Items of jewellery are often the most meaningful possessions a person owns. Whether they signify a relationship or remind the owner of a loved one, rings, necklaces and other items of jewellery are far too precious to leave in the hands of virtual strangers.
Getting these items cleaned can be a very tricky process, which is why people reluctantly give them to the professionals — which is usually a costly and stressful thing to do. But you can clean your own jewellery at home using everyday substances you may already have.
Here are seven very simple ways to clean your jewellery.
Vinegar is suited to just about every type of jewellery, but it really comes into its own on gemstones and gold. As long as you stick to white vinegar, the only other things you’ll need is a microfibre cloth and a soft-bristle brush — an old toothbrush is perfect. Simply steep the jewellery in the vinegar for an hour, and brush away any accumulations of dirt with the brush. Rinse with clean water and polish dry with a microfibre cloth.
If you ever notice your jewellery is looking scruffy while you’re on your travels, a little toothpaste — applied with a toothbrush, should be enough to make your finery sparkle. Use a combination of clean water and toothpaste, and rinse thoroughly afterwards. You should find that shining the jewellery with a microfibre cloth afterwards gives it a “shop window” sparkle.
If you want to keep your diamonds looking their best, always keep a little ammonia close at hand. Create a solution of four parts filtered water and one part ammonia. Leave your jewellery to steep in the solution for 15 minutes, and then use an old toothbrush to scrub it clean. A quick rinse and a polish with a microfibre cloth should be enough to restore your diamond’s natural lustre.
4. Boiling water
If you’re having difficulty cleaning the nooks and crannies of your jewellery, you might be able to clean it with boiling water. However, before you start, check that your jewellery isn’t glued anywhere. Pop your rings, necklaces and bracelets in a heatproof bowl, and gently pour boiling water over them. Once the water has cooled down to room temperature, give it a good polish with a microfibre cloth.
5. Soapy water
Rings in particular can become greasy and grimy over time. Surprisingly, a simple solution of dishwashing detergent and hot water is just as effective as commercial cleaners when it comes removing grease and grime from jewellery. Once again, create a solution in a bowl, and allow your jewellery around 15 minutes of contact time. Finish off by polishing it dry with a microfibre cloth.
If you have any soluble antacids tablets lying around, you already have the perfect jewellery cleaner. The fizz and bubbles created is ideal for dislodging stubborn accumulations of dirt from rings and necklaces. Simply put your jewellery in a glass, fill it with clean water and pop in two antacid tablets. Wait until the fizzing has stopped, and then dry the jewellery with a microfibre cloth.
7. Aluminium foil
If you’re trying to restore tarnished silver’s natural beauty, some aluminium foil, baking soda and water can do the job nicely. Line a baking tray with the foil, and place your silver jewellery on the top. Sprinkle everything with baking soda, and pour some boiling water over the top. Once the water has become cool, wrap the jewellery in the foil, and give it a shake. After a further 30 minutes, remove the items, give them a rinse and dry them with a microfibre cloth.
There’s no need to spend a small fortune getting your jewellery cleaned when the things you need are probably already in your home.