Keep your jewellery sparkling. A cleaning guide.

Your gemstone jewellery can last you a lifetime…but only if you care for it properly. Residue from your skin and hair products can build-up in the settings of your jewellery.  Over time might this can make your stones look as if they’ve lost their original glamour and shine. Once you’ve made the initial investment, it’s a shame to let your gemstones dull.  So here are some expert tips to make sure your jewels look as good as they did when you left the Afrogem showroom.

Please take extra care when handling Tanzanites. Tanzanites are more delicate than other gemstones, and mishandling can lead to the stones getting cracked. Rather, bring them to us for a professional clean.

For all other gemstones, there are jewellery cleaning kits you can use and they come with their own very good instructions. The only thing to make certain is that the jewellery cleaning kit you choose is suited to the kind of setting you have, like gold, silver or platinum. We quite like Connoisseurs Cleaning Wipes.

But don’t worry if there are no cleaning kits available. Here are some step by step ways to clean your jewels with what you are likely to have in your home already.

 Note: For earrings, it is important to separate the main earring from the backs and clean them both as dirt often hides in the small space between them.

Cleaning Method One

You’ll need:

  • Gloves. Rubber gloves will do, but latex gloves are better as you’ll be able to handle even the smallest solitaires with surgical precision.  You can pick up a pair of latex gloves at any pharmacy.
  • A steady flat surface like a counter top or table. Don’t clean near a sink in case a part of an earring accidentally falls down the drain. What a disaster!
  • A microfibre cloth. Diamonds may be hard, but to eliminate the danger of damaging the setting, the softness of a microfibre cloth works best.
  • A medium sized bowl
  • Dishwashing liquid. We recommend an organic brand as harsh chemicals can damage your jewellery.
  • Soft Bristle Toothbrush and a couple of toothpicks. Buy a baby’s toothbrush and use it only for cleaning your jewellery.

Method:

  • Mix 2 cups of warm water with a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid
  • Soak the earrings for 20 minutes
  • Gently brush the earrings with a toothbrush. Be very gentle. There’s no need to scrub at them like you would the ring around your teenage son’s bathtub.
  • If there are any small crevices between the stones and the setting use a toothpick to go over them and get rid of any particularly stubborn dirt
  • Rinse the ring under running water. Make sure you’ve plugged the sink.
  • Dab your earrings with the microfibre cloth and then leave them on the cloth to air-dry.

Cleaning Method Two (The Overnight Trick)

This method will clean your jewellery and make your gemstones look brighter.

You’ll need:

  • A bottle of sparkling water or soda water.
  • One tall drinking glass
  • One small bowl
  • Toothpicks and soft bristle toothbrush
  • Tweezers
  • Earbuds

Method:

  • Pour the sparkling water into the glass and fill it three-quarters of the way up
  • Soak your jewellery in the sparkling water.
  • Let them sit in the glass overnight
  • The following day, retrieve your jewellery from the glass. For earrings, you can use tweezers.
  • Separate the main earrings from their backs and place the backs in your trusty bowl.
  • Any clumps of dirt should be at the bottom of the glass or easy to dislodge with your toothpick or earbuds.
  • Finally, dab your jewellery with your microfibre cloth to dry.

Note: Always be gentle, the cleaning might take a little longer but you’ll be sure not to damage your precious gemstones

Finally, here are a couple of tips to keep them sparkling for longer.

  1. Always put your jewellery last, after you’ve done your hair and make-up, and washed your hands. This will help prevent the build up of products.
  2.  As glamorous as it might make you feel to wear your jewellery while doing the housework, don’t. If you’re getting dusty, so are your earrings.