (Be prepared for the smell of rotten eggs, though, as the sulfide tarnish comes off the silver.) Using salad tongs or nitrile gloves (not rubber gloves, which contain sulfur), remove the silver jewelry from the hot water or drain into a colander. Rinse the jewelry with water, then dry and buff with a soft cloth. Voila! Your silver should be sparkling clean and ready to keep you looking fabulous.

So don’t wait until tarnish has become so bad that you forget about your silver treasures or even get rid of them. Give your jewelry a fresh start today!