If you own a beautiful watch, a precious necklace or a ring that you never take off, then chances are you’ll know a thing or two about cleaning or taking care of your favourite pieces. But what about all the things you shouldn’t do? When it comes to cleaning or storing your jewellery, there are many common mistakes to avoid. Here we get to grips with the top five no-gos.
1. Cleaning Agents
If you’re one of those jewellery-owners who reach straight for the toothpaste, powder or other cleaning abrasive when you want to rub a shine back into your pieces - stop! Whilst these cleaning agents work wonders on materials like porcelain, they can dry and cake up your fine jewellery, which is not the look you’re going for. Instead, go for a softer approach. Soaking your jewellery in warm water for a few hours and then gently scrubbing with a soft toothbrush and mild soap is the best way to go. Alternatively, glass cleaner is actually a good option for your jewellery too. Just avoid the heavy stuff!
2. Ditch the Dish
For those of you who take off your jewellery at night and toss it all straight onto your bedside jewellery dish, we know why you do it. A jewellery dish is easy, close to hand and ensures that you never lose your go-to pieces. But whilst this dish might seem the most convenient way to hold your jewellery whenever you’re not wearing it, you might unintentionally be scratching or damaging your pieces every time you take them off. These dishes are often sturdy and made of material that could gradually dent or scratch your favourite rings, pendants or earrings. Combine this with a dozen different gemstones with varying degrees of hardness, and it won’t be long before you see marks on your softer gems. As with any clothing item, wear and tear often occurs as a result of it coming into contact with other materials or scratchy surfaces. For maximum longevity of your jewellery, store each of your items separately. This might simply be a case of buying a jewellery organiser with different compartments, but it ensures that you won’t experience any unwanted damage in years to come. Note: Take extra care of your pearls! They’re exceptionally prone to scratches, and so require extra care.
3. Break the Chain
We all know the pain of untangling two or more chains that have decided to entwine themselves in a dozen different knots and loops. Not only do these tangled chains cause you ten minutes of annoyance as you try to separate them, regular pulling and fiddling with the fine links can potentially damage the jewellery itself. Always store your necklaces in individual bags or on a jewellery stand, and if you’re going away with lots of them, buy a travel case with loops for you to clip them into.
4. Stay out of the Splash Zone
Do you wear perfume? Hairspray? Regularly cook with oils? Keep in mind how many of these day-to-day items may be contaminating your jewellery. A daily spritz of perfume or aftershave onto your wristwatch or bracelet might seem harmless, but years of this may start to tarnish and damage your piece. Likewise, a fine layer of hairspray hitting your earrings as you get ready in the mornings will not do your jewellery any good. Be mindful of what you’re exposing your jewellery to, and try to keep everything away from soaps, cosmetics or anything that might cause discolouration. Ideally, put your jewellery on last to ensure that nothing in your morning routine will damage it.
5. Hot or Not
We all love to open the curtains in the morning to a beautiful sunny day, but the same cannot be said for your jewellery pieces. Many of the materials used in your favourite rings, necklaces or bracelets such as stainless steel or leather are sensitive to sunlight. Leave them too long in the sun and they may start to fade or bleach! Likewise humidity can also wreak havoc with certain jewellery pieces. If you’re jetting off to a hot country with a whole host of your glittering jewels in tow, try to limit the time you wear them in the sun. Stick to wearing your best items in the evenings and you’ll have nothing to worry about!