Jewelry Has Germs Too....How to Clean Jewelry At Home
Now that we are all washing our hands, we also need to be WASHING our JEWELRY!! I have had this conversation everyday recently!! While Covid-19 has us being more mindful at home and especially out in public, now is a good time to start keeping your jewelry more sanitary. You will be surprised how doing so will preserve your fine jewelry longer and reduce expensive repairs. Win, win, win!
Did you know that there can be more bacteria underneath a ring than there is on a man's toilet seat?!! GROSS BUT TRUE.
Here are some ways to clean jewelry at home: NOTE:*** Never for silver, pearls, opals and emeralds***
1. HOT WATER. Get it from your coffee pot as a short cut. Think 190-200 degrees. 2. DAWN SOAP- add a few drops to the hot water. It is a great degreaser and gemstones love grease and hand lotion. 3. AMMONIA. (Or Windex) Add a splash to the ongoing cocktail of hot water and Dawn soap. Lemon ammonia is more pleasant as an option. (Again, Never on sterling silver). 4. RINSE_RINSE_RINSE 5. Wipe with a soft cloth to dry. **Some people like to use a toothbrush to clean jewelry. I am not a fan but if you must, make sure it is very soft and scrub gently.** ** This is cheap and effective. You do not need to buy the premixed bottles from the drug store.**
WINDEX is something we keep in little bottles on our desks in the Studio. It is the "GO TO" for slipping off tight rings. Using hand lotion or soap just leaves more on the ring to clean and get in small holes and crevices.
All jewelers of America ask that you please do not lick your finger in order to take off a tight fitting ring (or stick your finger in your mouth, remove the ring and then hand it to a jeweler) especially with Covid-19 spreading. Windex is slippery and it cleans and kills some germs from the moment of contact! Bonus !!
Note: Again, do not put ammonia based cleaners on sterling silver or opals, emeralds or pearls.
OTHER CLEANING LIQUIDS-SOME CHEMICALS CAN AFFECT AND WEAKEN GOLD JEWELRY IF NOT CLEANED AND RINSED PROPERLY AND THOROUGHLY!!! These are as follows: 1. Clorox bleach-diluted 2. Isopropyl Alcohol 3. Ammonia 4. Hydrogen Peroxide 5. Hand sanitizer
NOTE:Caution to fine jewelry:
Chlorine and Bromine- (hot tub and swimming pool chemicals)
I have had several rings in for repair recently that were weakened and discolored from being worn in hot tubs and/or swimming pools. Karat gold prongs can be weakened from chlorine exposure. We had a white gold ring in recently that was darkly discolored from Bromine in hot tubs. We were able to polish and rhodium plate the ring to restore its original white gold color.
Not only do you need to clean your rings but also your bracelets, earrings, necklaces (and especially) wrist watches. We have seen some biohazards on wrist watches over the years. A jeweler recently contracted an infectious blood disease from a nasty gents wristwatch when it was brought in for a routine battery change. I would suggest wiping it with a Clorox Disinfecting Wipe as often as you wipe your cell phone and then rinse it with hot water if the watch is water resistant. If not, wipe it with a extremely damp soft cloth followed by a dry cloth. (Make sure the crown is screwed down tightly.)
Contact us if we can answer any questions or if you would like for us to clean and check your jewelry. We just kindly ask that you make an appointment.