caring for your jewels

This is a post I've been wanting to write for awhile. Not only is it helpful info for YOU but it will also provide as a resource for our customers to get the longest life from their baubles.

To start, I have to make a couple of distinctions. Many of our pieces are made with sterling silver, but not all. Please refer to the Product Detail Guide to determine what materials your specific piece is made of before you choose a cleaning method - methods that work for one type of metal may not work for others!

Let's talk first about ways you can increase the length of your jewelry's life, by proper day-to-day care.

Day-to-Day Jewelry Care

To keep my jewels in top shape I follow these tips:
  • Jewelry should be last on, first off. This will help prevent snagging, catching, and pulls on your clothes.
  • All lotions and perfumes should be fully dry before your jewels are put on. Sunscreen is a common culprit in jewelry tarnishing.
  • Don't leave jewels in the bathroom - the humidity from the shower can tarnish and damage the finish.
  • Remove rings before performing tasks that require excessive use of your hands.
  • If you are planning on using any chemicals at all, you’ll want to remove your rings and other jewelry that may come in contact. This includes chemicals that may be found in pools (chlorine) and other regular activities.
  • You shouldn’t subject plated jewelry to high temperatures or grease. These two conditions wear down the finish/plating.
  • Sweat also leads to the wear of the plating on jewelry. Remove your jewels before going to the gym or other physical activity.
  • Be sure to avoid storing plated jewelry in containers made of oak, or even cardboard boxes. These materials are often treated with sulfur, which over time will release fumes that will cause your jewelry to tarnish and become damaged. 
  • If possible, store jewels in sealed ziplock bags when not in use

Should you find after some time your jewelry does show some tarnish or discoloration, try one of the cleaning methods listed below.

At-Home Solution for Cleaning Sterling Silver

Stella & Dot stylists have recommended this DIY cleaning method for your sterling silver pieces:
Start with a shallow glass dish, lined with tinfoil (shiny side up). Lay your jewels in and sprinkle a healthy dose of baking soda on top. Pour just-off-the-stove boiling hot water in the bowl to cover the item, and a small drop of dishsoap. Then give it another dusting of baking soda and more boiling water and you're done!
Ever After Necklace (retired)

At-Home Solution for Cleaning Care Gold Plated Jewelry

Store-bought jewelry cleaners are often too harsh to use on your plated jewelry. Other homemade solutions (like toothpaste) can be harmful as well. Instead, rely on a soft cotton cloth and a bit of warm water. If you have to, you can use a tiny amount of liquid soap, but you should only do this when needed.

Cleaning Care for Italian Bronze, Rose Gold, and Other Metals

The Stella & Dot jewelry cleaner and polishing cloth set was specially formulated to work on all sterling silver and Italian bronze pieces. Here's a blurb from the product guide:
Gentle jewelry cleaner was specially formulated to clean your Stella & Dot jewelry. It is designed to clean all types of delicate and porous gemstones as well as all types of metals including silver, bronze, gold and rose gold. Set contains a premium polishing cloth that contains a non-rouge cleanser encased in 100% supple soft cotton, perfectly designed to shine all metal types without scratching or removing the finish. To use this Polishing Cloth, polish with the inner cloth to remove dirt and tarnish and then wipe with the outer cloth to provide a finishing luster.
Since the jewelry cleaning set is only $19, I highly recommend investing! It also makes for a great gift to your top customers.

What do you do to keep your jewels in tip top shape? Leave a comment below.

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