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Spring Cleaning: Your Jewelry Care Guide

Not very often, but once in a while, you might find that your jewelry needs a little clean. Here are some simple care tips for all the different metals we use at STUDIYO Jewelry to help you keep your pieces looking it's best!

REASONS TO CLEAN YOUR JEWELRY

First, let's discuss the most common reason why your jewelry might need a clean. Tarnish. What is tarnish exactly? Tarnish is a natural chemical reaction that occurs when a metal comes in contact with elements in the atmosphere. This just means that the top layer of the metal is undergoing a chemical reaction and creating a protective barrier on the outside to protect it from corrosion. Lots of things can attribute to a piece of jewelry tarnishing ranging from your personal chemical composition to the oxygen in the air. It can make your jewelry look darker and duller and can look like a thin grey or black film. It is also commonly referred to as oxidization and patina. Metals that are prone to tarnish include, brass, copper, bronze, and silver.

The next reason why your jewelry might need a clean is daily build up. Jewelry can get a build up of dirt, makeup, sweat, and chemicals (like sunscreen) that you may interact with on a day to day basis. It’s best to remove these from your jewelry when you can to prevent your piece from tarnishing or getting dull.

I’m breaking these cleaning tips down into two sections, “solid base metals” and “laminated metals” because the cleaning and care tips are quite similar for pieces in these categories.

SOLID BASE METALS 

includes brass, sterling silver, copper, and bronze
BRASS

Brass jewelry requires a little bit of maintenance, only because it requires an occasional clean if you prefer bright shiny brass. The MOD Collection pendants are all made of brass and gold filled ear wires. Brass tarnishing is a natural reaction and something that you can’t really stop. As soon as it touches the air, the chemical reaction has begun. How quickly it tarnishes really depends on the elements present in the atmosphere. When left out, brass jewelry usually takes on a darker yellow-brown color and can look duller over time. The good news is, it’s easy to clean!
 
STERLING SILVER

This is a popular precious metal that I use in the Hard Wear Collection as well as keep on hand as ear wires as an option for those who might have metal sensitivities. Sterling silver, if not worn, will tarnish and darken over time. It tends to take on a grey film that ranges from grey to black. The interesting thing is, the oils on your skin will help prevent tarnish so the more you wear it, the less tarnish it will have!
 
HOW TO CLEAN SOLID BASE METALS: Both brass and sterling silver pieces are solid metals all the way through so it is safe to use a cleaner that is a little more abrasive. Polishing cloths have an abrasive compound that will buff out the top layer of your piece and work incredibly well for brass and silver. Another easy way is to use some Bar Keeper’s Friend and some water to create a mixture and use your fingers to gently rub the tarnish off your piece. Rinse well and dry thoroughly. It doesn’t take much and your jewelry will look brand new in no time!

I have a video here to show how to do this super easily!

LAMINATED METALS

includes gold-filled and gold plated stainless steel

GOLD-FILLED

I consider gold-filled pieces to be pretty low maintenance. Gold-filled means that there is a thick layer of gold bonded to a brass core. These can be worn and taken care of just like real gold. I use 14kt gold-filled and 14kt rose gold-filled wire in the Hard Wear Collection, ear wires, and chains on all my jewelry because these are parts that rub against your skin the most and I want them to be long lasting! Depending on your skin’s chemistry, and your surroundings, gold filled jewelry can tarnish. It doesn’t happen nearly as quickly as brass or sterling silver and is much more subtle. If it does happen, don’t panic, it’s easy to clean!
 
GOLD PLATED STAINLESS STEEL

The pendants in the Tracery Collection pieces are all made with a stainless steel base, gold plated, and then coated with a nano ceramic coating. Stainless steel resists tarnish extremely well so these pieces will not tarnish on you. These pieces are super low maintenance and rarely require any cleaning or buffing.

 
CLEANING LAMINATED METALS: These metals will not require cleaning as often as the base metals. Because these metals are not solid and have a layer of gold on the outside, you’ll want to avoid abrasive cleaners. Soak your piece in some water and a drop of mild detergent and use a soft cloth to remove any dirt, sweat, and makeup. Make sure to dry your piece thoroughly before you store it away. Polishing cloths and Bar Keeper’s Friend can wear down the gold layer on your piece over time so definitely use sparingly or (preferably) not at all.

STORAGE

For any piece, it’s usually best practice to store your jewelry in a dry and moisture free environment when not being worn. Ziplock bags and jewelry boxes are great for protecting your piece from moisture and sulfides in the air as it reduces airflow. Every STUDIYO piece comes in a box that is perfect to store your pieces in and travel in! It can go a long way to care for your piece and ensure that it lasts for years to come!

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I've included product links for cleaners and polishers for your convenience. Should you choose to purchase through these links, I do earn a small commission at no cost to you.*
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