One of the most frequent questions we are asked at Dominion Jewelers is “how do I keep my jewelry looking like new?” Our clients are often surprised to learn how very easy and inexpensive it is to keep their fine jewelry at its brilliant best. We suggest a mixture of one-part Windex (or any other sudsy ammonia cleaner) and one-part water. Heat the water to boiling in a microwave-safe dish, remove it from the microwave and add the Windex. Then simply place your jewelry in this liquid for about an hour, rinse it in warm water, and dry it with a microfiber or other lint-free cloth. This method is safe for all diamond, gold and platinum jewelry. For jewelry with embedded dirt or lotion, use a narrow, soft-bristle toothbrush to clean these stubborn or difficult-to-reach areas.
For other gemstone jewelry, we recommend using warm, soapy water and a soft, lint-free cloth. This is especially important for porous and organic gemstones such as amber, jade, and opal, as well as gemstones that are sensitive to sudden temperature change and harsh chemicals such as emerald and tanzanite. This gentler method is also recommended for cleaning pearls. Also, remember that pearls should never be left soaking in any liquid, as doing so weakens the fine silk floss.
While one might think that using a special jewelry cleaner such as an ultrasonic machine or a steam cleaner will do the best job, these motorized options are not necessary to keep your precious metal and gemstone jewelry bright and shiny, and can actually harm it. Ultrasonic cleaners agitate the jewelry in a chemical solution, and this high-speed agitation can result in loosening prongs or scratching gemstone surfaces, and the cleaning solution may damage many gemstones. Steam cleaning is also risky as the sudden temperature change may result in a broken stone. These cleaners can be very effective, but they are best left for knowledgeable and experienced jewelers to use. And, contrary to what you may read online, toothpaste is NOT a good jewelry cleaner as it often contains a whitening agent (i.e., bleach) which can damage the metal as well as the precious gem.
And, just like we all need regular visits to the dentist and our cars require routine maintenance, your jewelry will benefit from a professional check-up a few times a year. Just drop into Dominion Jewelers and we’ll be happy to help!