How to Remove Tarnish from Jewelry

Posted on Friday, October 27th, 2017 at 11:58 am by Richard


Jewelry is both priceless and precious, so keeping your pieces looking shiny and new can be of the utmost importance. Many factors contribute to daily wear and tear. Read below for some tips and tricks to prevent and remove tarnish from your prized accessories.

Proper Storage

Because of the value and rarity of certain jewels, some people like to store their items in a safe. If you have individual gemstones, a soft pouch is good for keeping them from encountering other hard surfaces. It is best to store all your pieces in a cool, dry place, preferably in a soft piece of felt or cloth. Extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, and heat should be avoided. A jewelry box could be another alternative option to prevent your pieces from tarnishing.

Ultrasonic Cleaner

Ultrasonic jewelry cleaners use inaudible sound waves to generate miniscule bubbles in a liquid. The liquid could be a cleaning agent or plain tap water. The bubbles collapse, creating a great deal of heat and pressure, and 'blast' nearby objects. Millions of the bubbles reach into all the jewelry’s intricate spaces, making the ultrasonic cleaner an effective cleansing tool. Do not put pearls, opals, turquoise, emeralds, copper, and antique jewelry in an ultrasonic cleaner. Check with a Goldstein’s Jewelry associate to see which of your items could be safely cleaned using this method.

Jewelry Cleaner

Many cleaning agents can be found in your home!

Enhance your gold and silver jewels by saturating them for ten minutes in a mixture of 1/2 cup clear ammonia mixed in 1 cup warm water. Gently wipe clean with a soft cloth and let dry. (Do use this method to clean pearls.)

Aluminum foil makes a great silver cleaner. Line a small bowl with aluminum foil. Fill the bowl with hot water and mix in one tablespoon of bleach-free powdered laundry detergent. Put the jewelry in the solution and let it soak for one minute. Rinse well and air-dry. An ion exchange takes place, leaving your items gleaming!

Club soda is another inexpensive alternative. Add your diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds to a bowl of club soda to give them a bright luster. Let them soak overnight for the greatest impact.

If a do-it-yourself option doesn’t interest you, an over-the-counter jewelry cleaner can be used. Be sure to pick the right cleaner for your type of jewelry. 

Polishing Cloth

After using a cleaning agent, you could use a polishing cloth to remove tarnish and buff your pieces to perfection. Polishing cloths can be made of cotton, microfiber, or flannel. Most of them are made with a non-toxic polishing compound which will remove light dirt and debris. It is recommended that when a polishing cloth is heavily soiled, that it be thrown away. The polishing treatment will be washed out and the cloth will be deemed ineffective. Warm water and a polishing cloth is the optimal option for pearls, opals, bone, shell, coral, and some gemstones.

Hire a Professional

The safest way to remove tarnish is to visit us at Goldstein's Jewelers for a professional cleaning where we will have your jewelry looking shiny and new!

For more information on jewelry maintenance and cleaning, stop into Goldstein’s Jewelry. Since 1879 we have provided quality diamonds, gemstones, and jewelry to our loyal customers. Find us on Facebook, check out our website, or give us a call at 251-460-9050 today.

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