Cleaning gold jewellery
|17 August 2012||Filled under General Tips||
Your new gold jewellery may be bright and shimmering but it may slowly lose its shine with time. Proper care and maintenance is required to keep its luster, lest it turns dull and gets scratched. Here are a few ways to keep it looking like brand new!
Caring for them while wearing them
For items that get worn on a regular basis, like a wedding ring or earrings, you need to be conscious of the substances that you subject them to. Chemicals like chlorine or harsh soaps will weaken your gold jewellery over time. Hence, do not wear them to the swimming pool or do any sort of cleaning or washing without covering them up. Even wearing them into the shower is not a good idea, as the soap or bathing salts can have an effect on the gold. Perfume, lotions, gels and sprays should also be kept away from your jewellery.
Not only should they be kept away from chemicals, they can also be scratched by materials such as sand. It will be a good idea to remove your gold items before a beach outing.
Visually inspecting the more delicate areas of your jewellery, like the links, prongs, settings, clasps, can go a long way in ensuring that your jewellery lasts too. You should send your jewellery to a professional jeweller to get it fixed properly. Any scratched surface can also be polished by these experts.
Storing them in appropriate places
Each item should be stored individually, if possible, in their original boxes or jewellery boxes. This is to prevent scratches caused by contact with other items. This is particularly important for gold as it is a relative soft metal compared to platinum or diamonds, which you may have in your collection. Alternatively, you can wrap each item up in individual pieces of soft cloth.
Since moisture can hasten tarnishing, keeping your gold jewellery in a dry environment, created either by use of silica, a dry box or an air-tight container, will be beneficial.
Keeping it untarnished
Because pure gold is too soft to be fashioned into jewellery, other metals are added into the mix to make it harder. Even though gold by itself cannot tarnish, the presence of other tarnishable metals in the alloy will react with air and gradually cause your jewellery to become dull. The higher the percentage of other metals, the easier and faster your jewellery will tarnish.
To get rid of tarnish, place it in warm water and add a few drops of mild detergent (non-phosphate). You should make sure that the detergent is very mild; avoid overly abrasive cleaning agents like toothpaste. Use a cloth, or brush with very soft bristles, and gently scrub the jewellery surface. Once done, rinse with warm clean water, and lay the jewellery flat to air dry. You can use clean soft cloths to dab off excess water, but avoid wiping over the surface unless you are certain the cloth wouldn’t scratch the jewellery surface. Only after it is completely dry should you keep them back into their boxes.
For many jewellery items, they are of sentimental value and any damage to them can be heartbreaking. It is up to you to take care of your jewellery, to ensure that they look as good as new.