We all have that jewelry box full of treasures that we love to take out and admire. And yet realistically speaking, how often are you actually wearing any of it?
It can be hard to find the motivation to polish up your jewelry for every single occasion, but believe it or not, there are some really simple steps you can take to make your favorite pieces look their best. In time, you'll be amazed at how much you enjoy the look and feel of a sparkling earring or cuff, so try out these 10 tips to help you get your sparkle back!
1. Clean your jewelry often.
Jewelry cleaning supplies can be purchased easily but it's also possible to clean many pieces with ingredients you probably already have at home. For example, a good jewelry cleaning cloth works like a charm on pearls and gemstones. You can also clean jewelry by adding a little baking soda to your household cleaner, or spray some WD-40 on your gold pieces. Yet another option is to use a sandwich bag with a teaspoon of table salt mixed in. Simply rub the jewelry gently with the salt, then rinse it off with water and dry it.
2. Protect your pearls.
To keep your pearls looking their best, use a soft cloth to wipe them free of any body oils that may discolor them over time.
3. Clean your silver carefully.
Silver is a lovely metal that can tarnish, but with careful cleaning it's easy to keep your silver sparkly and bright. Use silver polish, which is more like a liquid than a cream, to make quick work of tarnished items. If you do not have silver polish on hand, you can also buy some at most hardware stores; however, make sure the label clearly says "silver polish."
4. Apply a little elbow grease.
If you want to remove oxidation from silver, use an old toothbrush and a little dish soap to gently rub the tarnish off. If you have gloves, this would be a great time to put them on!
5. Polish your pearls with a soft cloth.
Apply a little pearl lotion or oil to your favorite pearl necklace and rub it in with a soft cloth or jewelry polishing cloth. A few drops of dish soap in the cloth will work, too.
6. Don't put anything on your diamonds.
Diamonds are not meant to be worn in jewelry, so don't create any scratches with earrings or rings. Try to avoid scratching your diamonds against rough surfaces if you can, and always use a soft polishing cloth when working over your precious stones.
7. Get rid of light spots on gold jewelry.
If you have a gold chain, you're probably afraid that if it gets dirty, it'll leave a spot on your clothing. For jewelry that's not sterling silver, try rubbing some lemon juice on the spot or gently rubbing with a soft cloth. You can also try using toothpaste to gently polish off tarnish and spots.
8. Clean gold rings and bracelets with soap and water.
Even the toughest jewelry cleaner can't get rid of all of that tough dirt that can build up on gold. You should always wash your gold jewelry before wearing it, but you should also remember to dry it well after washing. If your piece is silver, be careful about using household cleaners with ammonia in them because they can damage the finish.
9. Avoid velvet-type fabrics for fine items.
A velvet purse, for example, would not be a good place to store diamond earrings, nor would it be a good idea to put them in a velvet-lined box.
10. Don't use products that are too strong.
When polishing your gold jewelry at home, you're better off using materials that are not too harsh on the item. Be sure not to use any products that are very abrasive or contain chemicals that could remove the finish or color of your jewelry.