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Why Should I Consider Cleaning My Jewelry?

Written by Annabelle
October 22, 2018

Why should I clean my jewelry?

Jewelry is beautiful and sparkly, but only if you keep it that way! In fact, it can even become damaged from the accumulation of icky things from some of the most mundane activities in your life. If you want to protect and keep your jewelry in peak condition, read on to find out why you should consider jewelry cleaning!

Reasons for dirty jewelry:

There are lots of factors that contribute to your jewelry getting tarnished and dirty. Daily activities, like cooking, cleaning, and even washing your hands with soap can trap particles in the nooks and crannies of your rings. Over time, this gunk builds up, as your skin and oils contribute to the mess. Sounds gross right? It gets better: if you have a fondness for costume jewelry, it can turn green or black depending on the type of metal. All of this adds up to a pretty nasty coating on your favorite piece.

pink sapphire ring jewelry cleaning

A pink sapphire ring before and after the cleaning process

How can I clean my jewelry at home?

If you’re really looking for a quick fix, you can buy some polishing cloths and kits online. While most sources recommend toothpaste to remove tarnish, it’s actually very strong and can get stuck underneath stones. In fact, many home remedies can hurt jewelry, especially gems such as opals and pearls. That’s why we recommend bringing your treasured pieces to a professional jeweler.

How does the jeweler clean my jewelry?

At a professional jeweler’s, your jewelry goes through a lengthy journey to get back to its original, shiny state.

  1. Ultrasonic wave cleaning: This method of cleaning involves placing the piece of jewelry into an ultrasonic cleaner that contains either water or a cleaning solvent. The cleaner uses soundwaves to create bubbles that knock out all the dirt from those tiny cracks that you can’t normally reach.
    ultrasonic cleaning jewelry cleaning

    A ring going through the ultrasonic cleaning process

  2. Stone Tightening: As part of the jewelry maintenance process, if your item has stones in it, the jeweler will make sure to tighten the gems. It’s important to check on the settings and prongs periodically, because they can wear down over time.

    stone tightening diamond ring jewelry cleaning

    A diamond ring being inspected for any loose stones

  3. Polishing: Your jewelry can get scratched over a long period of time, especially if the metal is soft like yellow gold or silver. Polishing removes those scratches and marks and restores the surface of your jewelry to a pristine state.

    polishing jewelry cleaning

    A ring in the polishing process

  4. Steam Cleaning: Depending on the piece of jewelry, the item may go through a second round of cleaning with a jewelry steam cleaner. This machine uses high-pressure steam, which blasts any remaining residue off the jewelry. However, it’s not recommended for any piece that contains glue or porous gemstones, as it could weaken the glue or damage the stone.
    steam cleaning jewelry cleaning

    A ring being steam cleaned

  5. Plating: Plating is used for either replacing any color that was rubbed off in the process of polishing, or to touch up the jewelry. For instance, rhodium plating is a common finisher for sterling silver or white gold jewelry, in order to protect the base metal and make it more shiny.
    plating jewelry cleaning

    A silver ring being examined before plating.

Once these steps have been completed, your jewelry is good to go! It’s recommended that you bring in your jewelry for maintenance on a regular basis if you want to keep it in tip-top condition. Check out our Jewelry Spa service to make your shinies shiny. 


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