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
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!
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. Do not use an ultrasonic cleaner to clean your gold plated jewelry. The ultrasonic waves can cause the gold layer to debond from the base metal and cause a peeling effect.
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!