It’s easy to fall in love with a brand-new piece of jewellery when it’s shimmering. It doesn’t take long for the sparkle to weaken though, when you wear it on a regular basis, or even if it just sits in your jewellery box for a long time. Taking the jewellery to a professional cleaner constantly can prove to be a pain, especially if you are considering selling your piece. The good news is that professional cleaning can be done at home.
Cleaning with Vinegar
Cleaning your diamond or gold jewellery with white vinegar is easy. Simply drop the piece in a jar of vinegar and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. The grime accumulated on the piece can be easily removed with the help of a brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush. This removes any residual dirt, without damaging the jewellery.
Clean Diamonds with Ammonia
Diamonds will never keep their sparkle on their own. Soaking the diamond jewellery in a mixture of ¼ cup of ammonia and a cup of warm water for 15 minutes provides great results. A soft-bristled toothbrush can be used to scrub it gently, getting rid of any residual grime, which may have built up underneath the diamond or in the crevices of the setting. However, this method should only be applied on newer jewellery rather than antique pieces as ammonia can damage the delicate metals used in older items.
Using an Antacid
The fizzing power which provides relief to your stomach can also be used to clean your precious antique jewellery. Two tablets, dropped in a glass of warm water will make bubbles appear. It’s best to drop in your baubles in at this time and let it sit for a couple of minutes. This effervescent solution will help get rid of any dirt, dust or grime accumulated on the jewellery. The final step is to remove and rinse and your jewellery which will leave it good as new.
Use Aluminium Foil
Tarnished silver jewellery pieces can be cleaned with the help of aluminium foil. The process is the same as cleaning silverware. Line a tray with a piece of crumpled foil and place your jewellery inside. Sprinkle a layer of baking soda over the piece and pour boiling water on top. The tarnish can be seen transferring from the silver jewellery onto the foil. The piece may need to be moved or flipped so all the sides evenly come in contact with the foil. Once the piece looks clean, remove it from the mixture and rinse to reveal your sparkling jewellery.
Clean with Water and Soap
Porous and soft materials, like pearls or turquoise, need nothing more than water and soap. Make a solution of 2 cups of warm water and a few drops of mild detergent. Drop your string of pearls into this solution and quickly remove them. Wipe each pearl with a dry and soft cotton cloth and lay them on a flat surface to dry. In the case of turquoise, it doesn’t even need soap. Simply dipping a soft-bristled brush in like warm water, and scrubbing the stone will do the trick. Use a clean cloth to semi-dry, and then let the stone air dry for several hours before storing.
It’s completely possible to clean and shine up your antique jewellery pieces with common household cleaning supplies. Sometimes ammonia or aluminium foil or a simple mixture of soap and water can be enough to get a bracelet or a grungy ring to look brand new. An important thing to be remembered though is methods using chemicals or other abrasive and harsh cleaners aren’t recommended for softer stones such as opals and pearls. Use only soap and water is advisable in such cases.