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A Basic Guide to Jewelry Care

So you’ve got a beautiful piece of handmade jewelry and you want to make sure it stays shiny and gorgeous, right? Of course you do. Wellyou’ve come to the right place! In this post, I'm going to talk about some easy tips and tricks for taking care of your jewelry, so you can keep it looking its best for years to come.


First things first, let's talk storageThis is an easy mistake I see customers make all the timeTo keep your jewelry in good conditionit’s important to store it properly. You probably didn't know things like sunlight, moisture and even the compounds in the air can affect your jewelryIt might be convenient to keep your rings in a dish next to the sink, but it's a bad move. There is a lot of moisture and chemicals floating around the air in your bathroom, and over time, those things can darken your silver jewels. Ideally, when not being worn, fine jewelry should be kept in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. You can use a jewelry box, a soft cloth bag, or even a plastic baggyThis prevents oxidation and tarnishing, which can take hold of sterling jewelry quickly if conditions are right.  


Now, let's talk about cleaning. Silver and gold are delicate metals and can scratch easily, so it’s important to be gentle when cleaning your jewelry. One of the easiest and most effective ways to clean sterling silver is with a polishing cloth. Polishing clothes are infused with compounds specifically designed to remove tarnish and restore shine to silver jewelryAll you need to do is rub the jewelry with the cloth in a circular motion and the luster of your silver will return right before your eyes. These are so cheap and easy to find online that I recommend grabbing a few just to handy.


If your sterling jewelry has more stubborn tarnish, you may need to use a silver cleaning solution. But be carefulIt’s important to choose a cleaning solution that is safe for your particular piece of jewelry. These solutions are strong and will remove all oxidation, including any elements that were oxidized intentionally to bring out details. Since most of the jewelry I create has purposeful oxidation, I rarely recommend these types of cleaners, but they do have their uses. For example, these solution dips are highly effective and convenient for cleaning your silver chains. With any chemical cleaners, always read the instructions carefully and follow them closely to avoid damaging your jewelry.


baking soda is excellent for cleaning silver jewelry

If you're looking for an easy way clean everyday grime off of gold jewelry, you can use a mild soap and water solution. Fill a bowl with warm water and add a few drops of mild dish soap. Soak the jewelry in the solution for a few minutes, then gently scrub with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly with water and pat dry with a soft cloth. Alternatelya mixture of hot water and baking soda will help lift off the extra gunky stuff. Since gold does not tarnish like silver doesit's pretty easy and painless to get your gold squeaky clean.


Lastly, take preventative measures to protect your handmade jewelry. Avoid exposing jewelry to harsh chemicals that can cause discoloration, such as bleach, ammonia, and chlorineIt’s also a good idea to remove your jewelry before swimming or showering, as exposure to water can accelerate tarnishing as well. You may have heard this one before, but always put your jewelry on last. It might be tempting to put on your bling straight out of the shower, but that perfume you spray on your neck, or lotion you rub on your hands could damage your precious metal jewelry. Not to mention that jamming your head through your sweater or whipping your hair around while blow-drying is a recipe for a broken necklace chain. Trust me, just put your jewels on last and take them off first. I shouldn't have to say this, but I'm going to anyway; you have no business wearing your jewelry to bed, just don't do it.


don't shower with your jewelry on, for goodness sake.

If you’re ever unsure about how to care for your jewelry, don’t hesitate to ask a professional (like me!) for advice. We can provide expert guidance on the best methods to clean or maintain your specific piece of jewelry.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your handmade jewelry looking beautiful for years to come. So go ahead, layer up, stack 'em deep, and show off your style, but when the day is donedon't forget to show those little beauties some TLC. 

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