Jewelry cleaning is no rocket science and anyone can do it, but certainly a professional will do it best. It’s always advisable to get your jewelry cleaned once in a year. In the long run, this small yearly expenditure can save you from incurring heavy loss due to falling of stones or any permanent damage to jewelry.
Ultrasonic Cleaning and Steam Cleaning of Jewelry
Each gemstone has a different physical and chemical properties, so their cleaning process also differs. If you have knowledge of the gemstone (to be cleaned) and aware of its appropriate cleaning process, then it's fine, otherwise better don’t take risk!
Market is flooded with variety of inexpensive sonic and steam jewelry cleaners. But, keep following important points in mind before applying these cleaners on your piece of jewelry:
Personally, I do not recommend Ultrasonic and steam cleaning at home. For this you must get your valuable jewelry cleaned by any trusted jeweler (this will ensure cleaning as well as inspection for any damage).
Cleaning with available Household Items
You will find lot of information on how to clean jewelry at home with household items. However, household items are not meant for cleaning jewelry as it can lead to permanently damaging your precious jewelry. I mean toothpaste is for cleaning your teeth, not for cleaning your valuable jewelry.
Chlorine, bleach, baking soda, acetone, alcohol, lemon juice, vinegar, coke, ammonia, turpentine, and similar chemicals can severely discolor and spoil jewelry, as well as loosen the settings.
Petroleum based products are strict no for some gemstones like amber and pearls, because these gems are delicate and can get permanently damaged beyond repair.
You won’t be able to hold anyone responsible if you end up ruining your jewelry, so apply your common sense before trying such chemicals on your jewelry.
Cleaning with Soap Water
You can clean your jewelry at home by simple soap water. Use this process to clean gold, platinum and silver jewelry. Even diamond, emerald, quartz and cubic zirconia jewelry can be cleaned using the following process.
NOTE: Don’t soak emerald, quartz, turquoise or pearl jewelry. These are porous gems and liquids can easily seep in, causing discoloration of gems. Just dip the jewelry in warm water and clean it.
Cleaning multi-gemstone Jewelry
Suppose you have a diamond and emerald engagement ring, which method will you will choose to clean? Simply follow the process that is safest for most delicate element. Like - don’t soak your diamond and emerald engagement ring in soap water, just dip and clean it with soft brush.
If you have emerald and pearl jewelry, be extra careful as both are very delicate. Use the brush gently only on emeralds and wipe each pearl individually with a microfiber cleaning cloth dampened with soap water.
Below chart summarizes types of cleaner/processes that can be applied on different gemstones:
Having said that, it's always a wise decision to take jewelry to a trusted jeweler for cleaning. You can always check with jeweler if it's safe to clean jewelry once in a while at home in soapy water.
So, keep your jewelry safe and clean to enjoy its sparkling beauty forever.