Jewelry Cleaning and Care
How Do I Clean My Jewelry
Cleaning your jewelry can be a simple process with some knowledge to save you time and energy. HPSilver wants your jewelry to last you a lifetime. When it is cared for properly, your fine copper, silver and gold jewelry will be able to be passed down from generation to generation.
Why does my jewelry tarnish? Silver and copper tarnish when exposed to humidity in the air, so it’s a good idea to keep your silver in airtight zip bags when not in use. This will help to slow the tarnishing process and protect your jewelry from scratching. Your jewelry is sent in an airtight zip lock bag and you can always use that one and it will work just fine. A good life hack is to save the silica gel packets from vitamins or new shoes. Keep those packets in the zip lock bag with the jewelry, or have some extras in the jewelry box. Remember, your sterling silver and copper jewelry is meant to be worn and enjoyed and your body oils will help prevent tarnishing. Friction with your skin and clothes helps to keep it shining. Simply wearing your jewelry helps prevent, or at least slow, the oxidation process keeping your jewelry looking new.
Sterling silver does tarnish. It is a simple fact of nature. As time goes by sterling silver and copper develop a tarnish which often results in an antique look. Often a black patina builds up in the fine detail which gives your silver jewelry piece a beautiful and unique look. If you do not want the “antique look”, care should be taken to prevent this tarnishing, and many commercial products are available that will easily remove tarnish buildup that silver naturally acquires.
When you Google, How do I clean my jewelry? You will find over 100,000 varied results. The Internet is stocked with all kinds of home remedies and the latest and greatest of products and gimmicks. Be sure to check out our fun How To YouTube Video Channel as we test some of these methods. Our myth busting style of videos will take you through the good the bad and the ugly of each of the choices.
Here are some of the methods included
Lemon juice and salt: Take a mixture of: 1tbs. lemon juice, 2tbs. of table salt and 1 cup water. Bring mixture to a boil and submerse your silver in the bath. This may take up to 15 minutes. Remove the jewelry, rinse with small amount of soap and warm water. Be sure to dry thoroughly with a cotton cloth.
Ketchup or Salsa: Squirt a small amount on a paper towel, and rub gently over the tarnished areas. If your silver isn’t getting shinier, let the ketchup sit for 15 minutes, then rub with a soft cloth and rinse clean. For items that have textured details, as with some candlesticks or fancy silverware, use a toothbrush to clean between the crevices.
Wow, sounding like a fiesta! Margaritas and Chips anyone? These methods are sticky and can go wrong in a variety of ways.
Here are a few more methods we have heard about.
Window Cleaner: Spray a liberal amount on the tarnished areas and polish dry with a clean cotton cloth.
Tooth Paste: Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste on a rag and polish your silver. Then rinse—and see how it shines! Use a smooth past as to not scratch the surface of the silver.
Worcestershire sauce: Yep, back to the kitchen! Worcestershire isn’t the best for silver jewelry, but it cleans your copper like magic, quick and easy. You can either pour a bit into a small container to submerge the piece, or just rub it on with a cotton cloth. After wiping it down, lightly rinse with soap and water and dry with a clean cotton cloth.
Standard Silver Dip: These liquid dips are quick and easy to use. Let them sit for a few seconds and then rinse and dry. *note this will eat away at any plated items over time, exposing the base metals. The dip is also hazardous for some gemstones and seashells.
Tarn-X Tarnish Remover: A quick and easy way to bring most metals to bright and shiny. Simply apply a thin layer and the jewelry with a cotton cloth, let sit and then wipe back off. * Keep away from porous stones and patinas.
The truth is that any one of these methods can help to make your jewelry bright and shiny. Our concern is that they can also remove or destroy any of the artistic patinas or worse, kill the beautiful luster of a stone. That’s right many stones such as Turquoise, Malachite, and even Opals and Pearls are too porous or soft for most cleaners. So while cleaning your beautiful stone jewelry, please use extreme caution, and pay close attention while working around the stones.
So the real question is how do I clean my jewelry safely?
We recommend that you clean the piece with a polishing cloth or with fine jewelry cleaner. At HPSilver we clean a lot of jewelry, and because we use such diverse materials we have found that the best solution to jewelry care and cleaning is
Best Solutions C5 Metal Polish is a 2 step cleaning product that not only cleans amazingly, its second part keeps your jewelry protected and slows the tarnishing process. Best of all, it is safe for all of your stones and beautiful patinas. We highly recommend this product as we use it all the time. It is a simple process and works effectively and quickly. With proper care your silver and copper jewelry will stay as beautiful and precious as the day you received it and will become a family heirloom that can be enjoyed for generations.
Simple steps for each of the three products.
Light Clean - The polishing cloth can be used on gold, sterling silver & copper. be sure that the jewelry is dry, then rub with the white inside portion of the cleaning cloth. Followed by a light buffing with the outer polishing cloth to restore the shine of your jewelry.
Heavy Clean - Directions for the C5 solution. Shake well for 5 seconds. Apply small amount and rub c5 lotion in a back and forward motion until desired results (approx. 15 seconds). Wipe dry and buff lightly.
Protective Purple Coat - A simple spray or 2 is all it takes with an occasional light brushing with a soft brush under the stones to aid in removing stubborn debris. Rinse lightly with cool water and dry thoroughly
Demonstration video coming soon.