Your jewelry should be the last thing you put on as you get ready in the morning and the first to come off at night. Wipe down the entire piece before putting it away to remove any skin oils, body product residue and moisture.
Personal care products can leave a cloudy film or even damage your jewelry; applying make-up, hair styling sprays, lotions and perfumes before you put on your jewelry will keep your pieces looking their best, and you won’t have to scrub to clean them as often!
Remove any jewelry before swimming or being submerged in water for any length of time, salt water and chlorine can damage many of the components of your pieces. Jewelry is not indestructible, pieces could become chipped, scratched or damaged, be mindful of your wearables! Household chemicals and those found in pools and hot tubs will ruin your jewelry and is known to even eat away at gold!
Store each piece of jewelry separately to prevent your pieces from damaging each other. Jewelry without pearls or bone components can be stored in an air tight bag to help slow tarnishing. Pearl and bone jewelry should be stored in a cloth bag to allow for air circulation. Storage should be out of direct sunlight and away from extreme changes in temperature and humidity.
Cleaning Instructions for Handmade Jewelry
The easiest way to clean is to do regular maintenance, and wipe down the piece each and every time after it is worn. But eventually, your jewelry will need to be cleaned. Try not to use “jewelry cleaning chemicals” as they might not be safe for all the materials in your handmade piece. The safest way to clean your jewelry is to use warm soapy water, using a mild detergent such as Dawn. Rinse with clear cool water and immediately pat dry with a soft 100% cotton cloth. This is the best cloth for this purpose since it is less likely to impart scratches on your handmade jewelry. You may want to try with a damp cloth first, to clean up the beads, and use soapy water immersion as a last resort, as water will (over time) damage most types of stringing material. Do not soak the jewelry, or use ultrasonic cleaners. Do not use harsh chemicals, or cleaning agents for other purposes such as toothpaste, or denture cleaning tablets. Items with resin, (genuine flower pendants, art/photo pendants) shouldn’t be exposed to rubbing alcohol, as it will damage the protective surface.
Use a polishing cloth to shine up tarnished metals like copper and sterling silver. To help slow tarnish, store those pieces with anti-tarnish paper, and place in an air-tight bag when not in use. If the piece contains pearls or bone, the bag should be made of cloth, as these items become brittle and crack or otherwise become damaged if stored in an air tight container.