I am always barking at my friends telling them their jewelry needs a cleaning. I know, I shouldn’t bark, it’s not ladylike. But hello don’t you want your baubles to bling?!?! I realize not everyone has a jeweler’s steamers and acid bath lying around the house, even I don’t. So here are a few tips to get you through to your next professional jewelry cleaning.
Try to remember to take your rings off before putting on creams and lotions and before washing dishes or showering. Oil from lotions and creams and soapy residue will kill your sparkle and make even the best diamond look dull and lifeless. What do they call it in commercials for shower cleaners? Hard water stains and soap scum? Yup, same thing happens to your jewelry.
Tangent: If you do wash your own dishes my darlings, please wear gloves! There is nothing worse than a gorgeous ring on wrinkly dry hands! Since I am on the topic of hands, here are my little secrets to keeping them looking young: I get paraffin treatments at every manicure.
If When I wash dishes I put on a heavy cream (after I take my rings off), slip on rubber gloves and then wash my dishes in hot water. Why? Because the heat from the water opens up your pores and its like a mini-paraffin treatment at home and all the lotions SOAK in. I also get my aesthetician to give the back of my hands a microdermabrasion every time I get a facial. OK, OK, now to getting back to jewelry. . .
Apply make-up and perfume BEFORE you put on your earrings, necklaces etc. Most liquid make-up and some perfumes contain oils which will get your jewelry all greasy and cut any sparkle and shine your darlings might display. Other perfumes contain alcohol which will discolor pearls and some vintage jewelry. Never get your VDC (vintage designer costume) jewelry wet! EVER! A lot of the older stones are foil-backed and even the slightest dampness will destroy the foil on the rhinestones and discolor them.
Best way to clean diamond jewelry is. . .an ultrasonic cleaner with warm water and. . .DENTURE CLEANER! Yes my darlings, you heard it here first. Denture cleaners, such as Efferdent, are miracle workers! What is an ultrasonic cleaner? It is a device that uses ultrasonic waves and water to get into the crevices and clean jewelry. They sell small ones for home use here and are usually under $40. I fill mine with warm water, drop in two tabs of Efferdent, put my diamonds in and poof! All clean! This works with fancy colored diamonds as well as white diamonds.
DO NOT USE DENTURE CLEANERS OR ULTRASONIC CLEANERS WITH COLORED STONES, PEARLS, OR COSTUME JEWELRY! These items will scratch, discolor, shatter and/or lose their luster if you use harsh cleaners, ammonia-based products or put them in an ultrasonic cleaner. Oy vey! Writing that sentence just gave me heart palpitations and high blood pressure. The thought of ruining sparklies is too much! I will teach you how to clean colored stones, pearls and VDC jewelry in another post. For now I have to lie down, fan myself and try to banish thoughts of ruining jewelry from my mind before I have a heart attack.
Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,