Aside from the obvious, there are some really important reasons why it's in your best interest to keep your jewellery spic’n’span. All jewellery worn by us goes on the same journey we do, for example a day out to the beach we apply sunscreen, get blasted with sand, dipped in salt water, then baked in the sun and then repeat. Let me spare you the details if you are a parent of a young child, it may be considered abuse if we detailed what jewellery went through with a baby or toddler at the helm!
But back to business, basically this wet to dry pattern is a perfect recipe for dirt and grime to develop and gather between and in the small crevices of your rings. This ‘gunk’ is like a paste, think of sand and sunscreen, or sweat and dead skin (nice thoughts aren’t they!?) With this existing on your precious jewels it is a catalyst for wear and tear on your bling because the paste that you’ve created is now acting as an abrasive and before you know it your wedding ring is eating into your engagement ring like a hungry hippo. But never to fear, there are ways to avoid the hungry beast eating your jewellery to the point of no return and that is to clean your jewellery. So simple! And we are going to be your jewellery angels and let you in on a few simple ways you can do this at home but also, we hope by making you aware of this ‘black magic’ which is destroying your sparkling legacy in the world so you can be more mindful and avoid the harmful potions of its potential demise.
- Take your jewellery off when applying hand cream or sunscreen or changing a volcanic nappy. Or if you are prone to losing jewellery in situations like this, rinse your jewellery (not just your hands) after a dirty task. Not just Mums but bakers, gardeners, artists, labourers, cleaners and crafty peeps. You know who you are. I can attest, a jeweller does not love digging out crusty goo from decades ago. Trust me, I’ve done it. Better still, you don’t want to have to solder to this as she will go up in flames and it smells worse than singed hair from an over eager gas burner. Just imagine Yves Saint Laurent Opium perfume smouldering with talcum powder and burnt food. Deeee-lightful right?
- Cleaning your jewellery at home, once a season is totally fine. The simplest and most effective way of doing this is to make up a small bowl of very warm water and dishwashing detergent. Soak your pieces for as long as needed and then use an old soft toothbrush (a baby’s toothbrush is ideal or cut down the bristles on an adult brush) this will give you more control and make it easier to flick out the dirt behind the stones and in all the small cavities. A quick rinse under some fresh water and the pieces are ready to sparkle again. Use a hairdryer to dry for a pro finish and particularly if water tends to collect in small spaces.
- Not all jewellery is safe for this method of cleaning, gemstones like emeralds, opals, pearls and turquoise (which are porous and often oil treated) should not be soaked and just a brush with warm soapy water will be sufficient. If ever in doubt please just contact us and we will let you know the best approach.
Rings are not the only items of jewellery that succumb to the brutal force of wear and tear, they are the most obvious but chains (bracelets and necklaces) are renowned for collecting that brown grit which hides in the interlocking sections of every link. As these move and grind against each other a chain can literally grow in length as the links eat into each other. In my apprentice years, we fixed many worn out chains by painstakingly soldering up every link and the clients often thought we had given them a different chain as it was now 5cm shorter than before! However it was only back to its original length. The client had just slowly become accustomed to its length as it grew overtime.
Drop earrings are the next culprit. Each time you move your head your earrings move too, funny that! Which is a lot of dangle dancing. I made some earrings for myself for my 21st (over 15 years ago now) which I have worn intermittently for special occasions and they are showing signs of wear. Why do you ask? Because I didn’t clean them, tisk tisk. How can you take me seriously if I can’t keep my own jewellery in tip top shape? Well that is because I was lazy when I was young and I can write to you here and now and implore you to be better. Furthermore, you can come see us and we will happily clean your jewels anytime. We will give it a free facial, if only our beauticians were so kind to us and our hip pocket?
Now back to the matter at hand, you’re probably wondering how dirt can collect on items that we don’t apply sunscreen or hand cream to? Well, this is where hairspray and perfume play their nasty role in the demise of your precious and beloved heirlooms. Not to mention spray tan, moisturisers, make-up and cooling mists. The list is long. So things to note:
- Make your jewellery (even costume pieces) the last thing you put on when getting ready. Leave them out of the makeup and perfume bombing rituals!
- If you accidently douse them in a product, give them a rinse or better still a quick brush with soapy water (as above).
- Take your earrings out when you sleep.
- Be more like Barbie and don’t move your head. Too much? Hahah sorry, but it was worth a try and you deserve a laugh if you have made it this far in my blog.
In life, we know there are ‘ways you should’ and what we ‘end up doing’. So if you find it a bit too difficult to change a few bad habits we have mentioned above then we strongly advise you to come in for some extra cleaning so we can help preserve the heirlooms of the future. We won’t judge you, we are all human, I mean I sleep with my earrings in. None of us are perfect…
Please share if you found this article helpful, or even mildly entertaining. It would mean so much to us to get the word out that we are a small business that all our customers are known by name, no one is a number and we will do our best to ensure you have the best jewellery you can.
Much love, xxJenna & Megan.