Are you a thorough fashionista with an eye for junk jewelry to accessorize yourself? While collecting all vintage or ethnic jewelry to match your outfits can be a passion, maintaining them is always a task. If you are fond of stacking up the wardrobe with accessories, but the thought of cleaning them makes you sick, here’s what you need.
Avoid Generic Cleaning
If you find your jewelry fading its color even after intensive care, you are probably not doing it right. Remember, all jewelry needs different kinds of care and maintenance, and no generic cleaning technique can help them stand the test of time. Thus, you should not use the same cleaning methods for a diamond earring that you use for a silver anklet.
The reason? Various metals or alloys have different reactions with specific elements. For instance, too acidic cleansers can corrode jewelry made of copper. However, it is unreactive on metals like gold and can clean them better. Hence, using the same cleaning formula for all is a strict no-no.
Self-care before Jewelry Care
Do you wear your favorite pushback earring or pearl bracelet 24*7? They might have high chances of fading in color as stones like pearls react with the acidic nature of sweat. Thus, putting them only after bathing and applying a thick layer of lotion or talcum powder would be best. Remember, the jewelry is to deck up your body; hence, there’s nothing more vital than maintaining the latter.
Additionally, you must also watch out for any allergic reaction while wearing specific metals. These might range from rashes and itching to sore skin. Whatever the reaction might be, it indicates the metal is unfit for you, where wearing them can be detrimental to your health. However, there are also times when some accessories react extraordinarily, especially when they are dirty. Hence, it is imperative to clean them regularly to avoid such impacts.
Storage Tips for Jewelry
While cleaning your jewelry regularly is vital, one must also ensure proper storage. If you are an accessory freak, the rate at which your jewelry multiplies must be crazy. And, of course, you do not get to wear all of them often, except on fancy occasions. Now imagine this; you plan to wear your favorite ear cuffs to your friend’s wedding but find them faded. There’s nothing more heart-wrenching than shutting your jewelry box with such a sight.
The solution? Store your jewelry properly. Most people tend to have one quirky-looking jewelry box where they stack every accessory they buy. Remember, metals might have a chemical reaction with other metals, affecting their color, luster, etc. No wonder it is imperative to store each type of jewelry in separate boxes, away from sunlight. Thus, the next time you get a diamond bracelet, make sure you do not chuck it in with your gold jewelry and ruin them.
One must also ensure they store their jewelry in closed air-tight boxes to avoid oxidizing the metals. Keeping your jewelry in the open might corrode them faster. But is keeping necklaces in a box together becoming a task for you? Of course, untangling them can take several hours and loads of patience but keeping them out is never the solution. Wondering what it is, then? All you need to do is ensure necklaces are latched to avoid entangling.
Get Your Jewelry Insured
Lost or damaged jewelry can drill a hole in your pockets if you do not get them insured. A jewelry insurance policy offers you financial coverage for any damage to your priced possessions in case they are stolen, lost or damaged. There are several kinds of insurance policies one can choose from, depending on your needs. In fact, your renters insurance can also help reimburse you if your jewelry is lost or damaged.
You must also have a detailed valuation of your jewelry, preferably from a professional, to estimate the weight, jewels, and market price of each ornament. Such valuations help you claim the required amount once you have insurance.
Cleaning Precious Stones
Are you fond of gem-studded ornaments? While they are surreal to wear with traditional Indian outfits, maintaining the gemstones to ensure they last long can be challenging. Though they might look sturdy, most gemstones are quite sensitive to chemicals and heat. Here are a few hacks to clean your gemstones to preserve their luster.
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Use Lukewarm Water
Unlike the popular notion of cleaning gemstones by dipping them in boiling water, make sure you use a light scrub and lukewarm water. Gems like pearls, ruby, and sapphire are very susceptible to heat, and boiling water can fade their hue pretty soon.
Use a Light Soap
While most tend to use washing powder or other soaps to clean gemstones, one must avoid using a harsh basic compound. Beware, they can erode the gemstones and affect their texture. Hence, using soft washing powder is always better.
Cleaning your ornaments with a brush is easier as it can help you touch the intricate grooves and corners. However, a harsh scrub or rinsing them hard can ruin their quality and texture. Thus, it would be best to use a soft brush or a cloth to clean your gemstones.
Cleaning Precious Metals and Organic Gemstones
Precious metals like gold and silver are an investment for several years. Of course, one cannot afford to spoil them due to low maintenance. While you can use the cleaning hacks mentioned above, one must also keep them away while bathing or washing to avoid oxidizing them. Further, you can soak your gold and silver ornaments in water and let them rest for a while to let all the dirt wash off.
However, avoid following these procedures for organic gemstones like coral and pearls. They have a different chemical makeup and are highly reactive to acidic compounds. The best way to clean them is by scrubbing them lightly using a soft wet cloth. Remember, soaking them in water is a strict no-no.
Given above are a couple of easy hacks to ensure your priced wardrobe possessions last long enough. However, one must also understand the kind of metals or gemstones they buy along with their compositions to understand which cleaning technique suits them the best.
Anika Sachdev is a freelance writer, who writes about fashion and lifestyle. She is currently pursuing her diploma in Fashion Design from iNIFD. She enjoys styling, making fashion illustrations and is a big fan of the work of Coco Chanel. Based in Mumbai, she likes to draw and listen to Bollywood music in her free time. For any questions, feedback or concerns, please email [email protected]