Eilisain aka Lisette in Gaelic

Welcome to my blog, where I document my process in making jewelry, muse on the influence of art and the joy of making beautiful objects.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How to clean and maintain your jewelry

I get this question quite often, and usually I recommend using a soft tshirt to polish jewelry but I'm finding that many of you would like to remove oxidation and do a bit more thorough cleaning.

And here are my tips:
  1. If you think any of your stones, diamonds, precious gems are loose, take your jewelry to a professional repair shop.  Or if there is a a snag on a prong etc.  They are experts and will handle your jewelry with care and have the proper equipment.
  2. For removing tarnish on silver jewelry:
  • Line the bottom of the sink or a glass baking dish with a sheet of aluminum foil.
  • Fill the foil-lined container with steaming hot water.
  • Add salt (sodium chloride) and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to the water. Some recipes call for 2 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp salt, whereas others call for 2 tablespoons each of baking soda and salt. Personally, I wouldn't measure the amounts... just add a bit of each substance.
  • Drop the silver items into the container so that they are touching each other and resting on the foil. You will be able to watch the tarnish disappear.
  • Leave heavily tarnished items in the solution for as long as 5 minutes. Otherwise, remove the silver when it appears clean.
  • Rinse the silver with water and gently buff it dry with a soft towel.
  • Ideally, you should store your silver in a low-humidity environment. You can place a container of activated charcoal or a piece of chalk in the storage area to minimize future tarnish.
    (source of information)

    3.  To polish silver I recommend using an old soft tshirt and polish wax.  This is a great kind of polish and affordable, it will last you a life time! However, if you don't want to go through this process, taking your jewelry to a repair shop for cleaning is the best option.
    4.  To polish bronze or brass, unfortunately I recommend the same, taking it to a jewelry shop.  There is no better or faster way to get a super gleam on your jewelry than a buffing machine. 

    Just some very simple steps to make your jewelry last longer and stay shiny.
  • put your jewelry on last, AFTER putting on perfume, lotions, hair spray, gel - etc.
  • take your jewelry off at the end of the day.  Now I know this one might be hard to do but trust me, it'll last longer
  • take your jewelry off when doing any physical activity; it can get caught, fall off etc. Also take your jewelry off before swimming or bathing.
  • Try to keep chains separate, such as hanging them on hooks or keeping them in plastic bags.  I use an earring tree to hold my big earrings and several other props to place my jewelry.
  • To prevent tarnish on silver, keep a piece of small chalk in your jewelry box, for some reason it prevents tarnish.

    And finally I recommend purchasing two flat nosed pliers, these will come in handy to connect jump rings, push in any small details etc.  My mom always had one on her nightstand and we used it several times to repair her jewelry - back when I wasn't considered a jeweler!

    Eilisain Jewelry all sparkly with the owl and wolf.

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