INSIDER SECRETS TO KEEP JEWELRY CLEAN AND HAPPY!
KEEP ALL YOUR JEWELRY SPARKLING.
KEEP ALL YOUR JEWELRY SPARKLING.
Welcome to the world of Fine Jewelry Collectors! Whether you've received your jewelry as a gift or have splurged for a self-purchase, we want to share with you jewelry care tips from our pros to ensure it has a long and healthy life. That sparkle that got you excited when you first saw it can last a lifetime and beyond, with some loving care.
Just like children, no two pieces of jewelry are alike and their care needs to be tailored to the type of jewelry pieces you are cleaning.
First and foremost with all jewelry, but especially with pearls and opals, avoid chlorine bleach and put your jewelry on after you have used any hairspray, perfumes, or lotions which can cause damage. Owner Joanne Teichman likes to recall that Pretty Woman Julia Roberts was already dressed and almost out the door when Richard Gere laid that stunning diamond necklace around her neck.
We think that gold jewelry is the most popular jewelry to hand down from generation to generation. The higher the karat (18-24 karat gold), the less change or tarnish over time. While commercial jewelry cleaners are effective in keeping gold clean, you can also use a mild household cleaner and soapy water and a toothbrush to remove any body oils or dirt, assuming that there are no pearls or gemstones set in the gold. The trick here is to always rinse well and finish off by drying with a soft cloth to prevent scratching. 14 karat gold and under does tarnish a bit, but again, you can use the above cleaning methods to remove the tarnish. You may have heard about cleaning jewelry with toothpaste, but we don't recommend it as the toothpaste does have some abrasives in the formula.
Platinum scratches more easily than 18 Karat or 14 Karat gold. Upkeep for platinum tends to be higher because it must be cleaned and polished regularly to maintain its smooth appearance.
Diamonds can be cleaned in a commercial jewelry cleaner or with mild soapy water and a toothbrush. When you clean your diamonds, take the time to check that the setting or prongs appear as they were when they were new.
You can use one of the home ultrasonic cleaners (a great investment at $35 and up for most ultrasonic cleaners) or take your diamonds to a jewelry expert like Ylang 23 to restore them to their best sparkle.
Pearls love to be worn which increases their luster over time. While pearls came from water, they are the most vulnerable to damage, especially if you swim in chlorine pool water or even wear them in the shower. Use a soft clean cloth to gently wipe pearls, and if needed, a bit of moisture before drying them off.
Ylang 23 has a love affair with Opals and we have experience with their care. Opals are soft, porous, and have a water content, and while you can use a damp cloth occasionally, they should never be soaked or put in an ultrasonic machine. The surface of Opals can be preserved if only a soft cloth is used, and they should be carefully stored so as not to get scratched.
Opals can go into shock if they hit extreme cold or hot temperatures, which can affect their natural water content, but this can be remedied by tucking your necklace under clothing.
Ylang 23's designers love using the most interesting hand picked and colorful gemstones in their designs, and you will want to keep them in their original condition. While most commercial jewelry cleaners are safe, beware of those that contain ammonia or chemicals that can damage your gems. The safest way to clean is a solution of warm water and mild detergent or cleaning solution.
Besides cleaning your gemstones, pre-use care is as important.
Always apply your perfumes and hairsprays before you put on gemstone jewelry to retain their brilliance.
Silver tarnishes but if you wear your pieces a lot, the oils in your skin can mitigate the tarnish. There are many ways to clean sterling silver, from polishing cloths to solutions formulated to be safe for silver. Finish with warm water and dry with clean and soft cloths as silver will scratch. To prevent tarnish, store your jewelry in either an airtight bag or in jewelry boxes lined with anti-tarnish cloth.
BRASS & BRONZE
Bronze and Brass can darken with age. There are cleaners specifically formulated for brass and bronze, and in a pinch, you can use kitchen ingredients, like baking soda and white vinegar (brass) or baking soda and salt (bronze). We recommend you test your formula on the backside of the jewelry to confirm you are happy with the desired effect.
EAR PIERCING JEWELRY
Ylang 23 is the go-to destination for ear piercing jewelry and we realize that most of you are wearing it 24/7. If you are still at a stage where you cannot remove the jewelry, wash your hands in anti-bacterial soap, then apply sterile saline to a non-woven sterile gauze, and gently compress the area for 5 minutes morning and evening.
We recommend that when your ear has healed (which can take several months), you occasionally remove your earrings for deeper cleaning. We recommend soaking with an anti-bacterial soap or using one of the cleaning methods used to clean gold and diamond jewelry. Do not use rubbing alcohol, as it will damage the jewelry, and before putting your earrings back on, clean well your earlobe.
Enamel jewelry may look strong, but needs special care. You will want to keep enamel away from detergents, chlorine, perfume, soap, ultrasonic and liquid jewelry cleaners. Using a soft toothbrush, gently brush your jewelry with warm water and a mild liquid soap. Rinse and dry with a soft cloth.
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