Top homemade tips for cleaning your jewelry

Whatever kind of jewelry you have, whether it's amber, pearls, corals, gemstones or costume jewelry, here are some great ways to keep it shining.

Top homemade tips for cleaning your jewelry

Amber

  • Remove dirt with warm water, then dry the stone immediately.
  • Cover grease stains with white chalk, then wipe off with a soft cloth after a couple of hours.
  • Try some olive oil. Add two drops of oil onto a clean flannel cloth. Rub the amber until it shines brightly. If any olive oil remains, polish with a clean cloth.
  • Avoid steam cleaning. Too much exposure to water turns amber cloudy.

Pearls

  • Immediately wipe off any hairspray, skin cream and perfume that settles on your pearls.
  • Pearls dissolve on contact with acids.
  • Clean pearls with a soft brush and a mild detergent solution. Wash off and repeat if necessary.
  • Rub pearls with olive oil every two to three years to help maintain the lustre.
  • A small velvet envelope or soft cloth provides protection against scratches.

Costume jewelry

  • If costume jewelry is very dirty, sprinkle baking soda onto it and scrub with a toothbrush, then wash and dry.
  • Buff jewelry with a baby toothbrush and pick out residue from encrusted stains with a wooden, nonscratching toothpick.
  • Avoid dark discolouration on your skin and clothing by applying clear nail polish to the back of costume jewelry.

Coral

  • To clean coral, dab it with soapy water using a linen rag. Rinse with water and buff with a chamois cloth.
  • Coral shines beautifully when you dip it into a mild salt solution and subsequently buff it dry.

Gemstones

  • Clean hard gemstones (diamonds, sapphires, rubies) with a solution of one litre/quart of water and 25 millilitres (two tablespoons) of ammonia; or dip them briefly in rubbing alcohol, then rinse.
  • Never immerse emeralds in water. The fairly soft stone sometimes has cracks that will absorb the liquid.
  • Delicate opals don't respond well to major temperature fluctuations, so don't wear an opal ring, for example, when you're doing dishes. It's best to polish them with a chamois cloth.
  • Many gemstones, such as emeralds, opals, turqoise, lapis lazuli and pearls, do not tolerate sun. Remove them before sunbathing.
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