Many people love collecting and wearing antique jewelry. However, over time, this beautiful jewelry can become dirty and need to be cleaned.
Cleaning your antique jewelry every few weeks is an essential step to keeping it looking beautiful. Without regular cleaning, the pieces could start to lose their sparkle and shine.
When it comes to your antique jewelry, should you take special precautions in cleaning it? We have five helpful tips for helping clean your antique jewelry:
1. Choose the right cleaning product based on the metal
This should go without saying, but not all antique jewelry is created equal, and the approach to cleaning should be different for each piece. For example, the chemical composition of different metals varies. So, the effect of particular solutions on different metals will differ as well.
For a quick example, have you ever noticed that gold tends to darken over time? To change the blackened look, you can use a solution that uses ammonia and a large amount of water. It’s extremely important to note that ammonia is incredibly strong and could permanently damage the metal if left on your pieces for too long. If this worries you too much, use a professional-grade cleaning solution that is made specifically for gold or platinum jewelry.
Silver doesn’t need as deep of a clean as gold and platinum. It can be cleaned with a diluted baking soda solution that is applied with a toothbrush because the metal does not have the same strength as gold or platinum.
2. Check for dust or other residue & clean with a soft brush
Like you do before you clean the floor or countertops of your home, dust off any dirt or debris from your jewelry before cleaning. Make sure that you brush very gently because you don’t want these tiny particles to scratch any of the surfaces of your jewelry.
Sometimes the dust or debris cannot be seen by the naked eye, so it might be helpful to use a magnifying glass to identify the debris. If you notice anything, just clean it out with a soft brush or toothbrush.
3. Use a soft cloth
Once you have determined the correct solution to use and have cleared your piece of dust and debris, it’s time to make it look new again. Apply some of the solution onto a soft cloth. Make sure the cloth is not too wet, but just damp enough to clean the surface. If the piece has little crevices that are hard to reach with a cloth, use a soft Q tip.
Depending on the solution, you may also decide to soak the piece. If you end up using dish detergent, for instance, you can leave it soaking in a bowl for longer.
4. Make sure to dry the jewelry
This is one of the most important steps that you cannot miss when cleaning your antique jewelry. Once you have taken the necessary steps to clean the product and get it back to the way it was when you purchased it, you’ll want to make sure it’s completely dry.
If any liquid is left on the piece, it could be quite damaging to the jewelry. Moisture is just about the worst thing that could happen to an antique piece of jewelry.
5. Polish the jewelry
One last step that you can take to finish the cleaning process is to polish the piece with a special cloth. You can buy special polishing clothes online or in a jewelry store. They are inexpensive and can help to add back some shine and sparkle to your antique piece.