HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR JEWELRY
Congratulations, you have great taste. Now you just need to know how to take care of your new purchase. Follow our tried and tested tips below to keep your jewelry in top condition, so it will always look as good as you do.
CLEANING PROCESS: KNOW YOUR MATERIALS
What is your jewelry made of? Consult the list below to find specific care instructions by material type.
Natural crystals include amethyst, citrine, rose quartz, and tourmaline. Crystals are generally durable, but can still break or get worn away by harsh soap and scrubbing, so make sure you treat them gently. Start by wiping your crystal with a soft cloth dipped in warm water. If that doesn't restore its shininess, you can use a more thorough cleaning method.
Solid, pure 24-karat gold is one of the easiest metals to look after because it won't rust, oxidize, or corrode. You don't have to worry about exposure to air, and you can even swim without concerns (well, aside from the concern of losing your jewelry if it comes off in the water). Your gold jewelry shouldn't need cleaning too often; better to just wipe it off gently with a clean damp cloth so you don't damage the plating. If it does start to look a little dull, however, you can wipe your jewelry with a damp cloth dipped in soapy water, then "rinse" it with another damp cloth dipped in clean water.
Silver oxidizes upon contact with air, so it will inevitably tarnish over time. You can slow down the process by keeping your silver jewelry in an airtight bag or container. A ziplock bag will do nicely. If your jewelry starts to look a little dull, wipe it down with a damp cloth. If your item is really dirty, you can also use a soft toothbrush dipped in a mixture of mild dish soap and warm water. Be careful not to scrub too hard, or you could wear off the plating.
Stainless steel is easy to look after because it doesn't corrode or oxidize, and it won't break if you drop it. However, it can get scratched, so make sure you always store your jewelry in separate containers or pouches. If your stainless steel jewelry needs cleaning, you can often just rinse it under running water. Make sure you plug the sink (so you don't lose your item down the drain) and dry it completely with a cloth to prevent water spots. More thorough cleaning can be done with a soft toothbrush dipped in a mixture of warm water and gentle detergent. Lastly, you can polish your stainless steel to make it shine, but don't just use silver polish - make sure the label of the polish you use says it is safe for stainless steel.
Storage: Know your Jewelry Type
Now that you know how to take care of your jewelry based on its materials, it's time to find out how to look after each type of jewelry. After all, what’s the point of all that cleaning if you’re just going to let your jewelry get jumbled up in a dusty corner of your closet when you get home? Knowing how to store your necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings properly will let you enjoy wearing them for years to come.
Bracelets are often lighter than necklaces, so they won't stretch or get bent as easily. Still, it is best to store them flat to avoid this risk, and you should always keep them separate from each other (such as in pouches while traveling) so your precious stones and metals don't get scratched.
Those hanging necklace-holders may look pretty, but they can cause your necklace to stretch out or develop bends in weird places. But don't just shove your necklaces in a drawer either, or they could get scratched and tangled. Instead, lay your necklaces flat for storage; a wardrobe drawer will do nicely.
It is easiest to store your earrings in an earrings-holder so they stay in pairs. Clear plastic pill organizers are great for storing earrings and rings while traveling. When cleaning your earrings, be careful not to lose one of them (or one of their backings). If you're rinsing the soapy water off your earrings, remember to always plug the sink. Even better: fill a glass with clean water and swirl your earrings around in there to clean them off.
ENJOYING YOUR NEW JEWELRY!
There you have it: cleaning, proper storage, and preventing damage are the keys to success when it comes to keeping your jewelry in peak condition. But in between all that cleaning and storage, don't forget to actually wear it.