How to clean your jewellery at home

You’ve colour coded your bookcase and streamlined your beauty cabinet.

Up next it’s the jewellery box. Whether you’re someone whose contains a tangled mess of chains and rings, or you have a different velvet pocket for each stud, chances are you have items of jewellery knocking around that could do with scrubbing, washing and buffing back to their former brilliance.

To get some advice on which pieces to clean, when and how, we spoke to Sidney Neuhaus, co-founder of demi fine ethical jewellery brand Kimai, to get some tips.

What’s the best way to clean jewellery at home?

The easiest way to clean your jewellery at home would be to fill a bowl with 2 cups of warm water and several drops of mild dish detergent. Soak your gold jewellery in the solution for 15 minutes. Scrub the jewellery with a soft baby toothbrush or a cotton swab then rinse it with water. Let it dry for 10-15 minutes. We’ve done a Story on our Instagram highlights that explains this process step by step.

For a deep clean, you should go to a trusted jeweller every 8-12 months, and the pieces will be as good as new.

Is baking soda useful for cleaning jewellery?

Baking soda is great for cleaning silver jewellery, but not gold. For solid gold, a detergent works better.

Why do we need to clean our jewellery?

It’s important to clean your jewellery – especially the pieces you wear on a daily basis and rarely take off – as they can be a safe haven for bacteria and lead to skin irritation or degradation of the metals. Creams, soaps and everyday dust can clog jewellery settings, stones or chains which make your pieces appear greyish or dull.

What should I look out for when cleaning my jewellery?

You need to be careful about the stones. To give you an example, diamonds are the hardest stones therefore they are super resistant which make them easy to clean. For other gemstones, you don’t want to use any harsh chemicals that could damage the piece.

What’s the difference between jewellery cleaning and jewellery polishing?

There is often confusion about the difference between a general jewellery cleaning and a jewellery polishing. Although both are related to maintaining your jewellery, people often assume that they are the same thing but there is a difference. When your jewellery is sent for polishing, a goldsmith uses a polishing wheel that consists of different kinds of polishing to buff out the ring.

The polishing wheel is a fantastic tool used to remove scratches on jewellery, which is why rings return looking shiny and brand new. However, we do not recommend polishing rings more than 1-2 times a year because the polishing wheel removes a tiny bit of gold dust from the surface of the ring each time.

How often should I clean my jewellery?

Gold jewellery with diamonds can be cleaned more often (I would recommend every 3 to 4 weeks) as they are more resistant than other gemstones. For jewellery with precious gemstones, I would recommend a gentle cleaning every 2 months

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