My friends will at some point (actually quite often) hear me exclaim during the summer months either “Oh my sweaty life!” or “My head is sweating”. Gross? Perhaps. But its the truth and I see no point in trying to convince the world that “ladies don’t sweat they glow”. I mean really, do you expect me to be in Bikram yoga for 90 minutes and merely “glow”? Dancing my ass off until 5am in the middle of July and not break a sweat? I would have some serious medical concerns if that were the case.
Right, so now that we’ve established that DMD darlings sweat too (and there is nothing to be ashamed of) I will let you in on one very important universal truth–your jewelry takes more of a beating during the summer than it does the rest of the year combined. Sun, sweat, chlorine, salt water and sunscreen all take a toll on your beautiful baubles. Here is how to cope:
I try not to wear my vintage or designer costume jewelry during the summer. These pieces are glass, rhinestone, paste and are usually glued on. There is no good way to clean them if you get sunscreen or sweat into the crevices because you CANNOT immerse them in water. I would also advise against using rubbing alcohol on them because it may take off the finish of some of the stones and leave them looking dull. My safest bet is using a baby toothbrush dampened in 1/2 part water and 1/2 Windex (make sure you tap out the wetness from the bristles after you dunk it, you really just want the slightest bit of moisture on the bristles) and give it a light brush. Then leave them face down to dry on a towel.
If you must wear a costume piece, I would always apply sunscreen, perfume, make-up FIRST and wait for everything to set before putting on your jewelry. If you get sweaty, when you take it off use a very slightly damp cloth to wipe the surfaces that have come in contact with your skin. Clean jewelry will last longer without tarnishing.
This is why fine jewelry is less maintenance. You wouldn’t think it but gold, platinum and diamonds really are quite durable. I always end up wearing my fine jewelry more during the summer because I know that if I get sweaty the jewelry goes into my super sonic jewelry cleaner with a tablet or two of Efferdent (yup, that’s right, denture cleaner) and it gets all the salt, gunk and lotions out. I wouldn’t put colored stones in a sonic jewelry cleaner! Diamonds are the hardest and some colored stones like jade, sapphire, emerald are porous or much softer and the sonic cleaner can scratch them up. ONLY diamonds and gold/platinum.
Silver tarnishes when it comes into contact with acid from your skin and salt so try to avoid wearing silver during the warmer months. Best way to clean silver is with silver polish however I would advise against using silver polish on jewelry that will then come into contact with your skin, the stuff tends to be quite harsh. Instead, you can try my trick. Line a pot with a piece of aluminum foil, put in equal parts of baking soda and salt, pour in a bit of boiling water to dissolve. Place your silver in the pot until the tarnish dissolves, remove, rinse with warm water and dry well. Ta-da! I totally would have rocked chemistry class if it were about anything useful!
Pearls are a tricky one, acid and sweat from your skin makes pearls yellow and break down the silk cord used to string them. Always wipe them down well with a dry moleskin or felt cloth after each wear, no matter what the season.
That, my darlings, is how to keep your goods in perfect condition. After all, we can’t curate a killer jewelry collection if we don’t know how to care for it properly now can we? I hear lightbulbs going off everywhere. Pop. pop. pop. You’re welcome.
Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,