Have your gemstones lost their luster? If you wear your gemstone jewelry daily, it’s likely to get dirty due to sweat, cosmetics residue, dirt, and from everyday wear.
Before You Start
Before you start cleaning your gemstones, it's essential to take a few precautions to ensure that you don't damage them. Accidentally damaging your gemstones can result in the possibility of permanently damaging them and diminishing their value.
Check For Any Damage
Before cleaning your gemstone, inspect it carefully for any cracks, chips, or other damage. If the gemstone is damaged, avoid cleaning it yourself and take it to a professional jeweler for repair.
Keep in mind that some damage might be so small that it can be difficult to spot on your own. It’s always a good idea to have your gemstone jewelry inspected by an expert regularly and particularly right before you clean it.
Additionally, pay attention to the settings to make sure that they are not loose or damaged.
Properly Identifying Your Gemstone
If you inherited some gemstone jewelry or received it as a gift, you may still need to determine what type of gemstone you have. Correctly identify your gemstone before cleaning it because many gemstones react differently to heat, light, acids, and scratching.
A gemstone expert has all the right tools to help you identify your gemstone. They can also tell you if your gemstone is safe to clean at home or if they recommend professional cleaning or solvents.
Tips for Safely Cleaning Your Gemstone Jewelry
Maybe your gemstone lariat necklace looks like it could use a little TLC or a gemstone ring from your loved one doesn’t shine like it used to. Cleaning your jewelry is easy if you do it correctly and take all the proper precautions. Consider these tips to successfully clean your gemstones.
Read The Cleaning Instructions
If your gemstone necklace or other pieces of jewelry came with special care or cleaning instructions, always refer to those first. If you have no instructions, a gentle solution of mild soap and water is usually safe for all types of gemstones.
Check Before Using Commercial Cleaner
Commercial jewelry cleaners are easy to use and are conveniently available at all jewelry stores. The formula is generally gentle enough for jewelry but may not be safe for certain gemstones.
As noted above, always make sure you know what kind of gemstone you have and use caution if you’re not sure if a commercial cleaner is safe.
Use Gentle Tools
Not only do your gemstones benefit from a mild cleanser but scrubbing and wiping needs a gentle touch as well. Opt for soft, lint-free cloths and soft-bristled brushes.
Cleaning Your Gemstone Jewelry
The combination of mild soap and warm water is one of the best DIY gemstone jewelry cleaners you can use. Mix the solution in a dish that will fit your jewelry but not too big that the water will cool quickly.
Unless recommended by a gemstone professional, do not add any other products to your soap and water solution.
Soak Your Gemstones
Start by soaking your gemstones in the solution. If your gemstone has detachable pieces, like a chain, you can remove them to avoid accidentally scratching your gemstone. Consider soaking and cleaning one piece of jewelry at a time and change out the water with each piece.
While there’s no set time for soaking your jewelry, try letting it sit in the solution for a few minutes and start cleaning. You can always let your jewelry soak longer if needed.
Gently Scrub Your Jewelry
With a soft brush start to gently scrub your jewelry. Pay attention to other parts of the jewelry rather than just focusing on the gemstone. If your jewelry has a faceted gem, you may need to spend some extra time cleaning the underside of your gem. Additionally, settings with prongs are more likely to collect dirt so focus on those areas.
Pick At Buildup Carefully
If you notice a lot of dirt buildup on your jewelry it might be tempting to scrub a little harder or find a tool for digging or scraping. Using too much pressure or the wrong tool could result in damaging your gemstone.
Consider using a toothpick, wooden matchstick, or a bamboo skewer as they soften when in water but are still effective at removing buildup.
Repeat and Rinse
After you’ve scrubbed at any visible dirt and buildup, place your jewelry back in the solution for a quick soak and then rinse it under warm clean water. Since extreme temperature fluctuations can harm your gemstone, always try to keep the rinse water the same temperature as your solution.
Dry and Polish
After your jewelry is clean and rinsed, gently shake off the excess liquid. Dry and polish your gemstone with a lint-free cloth. A chamois is a great option but make sure it’s clean and free from dirt or other cleaning solutions so you don’t scratch or damage your jewelry.
If you plan on cleaning your jewelry frequently, it’s a good idea to have brushes and cloths just for cleaning.
Gemstone Care: After You Clean
Do you want to make sure your gemstone jewelry stays clean and sparkling after you cleaned it? Proper storage and extra care are key to keeping your jewelry clean.
If you don’t have a jewelry box or stand, it’s about time to invest in one. Look for jewelry boxes with soft materials and dividers as these can prevent scratches. If you have a lot of gemstone necklaces, consider hanging them on a necklace stand to keep the chain from twisting or tangling.
Perfume, lotions, and other beauty products can attract dirt. Always put jewelry on after you’ve used skin care products or perfume, making sure to let it absorb into your skin first.
Still have some questions about cleaning your gemstone jewelry? These commonly asked questions may offer additional tips and guidance when cleaning and caring for your jewelry.
Can I clean all gemstone jewelry using the same method?
Some gemstones, like amber, are more porous and require special care when cleaning. Due to varying hardness levels and chemical properties, it’s always important to select a gentle cleaning solution.
What should I avoid when cleaning gemstone jewelry?
Always avoid using harsh chemicals, such as bleach or ammonia, as they can damage the gemstones. Similarly, some DIY methods suggest using baking soda or vinegar but these ingredients may be too harsh for your jewelry. Remember, the best cleaning solution is a gentle soap, like dishwashing liquid and warm water.
To avoid damage, never use sharp objects, stiff brushes, or extreme temperatures when cleaning.
Is toothpaste good for cleaning jewelry?
No, toothpaste is not a good choice for cleaning jewelry. While toothpaste can help clean and polish teeth, it is not specifically formulated for cleaning jewelry and can actually damage some types of jewelry.
Toothpaste contains abrasive ingredients, such as baking soda and silica, which can scratch the surface of softer gemstones and metals. Additionally, toothpaste can leave a residue that is difficult to remove from crevices and engravings in jewelry.
Can I use ultrasonic cleaners to clean gemstone jewelry?
Ultrasonic cleaners can be used to clean some types of gemstones, but they may not be suitable for more delicate or porous gemstones. Always consult the manufacturer's instructions and consult with a professional jeweler if you are unsure.
How often should I clean gemstone jewelry?
Clean gemstone jewelry every six months to keep it looking its best. However, you may need to clean it more frequently if you wear it frequently or in harsh environmental conditions.
Can I wear gemstone jewelry while swimming or bathing?
It's not recommended to wear gemstone jewelry while swimming or bathing, as exposure to chlorine, saltwater, or soaps can damage the gemstones.
What should I do if I have a stain or a tough-to-remove grime on my gemstone jewelry?
If you have a stubborn stain or grime on your gemstone jewelry, seek professional help from a jeweler. They can help remove the stain or grime safely without causing damage to the gemstones.
Cleaning and caring for your unique gemstone jewelry doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. Proper cleaning and maintenance are essential to keep your gemstone jewelry looking its best and maintaining its value.
Whether you are looking to invest in a beautiful and one-of-a-kind piece of gemstone jewelry, or you want more information on some of your favorite gemstones, Kindness Gems has an extensive collection of jewelry and a knowledgeable team to assist you.