Here are a few handy tip for keeping your handmade jewellery sparkling!
- Protect your jewellery from scratches, sharp blows, chemicals, extreme temperatures, and sunlight.
- Ideally, store your jewellery in a soft lined box or pouch and try to keep pieces apart, so that they don't rub together or tangle up.
- Keep chains fastened so that they don’t get tangled up.
- After each wearing, gently wipe each piece of jewellery clean of make up and skin oils with a 100% cotton cloth.
- Remove jewellery when doing household tasks such as gardening, cleaning, household repairs or other strenuous activities, or when playing sports.
- Apply make-up and hair spray before putting on your jewellery. Make-up and hair spray contain chemicals that may affect your jewellery, as can nail polish removers.
- Remove jewellery before swimming as chlorine and salt water may cause damage.
Commerical Silver Cleaners
Read the label, and if in doubt, do not use a chemical cleaner.
Jewellery Polishing Cloths
Use lightly to restore lustre. Do not press hard when polishing plated jewellery or you will damage the surface.
Easy Homemade Solutions
The best way to clean in places where a polishing cloth can't reach is simple is to use lukewarm water and a small amount of mild washing up liquid and a soft child’s toothbrush.
Tarnish occurs when Silver is exposed to the air and atmosphere, it causes a chemical reaction that creates something called Silver Sulphate. (The black discolouration on the jewellery, which can sometimes then transfer to your skin.) This reaction can be prevented by storing your jewellery in a re-sealable plastic bag or wrapped in tissue paper. You can however remove any tarnish using a silver polishing cloth (carefully with plated items!) or with this simple homemade solution of boiling water, aluminium foil and bicarbonate of soda/baking soda:
- Line the bottom of the pan with aluminium foil. You may also use a disposable aluminium pan.
- Place silver jewellery or any silver object in the aluminium pan, making sure the silver touches the aluminium.
- Pour boiling water into the pan until the object is completely covered.
- Add a teaspoon of baking soda/bicarbonate of soda. As you add the baking soda, the mixture may froth a bit, be careful not to let it spill over. Keep the silver submerge for at least 5 minutes. The tarnish will begin to disappear quickly. For badly tarnished silver, you may need to repeat this process several times to remove all traces of tarnish.
- Rinse the silver with water and gently buff it dry with a soft towel.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS SOLUTION SHOULD NOT BE USED ON ANY JEWELLERY CONTAINING BEADS, GEMSTONES OR PEARLS AS THESE MAY BE DAMAGED BY THE CHEMICAL REACTION.