Bling may be beautiful, but without proper care, it can become dull over time. Gold will no longer look like gold, gemstones will be covered in gunk and grime, and pearls will lose their luster. To preserve the condition of your jewelry, it’s important to know how to take care of them the proper way.
Here are a couple of care tips to help you maintain the condition of your precious pieces:
Only store clean jewelry
Before you store your jewelry, be sure that it’s clean and dry. For instance, if you wore a gold ring to the gym, be sure to wipe off the sweat before storing it away (or better yet, don’t wear it to the gym at all). This is because moisture can cause your pieces to lose their shine at a much faster rate.
A tried-and-tested way to clean your accessories is by mixing a gentle, fragrance-free soap with warm water. Use a soft-bristled brush to get rid of any grime that may have gotten into the crevices. You can use a clean cloth to pat-dry your jewelry or wait for it to air-dry on its own. Never store pieces that aren’t completely dry, as even the tiniest amount of moisture can destroy your collection.
Store your accessories in a cool, dry place
We’re all guilty of placing our accessories on the nightstand after a long day, but this shouldn’t become a habit. Jewelry should always be placed in a cool, dry, and dark place, such as a jewelry box lined with fabric. This is because exposure to damp and humid environments can make your accessories more susceptible to discoloration. Exposure to the sun or ultraviolet rays can also cause dullness.
It’s extremely important for your pieces not to be exposed to the elements. If you don’t have a jewelry box, be sure to wrap each piece in paper or cloth, or place each piece in a soft pouch. Make sure to store your accessories in a drawer to keep them away from the sun (and away from burglars).
Separate your accessories
Even if you’re very careful when wearing your accessories, they can still get damaged during storage. Crystals, for example, can become scratched when they get knocked together with metals.
The solution is to store your accessories separately. You can either store them by metal or by kind. By storing the same metals together (e.g. gold rings with gold earrings), you can prevent them from “interacting” with other metals. Storing your pieces by kind (e.g. rings together) is also a good choice, as it enables you to locate pieces faster.
Since necklace chains can get tangled with one another, it’s best to store them separately, because we all know how annoying it can be to deal with that! Purchase a necklace tree or stand to ensure the chains stay in place.
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4. Avoid contact with chemicals
Gems and metals are very sensitive to the chemicals you can find in self-care items such as perfume, lotion, and more. These items can cause irreversible damage to your beloved accessories, particularly those with pearls or precious stones. Lotion, for instance, can create a film on the surface of your jewelry that can dull its shine. The oil from perfume can also cause soft stones like pearls and opals to darken.
As a golden rule, only put on your accessories once you’re ready to go out. Get dressed first so you can keep your pieces away from the chemicals in your skincare products, perfume, etc. If you need to apply hand cream or hand sanitizer while wearing jewelry, just make sure to take it off and wait for the product to completely dry before putting it back on.
Take off your jewelry
Just because your jewelry is made from durable materials, doesn’t mean you should wear it at all times. As a rule of thumb, you should never wear jewelry near water, such as when you’re going swimming or showering. Even sweating can cause discoloration and corrosion, so be sure to go bling-free at the gym!
Bring a jewelry bag with you at all times so you have a safe place to store your jewelry. If you often forget to remove your jewelry before showering, add a ring bowl to the sink to remind yourself to take off your rings, earrings, etc. Remember not to wear your pieces when gardening, cleaning, or doing other outdoor activities where sweat will be involved.
Treat your pearls with care
Pearls need more care than other precious stones. For one, while they may have come from the ocean, you should never wash them with water. Pearls are softer than other stones, meaning they’re more prone to damage. To clean pearl accessories, you should only wipe them with a damp cloth that was dipped in a solution of warm water and mild dish soap.
If your pearl piece is made of multiple beads strung together, remember to lay it flat to prevent its thread from stretching out. You should also consider restringing your pearls so they won’t wear out until they snap. Preserve your pearls’ condition by restringing them every 24 months, even if you don’t wear your pearls regularly.
Whether you’re into gold or gemstones, caring for your pieces of jewelry can prolong their life, allowing you to wear stunning pieces for a long time. By setting aside the time to care for your precious pieces, you’ll be able to keep your collection looking so good that they’ll look like they’re fresh from the jewelry store!