Caring for and cleaning your jewelry should be – and can be – an
easy and efficient process. Use this simple guide to start sparkling
like new again.
Consult your jeweler for more in-depth information or click on a handy
Before you clean any piece of jewelry, always identify the weakest element
in your piece. That is, identify what metal or stone could most easily
be harmed by a chemical, force or device.
For example, if you have a gemstone ring with an emerald center stone
and two diamonds, the emerald is the weaker piece. In a silver bracelet
with diamonds, the silver is the weaker of the two. With strands of pearls,
both the pearls and the stringing material can be damaged.
Consult your jeweler if you're not sure, especially with touchy stones
such as opals, pearls, emeralds, coral and other organic gems or enamel.
Below are a few cleaning methods to consider, listed
from gentlest to harshest.
Lint-free microfiber cloth:
Keep one of these chemical-free cloths on hand and use it only on jewelry.
These cloths will gently lift grease, finger marks and dirt from your
jewels. They are especially good for softer stones such as opal, amber
or fragile enamel. Dampen the cloth with a sprinkle of water as needed.
If and when the cloth becomes soiled with chemicals (such as jewelry
or household cleaners) or grime, wash it by hand in warm water with a
mild liquid soap, Woolite™ or Joy dishwashing liquid. Allow it
to air dry to keep your cloth lint-free. Do not toss it in the washing
machine, dryer or use fabric softeners of any kind. Find them at hardware,
houseware and grocery stores. Or,
order one with your next Libertine® purchase.
Diamonds, any colored stone,
pearls, enamel, precious and non-precious metals, some costume jewelry.
Caution: For heavily soiled jewelry, consider beginning with an appropriate
initial cleaning step or rinse and finish with a lint-free cloth polish.
Avoid heavy-handed tugging or using cloths on mesh, woven, delicate or
Chemically treated jewelry cloths:
A jewelry-cleaning essential for gold and silver. These cloths contain
a chemically treated side with a mild abrasive, usually jeweler's rouge.
A second cloth or an opposite side has no chemicals and is used to remove
cleaning residue and restore polish.
Gold and silver jewelry with no
stones, inlay or enamel. Best for:
Avoid using chemically treated cloths
on gemstone jewelry as the chemical may harm stones, especially softer
stones and enamel, or accumulate under prongs or settings. Use a gentle
touch when cleaning chains. Not for use on costume or plated jewelry. Caution:
Warm, soapy water:
Yes, this simple formula really works. First, be sure any drains or
sink openings are covered with a rubber stopper or other barrier. Put
a fine sieve or strainer in a bowl. Add warm − not hot − water
and mix with a few drops of liquid soap when cleaning more fragile, treated
or enhanced stones.
For hardier stones such as diamonds, use a few drops of dish detergent
instead. We like Joy for its grease-busting power and how quickly and
cleanly it rinses off. If needed, brush your jewelry with a soft toothbrush
or a fresh, unused make-up brush. Gently brush under prongs. Rinse and
pat dry with a lint-free cloth.
Most non-porous colored stones, diamonds,
gold, platinum. Best on:
Avoid soaps and soaking with porous
gems such as pearls or other organics. May not be suitable for some opals
and other delicate stones. Consult your jeweler. Caution:
Detergents or ammonia:
This is turbo-charged cleaning for hardy jewelry that needs stronger
measures. Most commercial diamond and gold jewelry cleaners contain a
touch of ammonia or other strong detergents. Use extra care to not expose
delicate, porous or organic gems to this method.
Using household or disposable gloves, follow the same technique as the
prior method. This time, add a few drops of ammonia and a squirt of dish
detergent such as Joy to warm water. Allow diamonds or gold to soak as
needed, then brush gently and rinse well with warm water. Pat dry with
your lint-free cloth.
Diamond rings and other diamond-only
jewelry; gold and platinum. Best on:
Never expose fragile, porous, treated
or organic gems to ammonia. Do not use this method with silver or oiled
gems such as emeralds or some rubies and sapphires. Consult your jeweler
and when in doubt, don't. Caution:
For more stone-specific information, check out these articles:
Caring for Jewelry—What You Need to Know
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