Jewelry Care and Cleaning < Jewelry Education How to Clean And Care For Your Jewelry Fine jewelry will bring years of wearing pleasure with proper care and cleaning – and occasional inspection by a professional jeweler. There are also some special precautions to take with more delicate gems like pearls. Good common sense is your best guide, but here are some helpful tips to keep all your fine jewelry in tip-top shape. All Jewelry Avoid wearing jewelry while in contact with household chemicals, such as chlorine bleach. They can discolor or damage your jewelry mountings. Take off your jewelry before doing rough manual work or playing sports. Gemstones could be jarred loose or chipped by a hard blow. When you're not wearing your jewelry, be careful that pieces do not tumble against each other to avoid scratching or dulling. Ideally, store each piece in its own soft cloth pouch. At least once a year, have a jeweler professionally clean and inspect your fine jewelry. Most jewelers offer cleaning and inspection as a complimentary service to give you a lifetime of wearing pleasure. At Shane Co., twice-a-year cleaning and inspection also helps ensure the workmanship of your purchase lasts a lifetime. Diamonds Clean your diamond jewelry regularly at home in an ultrasonic cleaner or by hand. To make your own jewelry cleaning solution, mix one part ammonia to six parts water. Gently scrub the diamond piece with a small soft toothbrush to loosen dirt and restore the diamond's brilliance. Be careful not to scratch the metal setting. Always rinse after cleaning. Rubies and Sapphires To clean rubies and sapphire jewelry at home, use a lukewarm solution of water and mild dishwashing soap, or one part ammonia to six parts water. Keep your gems brilliant by gently brushing them with a small bristle brush, especially underneath where dirt collects. Rinse and dry. Pearls Pearls can keep their luster for a very long time, when cared for. Proper pearl care is not difficult, as long as you remember that these gems are organic by nature, grown in water from living cells of a living creature. The best way to help your pearls maintain their luster is to wear them regularly. Your body's natural oils aid in maintaining the pearls' beauty. Pearls should be worn alone. If worn with other jewelry, such as a gold chain or other necklace, they may be scratched or damaged. Apply any cosmetics, lotions, perfume or hair spray before putting on your pearls. Make your pearls the last item you put on when getting dressed and the first item you take off. Avoid contact with salt water, chlorinated water, or perspiration. Wipe your pearls after wearing them, using a soft cloth. Remove spills immediately when pearls come in contact with any foods or liquids. Wipe them with a soft damp cloth and then with a dry soft cloth. Store your pearls separately from other jewelry, preferably in a cloth bag. Storing them in a slightly damp linen cloth will help the pearls from drying out in low humidity atmospheres and centrally heated areas. Never clean your pearls with soap, detergents, or jewelry cleaner. A harsh cleanser can wear away the nacre. Never use an ultrasonic jewelry cleaning machine or steam cleaner. Have your pearls restrung every two to five years if worn regularly, or when the silk becomes dirty. Take your pearls to a professional jeweler for cleaning prior to restringing, which will add to the beauty and long life of your pearls. Gold Jewelry Proper care of your gold jewelry will assure a long-lasting glow. Gold is tarnish-resistant, but it can get dirty or smudged. Every so often, clean your gold jewelry with a mild detergent or ammonia solution (one part ammonia to six parts water). Avoid ammonia solution when cleaning pieces that contain pearls. Do not use any kind of abrasive that might scratch the gold. Use a soft brush to gently clean intricate filigree designs and under gemstones. Rinse and wipe jewelry after cleaning. Platinum Jewelry Like gold, platinum jewelry does not tarnish. Simply clean your platinum pieces with a soft cloth and mild detergent or ammonia solution (one part ammonia to six parts water) to maintain their luster. Silver Jewelry Because sterling silver by nature may tarnish, we provide you with a professional cleaning and polishing cloth with your purchase of sterling silver jewelry. The treated inner cloth will restore luster without scratching or removing the finish. This cloth can also be used on your gold and platinum jewelry. Use the inner polishing cloth to remove tarnish or dirt, and finish with a few rubs of the outer cloth to provide a high shine. Alternatively, create your own cleaning solution. Line a bowl with aluminum foil and pour hot, salted water in. Drop your silver jewelry in and move it around with a wooden or plastic utensil to ensure all of the surfaces come in contact with the aluminum foil. When you notice that the metal has become bright again (it should only take a few minutes), remove the jewelry and rinse under the tap. Wipe gently with a towel and polish with a soft cloth. Note that this method should only be used if your jewelry does not contain gemstones as the saltwater could damage the settings.