There are many commercial jewelry cleaners available that do an excellent job. It is important to know you should never use bleach or any other harsh chemicals to clean your jewelry. Certain chemicals, especially chlorine bleach and bromine, will react to the base metals in your gold mountings and/or can pit and discolor the mounting.
Although diamonds have a non-porous surface, our day-to-day activities will attract dirt and oil to our diamonds. There are a few simple ways to keep you diamond looking as good as new.
One important point to remember when cleaning diamonds is – make sure you clean your diamonds individually because there is a danger of two diamonds scratching each other. That is also an important point when considering how you store your jewelry. Keep your diamonds separated when you do not have them on. Even though diamonds are extremely hard, they can be damaged if given a hard blow. Do not wear your diamond jewelry when doing rough work or when using chlorine bleach or other chemicals. Some chemicals can pit and discolor the mounting.
Avoid wearing any jewelry in swimming pools or hottubs. Over time the cholrine will interact
with the metal and cause cracks and sometime the prongs to just fall off, resulting in lost stones!
We have a simple recipe to make your own jewelry cleaner. Mix to a frothy lather, one cup warm water, two tablespoons liquid washing detergent, and one teaspoon of clear ammonia. Simply put a piece of jewelry into this mixture and let soak for about fifteen minutes. After soaking, brush each side of the piece with a soft toothbrush, rinse with warm water and pat dry with a soft cloth. Please be careful when rinsing, close the sink drain in case the jewelry slips from your hand.
*Please note: This method should not be used on jewelry made with pearls, cameos, opals, turquoise, coral and lapis. Also, remember some gemstones are extremely porous and should be handled with care. Among those are emeralds and aquamarine. If you are in doubt, please feel free to call Dave Wilson Designer Goldsmith and ask.
The only way to clean pearls safely is to wipe them with a moist, soft cloth. For pearl jewelry, it is best to avoid direct contact with any chemicals such as perfume, make-up, hairspray, etc. As with your diamonds, it is important to store your pearls separate from other jewelry.
Jewelry Maintenance Tips
- Have your Jewelry inspected and check by a professional every 6 months!If you notice snagging or sharpness on any prongs have your jewelry inspected.
- Prongs can wear thin allowing stones to fall out.
- Chains and Pearl Strands weaken with wear.
- Ring shanks wear thin through time.
- Before disaster strikes, have your jewelry professionally inspected and repaired.
- To have your jewelry cover by your insurance policy, call your insurance agent to find out what documentation you may be lacking. Every five years have the Appraisal re-evaluated.
- Chlorine bleach can weaken gold. Avoid wearing in swimming pools and hot tubs.
- Herringbone chains require special care. Avoid wearing them when sleeping. Always lay them out flat when not being worn.
- If you always wear your wedding set together, have them soldered to wear as one.
- Avoid wearing pearls when they are wet. Wet silk is weak; lay them out for 24 hours to allow the silk to dry. When dressing put the pearls on last. Hairspray, cosmetics and perfume can damage the nacre of the pearl thus eating away the luster. Pearls worn often should be restrung yearly – wearing can weaken the silk. Newly re-strung pearls may not lay flat – to straighten out hang the string on a door knob overnight.
Watch Maintenance Tips
- Check the watch on a regular basis, making sure that all the components are securely attached.
- A mechanical watch should be checked regularly by a professional. Tiny dust particles can get inside the casing, causing friction among moving parts and throw off time-keeping accuracy.
- Always wind your watch in a clockwise direction. Remove the watch from your wrist so as not to place undue pressure on the stem.
- Replace broken or scratched crystals immediately. Even a hairline crack can let dust or moisture into the mechanism.
- Oils from your skin can build up on a watch. If it is water-resistant, give it an occasional cleaning with a mixture of warm water and a mild soap. If the strap is leather or non-metal, clean only the case.
- Unless the degree of water-resistance is clearly specified, do not wear your watch in the shower or pool or immerse it in water. Clean it with a slightly damp cloth and then dry.
- Don’t wear your metal watch like a loose bracelet; it will scratch the crystal and band. Wear it snugly.
- Replace the battery in a quartz watch before it runs out. Dead batteries left in a watch can leak or corrode, ruining the timepiece.
- No matter how handy you are, don’t attempt any “do-it-yourself” watch repairs. Let an expert do the repairs.