How to clean up your old jewellery

How to clean up your old jewellery

Most of your jewellery will clean up with just a little polish from our free cloth that we provide with our sterling silver jewellery. But for older pieces, especially items that have been left lying around, here are a couple of techniques that you can try out using items you will have in your kitchen cupboards!

Before you start applying the techniques, please read the following warnings:

Please do not use either of these methods on items containing opals. As opals are water soluble, they will just crumble away. Nor do we recommend using the foil method on plated items, as this may lift the plating. You should be able to clean the plated items using the simple cleaning method followed by a quick polish with our cleaning cloth.

  • Bicarbonate of soda and plain washing up liquid are extremely good for cleaning jewellery. Put a teaspoon of each in a heatproof bowl with hot water, as hot as you can stand. Place your items in the solution and leave for five/six minutes – during which any dirt will simply drop off. Remove your items, and using an old toothbrush give them a gentle scrub, rinse off and dry, then give them a quick polish with a soft dry cloth and they should be shining like new. If not, repeat the soaking and gentle scrubbing, until you are completely satisfied with their appearance.
  • Pearls: The above solution is gently enough to be used on both genuine and faux pearls. However, do not submerge them in the solution. Just wipe them with a soft cloth dampened with the solution, taking care not to get the stringing material wet, then use a dry soft cloth to gently dry them.
  • There is also a simple way to clean your badly tarnished jewellery. Find a heatproof dish big enough to hold your items, and add one teaspoon of each of the following: washing up liquid; bicarbonate of soda and salt. Put in some hand-hot (not boiling) water, and mix – don’t be alarmed this mix will froth a lot. Now place your tarnished items onto a sheet of aluminium foil that will fit inside the base of your dish, allow enough foil for handles as this will help you to lift the items in and out of the solution. Carefully lower the foil with your jewellery items into the water and then step back and watch the tarnish disappear before your eyes – magic! Use an old toothbrush to gently scrub away any remaining dirt, then rinse, dry and polish using the cleaning cloth provided.

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