A popular choice among costume jewelry makers, how to clean tarnished jewelry starts with one’s own habits. When most people see tarnished or dirty objects, they instinctively think of old furniture, gold coins, or tarnished teeth. This association has a very common foundation. However, tarnished or dirty jewelry can also come from other sources besides our usual sources such as clothing, hair, and dust.
Many consumers think that tarnish or dirty cloths are bad for their clothes, but that’s simply not true. Washing your clothes with a bleach-based cleaner on a regular basis will actually wash away any protective properties that wool possess. Similarly, wearing metal bands that are not nickel-free won’t cause your silver jewelry to lose its shine, and likewise your gold rings won’t turn yellow or brown. If you want to know how to clean silver and gold, read the labels on the products you use to ensure that you are not leaving any harmful chemicals or contaminates in your jewelry by way of using these products. Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorants, and other household cleaners may all be included in the list of chemicals that can adversely affect the polish or finish on your fine jewelry.
You may wonder how to clean tarnished jewelry in a dry air environment, but the answer is quite straightforward. Simply take a clean cloth, dip it in some warm water, and wring to remove excess water. Next, place the tarnished object in a bowl of hot water and allow it to soak for about five minutes. Once you’ve done this procedure once or twice, let the item dry in the air.
There are some cases where the tarnish in your collection is so severe that you will not be able to clean it without further damaging the item in question. In these situations, you may have to resort to some heavy-duty household items such as a blow dryer, a hair dryer, or even a hair straightener. The last option is obviously the best one, especially if you’re trying to brighten up dull tarnished pieces.
If the tarnish in your jewelry item cannot be cleaned using anything but the above methods, then perhaps it is time for you to try a more drastic method. You may have heard that rubbing salt into your jewelry can help to remove tarnish, but you may want to think again. Salt does little more than cause your piece to lose its polish; in fact, it can actually cause damage to the surface of the stone. This isn’t something you want to do on something as expensive as a diamond ring, after all.
Another method you may want to consider in getting rid of tarnished jewels is using silver polish. This is an effective method that will not damage your stone or the metal surrounding it, and it will restore almost any tarnished appearance to your jewelry. It is not very different from cleaning your own silver and will most likely be easier for you to do. Since you already have all the materials needed, all you have to do is dip a cloth in the polish, apply it to your tarnished piece, and let it sit overnight. When you rinse the cloth out the next morning, you should have a shining, beautiful looking piece of jewelry.
Finally, let’s touch on another commonly used method of how to clean tarnished jewelry – using water. Although this might seem like a step in the wrong direction, most people do not know how to properly clean the metal with just water alone. Since most metals can get scratched or tarnished regardless of what kind of material it is, you should mix a solution consisting of one part water and two parts ammonia to one-half cup of water. Soak your piece in the solution overnight, and then wash it out with warm water. Do not use harsh detergents to try and break down the old film, as you will just end up ruining the metal rather than restoring it to its former glory.
There are plenty more methods available for cleaning silver jewelry, but the ones listed above are some of the most common. If you are unsure as to how to properly clean your precious metals, there are professional jewelers in your area that will be happy to assist you. Just make sure to test each method on a small area of the piece before actually using it on the larger, more elaborate items. You don’t want to risk scratching or tarnishing your precious stones while trying to fix something that doesn’t quite work right. Good luck, and happy shopping!