Gold & Sterling Jewelry Maintenance 101
You’ve paid thousands for your jewelry, the last thing you want is for it to be prematurely ruined. Thankfully, you can avoid the dreaded look of scratched up silver or dull looking gold jewelry by following a few simple steps.
Check out our jewelry care instructions for gold or sterling silver jewelry below.
Maintaining Silver Jewelry
Sterling silver jewelry is one of the most widely worn metals in the world. Its durable texture makes it perfect for intricate designs. Wondering how to care for sterling silver jewelry? If so, let us help. Here’s what you need to know to keep your sterling looking stellar.
Maintenance Best Practices
Sterling silver is a durable metal but there are a few things you should know if you want to make it last. First, according to the Jewelers of America, storing your jewelry in a fabric-lined box is a great way to prevent scratches. As you remove the piece, it’s easy to snag it on other jewelry, causing scratches. A jewelry box prevents that from happening. Don’t store multiple pieces in the same bag, however, as that increases the likelihood of scratches and tarnishing.
Also, do your best to keep your jewelry away from harsh chemicals like bleach, household cleaning products, or any product that contains sulfur. You’ll also want to stay out of direct sunlight, as it too can have a damaging effect on silver with prolonged exposure.
If you’re serious about keeping your jewelry for as long as you can, then it’s a good idea to remove all jewelry before you turn in for the night. Sleeping with it on can tarnish the top layer of the silver or, in the case of necklaces, can the jewelry to break completely. Play it safe and keep it in its proper place.
How to Clean It
Jewelry care instructions are often vague at best, but the good news is you can safely care for your sterling jewelry at home with the right tools. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1. Gather your tools.
You’ll need a soft jewelry cleaning cloth, rubbing alcohol, dish soap, and baking soda.
Step 2. Clean your silver.
Apply a small, pea-sized amount of baking soda & rubbing alcohol paste to the metal itself. For stamped or detailed items, a thinner paste with additional water is best. Grab a clean soft-bristled toothbrush to remove dirt from the cracks and crevices. After you’ve given it a good scrub, rinse it under running warm water and use a dry, clean cloth to buff it dry.
What NOT To Do
A few things to avoid doing with your jewelry include:
Using toilet paper or paper towels to clean it
Wearing sterling silver jewelry in the swimming pool or hot tub
Maintaining Gold Jewelry
Gold is one of the rarest metals on the planet. It has also been used by royalty for thousands of years, and is one of the most sought after metals. Check out our gold jewelry care tips for how to clean it and keep it looking beautiful for many years to come.
Maintenance Best Practices
Gold is not as strong as silver, and depending on its purity level, is too soft to be used alone. It is often mixed with alloy. As a result, you need to be aware of how to properly clean, wear, and store it.
Just like silver, it’s best to store gold alone in a separate place where it cannot be scratched by another piece of jewelry (gold cannot be tarnished). Limiting exposure to sunlight is also a good idea. Gold jewelry should also be serviced once a year by a jeweler who can inspect any gemstones to make sure it’s holding up properly.
How to Clean It
Gold can easily be cleaned at home by using dish soap and warm water. Unlike with silver, it’s best to avoid anything that might scratch it like baking soda.
Step 1. Grab a large bowl and mix 2 parts dish soap and 10 parts warm water.
Step 2. Soak for up to 3 hours in the bowl.
Step 3. Remove from the bowl and gently scrub it with a soft, clean toothbrush.
Step 4. Rinse with hot water.
Step 5. Use a soft cloth like a jeweler’s cloth or microfiber towel to buff it clean.
What NOT to Do With Gold
Your gold jewelry is more than just a piece of bling, it’s an investment. Here are a few things you should avoid if you want to make sure your gold looks beautiful well into the future:
Avoid cleaning or handling broken pieces
Don’t spray perfume or apply lotion after you put on your jewelry
Don’t keep wearing any jewelry that has a missing or broken gemstone
Wrapping It Up
Caring for sterling silver or gold jewelry can seem like a lot, but with a few actions on your part, you can enjoy gorgeous looking jewelry for years to come. We hope these simple jewelry care instructions help you get the most out of your sterling or gold jewelry.