Get Your Shine On: Expert Guide To Clean Your Bling - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/11/07

Get Your Shine On: Expert Guide To Clean Your Bling

Diamonds are the toughest rocks in town; opals are among the softest. To keep your treasures looking their best, follow these tips from Carolyn Forte, director of home appliances and cleaning products at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute.

If instructions call for brushing, use an eye shadow brush; for scrubbing, use a baby's toothbrush. If your ring or necklace is set with a variety of jewels, heed the advice for the most delicate; our list starts with the hardest stone and ends with the softest.

Diamonds

Soak your diamonds in a solution of two parts warm water and one part ammonia for several minutes. Scrub to loosen any dirt. Rinse and pat dry. Hand lotions and soaps can make diamonds look dull. Do this every few weeks if you wear your diamond all the time; do it every few months if you take it off every now and then.

Store your diamonds individually. These gems are so hard, they can scratch or crack if knocked together in a box. Separate them from other stones in a soft pouch or a little box.

Sapphire, Ruby, Amethyst, Peridot and Tanzanite

These gems are all types of quartz. Immerse them separately, to avoid scratching, in a mixture of warm water and mild, softener-free dishwashing liquid. With a baby's toothbrush, scrub the stone gently, rinse, and dry.

As a cleaner, Ivory is better than Dawn. Whatever cleaner you use shouldn't use aloe or vitamin E or be antibacterial. While these things are good for hands, they are bad for jewelry.

Emerald

Dip your emeralds in room-temperature water and brush gently without soap and then let them air-dry.

You should also have your emeralds re-oiled by a jeweler every few years.

Opals

To clean opals, use a soft, soapy cloth, then rinse. Be extra careful when handling and storing these stones because they're prone to chipping.

Opals need to absorb moisture from the air, otherwise they can crack. Keep them in a jewelry box that you open frequently and not anyplace airtight, like a safe-deposit box.

Turquoise

Wipe turquoise with a soft, dry cloth. Never use a cleanser: The porous stone could absorb the fluid and become discolored. You should clean turquoise frequently to maintain its color.

Pearls

Whether real, cultured or faux, pearls are fragile and lose their luster easily. That's why you should apply perfume or makeup before putting them on, although it's a good idea to follow this rule no matter what the jewel.

Never immerse your pearls because the string will get wet. Wipe pearls with a soft, moist cloth after each wearing to rid the surfaces of any cosmetic residue; for a more thorough cleaning, dip a brush in a mix of mild soap and warm water, then work it around your pearls. Wipe them with a wet cloth and lay the strand flat to dry to prevent the string from stretching.

Unless they are very inexpensive, have your pearls examined every couple of years by a jeweler to determine whether they need re-stringing.

Ultrasonic Cleaners: Are They Worth the Money?

These machines gently vibrate jewelry in a cleaning solution to loosen and remove dirt. But some stones are too delicate for the vibrations, including pearls, opals, emeralds, turquoise, amber, and any stones that are glued in their setting.

 

Metal Maintenance

 Gold and Platinum

For routine cleaning, dip in sudsy water. If your piece is not pure gold (for example, 10K rather than 24K), it contains alloy metals that may tarnish. If that happens, add a few drops of ammonia to your solution and brush gently or take the piece to a jeweler for polishing.

Silver

Polish your silver use a cloth designed to spiff silver; rubbing with a paper towel or tissue can cause scratches.

 

Courtesy of www.abcnews.com

 

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