Tag Archives: jewelry cleaning guide

Simple Care for Sparking Silver Jewelry

A shimmering work of art to wear fresh from your designer’s case is a thing of beauty. Catching your sparkle as you walk past a mirror…how fun is that! But how to hold on to that glow, you ask? Preventative measures and simple, quick maintenance are best bets for keeping almost any jewelry glimmering for a long time.


Hammered Silver Cuff (image by Paul D'Andrea)
Hammered Silver Cuff (image by Paul D’Andrea)

1.  Keep it safe when it sleeps – most jewelry can stay together in the same space, separated with some soft cloth to keep scratches at bay. Pearls, strung beads, and thin neckwires should lay flat.
2.  Keep it from breathing – store in a drawer in cloth bags impregnated with anti-tarnish agents, or plastic baggies. Don’t store items in plastic anywhere too warm, and don’t use this tip for pearls.
3.  Wash-n-Wear – Wearing your silver jewelry often is a good way to keep it from tarnishing. So does washing it once in awhile – easy! Go to the sink. Use the sink stopper. Turn on the tap. Wet hands. Squirt a little hand soap on jewelry and gently wash. Rinse under running water, and dry very well on hand towel. My mom keeps a lint-free towel near her kitchen sink for this purpose, but you can use whatever you have.
1.  Sunshine Cloth – it’s what many jewelers use, including me. Simply wipe and you’re ready to go. For chains, fold the cloth in half and pinch the chain in the fold. Draw the chain through gently using your free hand. Avoid pearls or stones.
2.  “Dips” are for dips. They are caustic, smelly, and not good for children and other living things. Before I knew better, I used one of these products and found sparkling bits of silver that had been stripped off my lovely handmade jewelry. Live and learn.
If it’s really dirty, tarnished, a family heirloom, or you’re just not sure, take it to a reputable jeweler for a good cleaning. Most will polish your piece up for no charge – as will I. It’s a good opportunity to get your item inspected and cleaned by a pro. And yes, we want you there in case you are in the mood for more sparkle and shine!

Apollo Necklace with Hematite, photo by Paul D'Andrea
Apollo Necklace with Hematite, photo by Paul D’Andrea
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