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      /  Jewellery Care   /  8 Common Jewellery Cleaning Mistakes To Avoid
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    8 Common Jewellery Cleaning Mistakes To Avoid

    8 Common Jewellery Cleaning Mistakes To Avoid by George Collins

    jewellery cleaning mistakes boiling lunar rain
    Photo by Angelsharum

    1. Do not boil your jewellery

    Sticking your jewellery in boiling water is a good way to clean without all those harmful chemicals and acids, right? Well, not really.

    Brief periods of hot water are ok for some kinds of jewellery and steam is good as long as there is no glue. The real issue is the bottom of the glass or metal of a pot. When the jewellery comes in contact with your pot, it can get warped or turn an odd shape.

    If you dip it quickly in boiling water, it shouldn’t cause much damage unless they are soft metals. Avoid boiling water with soft metal jewelry such as pure silver and gold.

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    2. Avoid Toothbrush and Toothpaste

    You may see this cleaning hack all over the place. You can clean your jewellery with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Sounds good right?

    Hard bristled toothbrushes will easily scratch polished jewellery and ruin the finish.

    Some metals are soft and can damage easily. Some stones are also soft and get scratched. Toothpaste is abrasive to get those stains off your teeth, which means it can actually scratch your jewellery. Read on for more jewellery cleaning mistakes!

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    3. Bleach Is Not Good for Jewellery

    Bleach gets the stains out of a lot of things, but you should never use it on your jewellery. It causes metal alloys and gold to breakdown, which will damage your jewellery beyond repair.

    You should also avoid wearing jewellery while swimming or using a hot tub because chlorine will also damage your bracelets and necklaces.

    Bleach is still too alkaline even when diluted. You don’t want to use things that are too alkaline as a cleaner just like you don’t want to use things that are too acidic like lemon juice. It’s best to find a jewelry cleaning kit that is balanced between the two.

    jewellery cleaning mistakes lemon lunar rain
    Photo by André Karwath

    4. Do not use Lemon Juice

    Lemon juice is another popular DIY solution. However, lemon juice brightens your jewelry at a cost. It is incredibly acidic. This means it’s too abrasive for your soft and plated jewellery. Lemon juice can discolour, scratch, and chip your jewellery.

    So when cleaning your earrings or other jewelry, it’s best to avoid weakening them with lemon juice.

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    5. Do Not Use Ketchup

    Ketchup is a popular DIY solution often seen on social media. Do not use ketchup because it will get under stones and into crevices and become impossible to remove when it dries.

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    6. Avoid Harmful Chemicals

    When looking at cleaning agents, avoid those with acetone, ammonia, denatured alcohol, and other harsh agents. Ammonia can be effective in small concentrations; it can be hard to find the right balance to avoid harming your jewellery.

    Vinegar is like lemon juice. It can be a great cleaning agent for things other than jewellery. Vinegar is extremely acidic and so is alcohol—stay away from using those on your jewellery.

    Baking soda is also too alkaline. It can be just as damaging as chemicals that are too acidic.

    7. Don’t wear Jewellery in the shower

    You may be getting clean in the shower, but your gold and fine jewellery are not. Some metals or okay in water like titanium, 14K gold, and certain grades of steel, but not all jewellery does.

    Hard water damages your jewelry. If you like a hot shower, the heat can also damage the adhesives holding your jewellery together. This is why it’s best to take all jewellery off when you shower and wash your jewellery separately.

    After your shower, you should leave your jewellery off while you apply other beauty products like lotion, perfume, and hairspray. These products contain harmful chemicals.

    8. Don’t Use Saline Solution on Stainless Steel

    Stainless steel is a common jewellery metal. Using a saline solution to clean this jewellery can damage it. This is because saline has salt that is corrosive, and salt is not kind to jewellery.

    Be careful touching jewellery after using your contact solution. In addition, avoid wearing jewellery in the ocean because of the salt.


    9. Leave Cleaning to the Professionals

    It’s in your best interest to leave the cleaning to the professionals or buying professional cleaning kits instead of using the above DIY methods. You may save money, but this could ultimately damage your expensive jewellery.

    Your jeweller can also give your recommendations on the best and safest cleaning products to use at home.

    It’s best to protect your jewellery and make sure you have it cleaned the right way without making costly jewellery cleaning mistakes. Protect your jewellery even further by purchasing jewellery insurance in case something bad happens.


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