jewellery being gently washed with soap and water

How to Care For and Store Jewellery

How to Care for Jewellery

Your fine jewellery is something to be cherished, whether that's sterling silver, silver chains, gold jewelry or a diamond ring. Your jewellery is important to you, whether it's an investment piece, a gift or an everyday item. You will want to ensure it looks its best for as long as you own it or wear it.

Knowing how to clean jewellery properly and care for your favourite pieces that you love to wear will ensure it lasts for generations to come.

It's not just diamonds that will benefit from TLC, your costume jewelry, gold filled or gold plated jewelry will also last longer if you care for it properly. Read on to learn how to clean jewelry, store it properly and how to ensure your precious jewelry looks fabulous!

How to Clean Diamond and Gemstone Jewelry

Hard gemstones such as diamonds can be cleaned easily with a simple household ingredients like everyday dish soap. Use a cleaning solution of dish soap and hot water, but not boiling water.

After soaking for an hour or so in the dish soap, gently scrub your gemstone with a very soft bristled brush to remove dirt and debris. A soft bristled toothbrush is a good choice. Rinse your item thoroughly, pat dry and then polish with a clean cloth. A soft microfiber cloth is ideal for this.

jewellery cleaning diamond ring with microfibre cloth

Clean jewelry always looks much more sparkly and shiny than jewelry that has been left to gather dirt and debris. Don't forget to clean under your gemstone if you can access it, as the light will shine through much more brightly.

Don't clean any jewellery over the sink or wash basin as you run the risk of losing it down the plug hole. Always use a separate bowl and go carefully when you remove it. When you dry jewelry always do it on a suitable surface area away from the sink.

Cleaning Soft Gemstones

Be very careful when you clean soft gemstones such as emeralds. Soak soft gemstones in a solution of dishwashing liquid and warm water and only use a very soft cloth or microfiber cloth. Make sure you use a very soft bristle toothbrush to avoid damaging your jewelry.

gemstone rings being cleaned with microfibre cloth

Please remember that various other stones cannot be cleaned this way though, for example amber, carnelian, coral and turquoise, so please ask us if you need further advice.

How to Look After Pearls

Take extra care when looking after your pearls. They benefit from absorbing the natural body oils from your skin, so show them off and wear them regularly. Due to their porous nature, pearls must be cleaned with care and should never be soaked in water.

Start by laying your pearl jewellery on a soft cloth then clean gently with a very soft toothbrush dipped in lukewarm water. To finish, wipe with a clean, well-wrung damp cloth.

Cleaning Silk Thread Necklaces

Strands should be left to air dry flat to prevent the string from stretching and breaking.

Always put your pearls on after using hairspray or perfume to protect them from chemical damage. Never spray cosmetics or chemicals when wearing this type of jewellery.

Pearls should never be stored in an airtight container as this may cause them to dehydrate and crack.

How to Clean Gold Jewellery, Gold Plating and Other Metals

The precious metal of platinum, gold, silver and other metals will last years if cared for correctly. These soft metals are susceptible to scratches and dents, so handle with care and always protect from household products and chemicals.

gold plated jewellery in soft jewellery box for safety

Polish gold jewelry regularly with specialist cleaning cloths, a microfiber cloth or jewelry cleaner to remove tarnish and dirt. You can also soak jewelry in a small bowl of warm soapy water and buff dry after cleaning with a polishing cloth. Always use warm water for cleaning jewelry, never boiling.

We wouldn't recommend using aluminum foil and baking soda paste to clean jewelry as baking soda may scratch delicate precious metals if used incorrectly. Always be gentle when you clean jewelry.

What's the Best Way to Clean Silver Rings, Earrings and Bracelets?

Silver jewellery is easily cleaned with a specialist solution. Clean silver jewellery that has been recently polished looks fabulous once you have removed the tarnish. Not all silver jewelry has a rhodium finish so it will need polishing up.

How Do You Clean Tarnished Silver Jewellery?

You may need to clean your silver pieces more regularly than gold as silver can tarnish when you wear it.

cleaning sterling silver jewellery with silver cloth

Remove Silver Tarnish with a Polishing Cloth

Clean your sterling silver items and silver jewelry with specialist cleaning solution then wash in cool water and buff with a polishing cloth. If you clean silver jewellery regularly it will last for generations. Of course remember not to immerse certain gemstones in water. You can clean the metal around the gemstone and still get rid of the tarnish.

How to Store Jewellery

Keep your jewellery away from heat and strong light and chemicals such as cosmetics, perfume and hairspray. Don't hang pearls as this will cause stretching of the string.

Store Pieces Properly

Your fine jewellery and costume jewelry should be stored carefully in individual pouches or boxes lined with soft fabric to prevent scratches and tangling. A jewellery box with a soft lining is ideal, especially for soft gemstones.

fine jewellery getting safely stored in soft jewellery box

Clean silver jewelry can be wrapped in specialist cloths to prevent tarnish.

If you want to take your jewellery away with you when you go travelling, keep each item separate and well-padded to protect your precious jewelry from damage. 

Going swimming? It's best to remove your jewelry before diving into the pool or hot tub as the chlorinated pool water can damage and tarnish your metal and stones. Silver jewellery in particular is easily tarnished by chemicals. Avoid smearing sun lotion on your jewellery.

Don't Sleep or Shower in Your Jewelry

Always be careful with your jewelry and don't sleep in your jewelry to avoid damage such as chains breaking or earrings getting bent. Fingers can swell overnight so it's best to remove rings for comfort.

It is best not to shower in your jewelry as it may have a chemical reaction to any products you use and the hot water may be too harsh.

Check Your Jewellery

Check your precious jewellery every time you wear it to ensure it is in good repair and there has been no damage. Check the fastenings on necklaces and claws on rings for example. Why not keep a polishing cloth handy along with a cotton swab and a soft brush so you can easily clean your jewellery when needed.

When to Use Professional Jewelry Cleaning

If you aren't confident about cleaning your jewelry or you haven't got the required cleaning products, you may wish to have your jewellery professionally cleaned. Professional cleaning will really shine up metal and give your gemstones a sparkling finish.

BUT: Don't Always Use an Ultrasonic!

Professionals will know which jewellery is suitable for cleaning with an ultrasonic cleaner.

How to Care for Opals

antique silver brooch with opal gemstone

Read our opal blog to find our how to care for opal jewellery.

Here at Hunters Fine Jewellery we take pride in every piece of jewelry we sell and ensure every item is cleaned and polished before sale. Our antique and vintage jewellery is checked thoroughly to be sure there is no damage. Jewellery is for wearing so enjoy it and if you take these steps to look after it you will take pleasure from it for many years to come. If you have any questions about how to care for your jewellery, please get in touch.

Back to blog