Caring for Your Jewelry Before You Clean
Cleaning your gemstones after they get dirty is only part of proper care. Pre-use care is also important.
Apply your perfumes, colognes, and hairsprays before you put on gemstone jewelry. Not only will these chemicals reduce gem brilliance, the ability to return light, they can be highly destructive to some gems, such as pearls, which react violently to acid and alcohol.
If possible, wear your perfumes and colognes in areas that will not come in contact with your gems. In the case of pearls, try to keep them out of contact with skin, whether you’re wearing perfume or not.
Recommendations for At-Home Gemstone Jewelry Cleaning
Cleaning with mild detergent at home is the best course of action, here are some recommendations:
Most commercially prepared jewelry cleaners are safe, but beware of those that contain ammonia or chemicals that can damage sensitive gems like pearl or amber.
As a first step, let your jewelry piece soak for a few moments in a solution of warm water and mild detergent or cleaning solution.
Use a soft brush to gently scrub your jewelry.
A shaved matchstick or toothpick is quite good at picking out accumulations, but don’t be too harsh.
When you’ve finished scrubbing, dip the jewelry piece back into the solution for one last wetting.
Then rinse in warm running water, preferably about the same temperature as your solution.
Radical temperature changes are dangerous and should be avoided.
Shake or blow on the jewelry piece to remove excess liquid, then gently polish with a soft lint-free cloth.