Beautiful jewelry requires appropriate care and management. Storing the jewelry in a box and wearing it occasionally does not mean that you can overlook cleaning and maintaining the materials. If you want your jewelry to last and look beautiful for years, then you must care for it properly and make sure you clean it with the right tools.
Keep it Protected from Sunlight
Sunlight impacts the way that your jewelry looks, particularly in the case of gems and stones. Many stones lose their color and brilliance when exposed to a large amount of light and heat. Other materials, like pearls and ivory, actually bleach out in the sun.
Maintain the color by keeping jewelry hidden from direct sunlight. Wear the jewelry under clothing when spending time outdoors and allow it to show when indoors. Keep it away from hot surfaces or areas to further maintain the materials. Keep in mind that some metals melt or soften when exposed to heat, even if you are wearing the jewelry.
Keep it Clean
A major part of maintaining your jewelry is regular cleaning. Make sure you use appropriate cleaning supplies based on the material of your jewelry. Avoid cleaning silver with basic jewelry cleaning supplies unless it specifically states that the material helps with silver jewelry. Since silver tarnishes easily, opt for natural cleaning supplies like baking soda. Make a thick paste with three parts baking soda and one part water and gently apply it to silver jewelry with a soft cloth. Work the cloth gently over the jewelry and then rinse it with fresh water. Dry and buff the jewelry. Never allow jewelry to sit in water or any liquid, since it causes tarnish.
For gold or gold plated jewelry, use dish soap and seltzer water to gently clean away dirt and grime. Let it soak for a few minutes and then gently brush away dirt from crevices with a soft bristle toothbrush or similar brush. You can also use a jewelry cleaning kit or jewelry cleaner with most gold jewelry.
Store it Properly
Since heat and light impact jewelry, proper storage plays a key role in maintaining the shape and beauty of your accessories. Use a jewelry organizer that has doors or drawers to keep the jewelry out of the light. Organize the jewelry based on the shape and design of the organizer or jewelry box so that rings are in one place, earrings are in another area and necklaces or bracelets hang from hooks to prevent tangling. Close the jewelry box or organizer and place it in a cool area of the room. Never put the jewelry box near a heater or in direct sunlight to prevent any damages from heat or light.
Caring for your jewelry by keeping it cool and clean ensures that it will last for years. You want to clean your jewelry whenever it shows signs of tarnishing or when dirt gets into the crevices. When you are not wearing the jewelry, store it in a safe and cool location to ensure that it will not wear out over time.