Jewelry is one of the perfect items in the world. The symbolism behind the object itself is astounding, considering the innumerable amount of meaning it can hold. For example, rings can be a symbol of true love for anyone who has a micro pave wedding band that is yellow gold or even a diamond-encrusted engagement ring.
Aside from love declarations, pieces of jewelry are also great self-rewards. They’re accessories that can be customized in a variety of ways, which makes it easy to match to outfits that you wear every day. That is also why they are most likely to be subjected to wear and tear in your daily activities. This raises the risk of causing damages, such as discoloration, scratches, or dents to your jewelry.
Different metals are used in making jewelry, which is why it’s good to pay close attention to the material that our pieces have. This will better tell us what measures we need to take to keep them in good condition for a long time. Here is a guide to help you maintain your jewelry, no matter what materials it is made of.
Alloys, such as stainless steel, titanium, or platinum, are sturdier than most jewelry materials used. They are also corrosion, tarnish, and dent resistant. You should, however, be careful of scratches and stains. Scratches usually happen to rings since we use our hands to do most of our activities. Discoloration can also occur due to the residue build-up, such as sweat or oil, after prolonged skin contact.
To clean jewelry made of alloys, you can put them in warm water with dishwashing soap. This is only applicable, however, to jewelry that has no gemstones. The chemicals can permanently discolor the gem in soap. Use a soft cloth to wipe the jewelry until it is clean. Make sure that the fabric is lint-free so that no fibers get caught in your jewelry. Wipe off the soap with a cloth wet with clean water, and air dry your jewelry when finished.
Gold and silver plated jewelry are delicate, with the thin layer being prone to damage. Avoid exposing them to the elements, such as direct sunlight, and store them away before doing manual tasks. Plated jewelry is prone to tarnishing if not protected. In addition, the layer might peel off if abraded continuously, so avoid putting it under running water or wearing it during a workout.
To clean silver plated jewelry, you can use a silver dip solution to avoid tarnishing. Afterward, put it into warm soapy water, and scrub with a soft toothbrush. For the gold-plated jewelry, don’t use a polishing solution as it can cause discoloration. Instead, dip it into warm soapy water, and clean with a soft toothbrush. Cleaning plated jewelry, however, won’t restore the sheen its plate once had.
Silver jewelry needs more care compared to other materials, as it is most prone to tarnishing. Don’t let them get into contact with the products that you usually use, such as hair sprays, lotions, and cosmetics. When storing them, make sure to keep them in an airtight container along with anti-tarnish strips. If you’re unable to do so, you can also keep it in a place with low humidity.
To clean silver jewelry, one only needs a bit of soapy water and a soft cloth. Use strokes that go along with the grain of the silver to reduce abrasion. Avoid using circular strokes, as these tend to worsen tarnish and spread it around. You can also use cotton buds for hard-to-reach areas. When you’re done, buff with a clean, dry cloth.
Gold jewelry can have varying durability, depending on the gold content. A higher karat level means a higher amount of gold, which makes it more valuable, at the cost of being less sturdy. Most jewelers recommend a karat level of 14K to 18K, to keep the jewelry malleable while maintaining its shine.
You can clean gold jewelry less frequently compared to silver. Similar to other materials, use warm soapy water and a soft cloth to clean your jewelry. Avoid using tissues to prevent small fibers from getting caught and avoid abrading your jewelry. If needed, you can buff your jewelry to restore its sparkle.
If your jewelry has a lot of sentimental value for you, you’re likely to wear it most of the time. To avoid damaging it in the long run, make sure to do proper maintenance for your jewelry frequently. This can protect your jewelry from getting ruined and help you keep it for a longer time.