Since my first “Closet Care” post concentrated on bags and shoes, today I thought I would show you how I clean and take care of another segment of accessories – jewelry. I love all kinds of jewelry and most of my pieces have a very specific memory or celebration associated with them. I try to take as good of care of them as possible! I’ve had a few requests for this post and so tried to be as thorough as possible and document all the steps.
For me, the first step of taking care of jewelry is actually right when you get home each day – take it off! Just like how I change straight into pajamas when I get home, I also take off all of my jewelry. It helps to reduce wear and tear, especially during activities like cooking, cleaning, and the like.
All right – now onto the cleaning! About once a week on the weekend, I do a quick cleaning of the jewelry I’ve worn most that week. The whole process takes about ~10 minutes at the most. Here are the basics you need: some gentle dishwashing detergent (I use Method’s), a small dish or bowl, a microfiber cloth, and a soft bristled toothbrush (not shown).
The first thing I do is squirt a tiny amount of dishwashing liquid into the bowl.
Then, I mix it with warm to very warm water, which creates a good lathery mix.
After that, I drop all of the NON jeweled, except for diamond (this is important) items into here – items like my wedding ring/band, pendants, my stud earrings. Please don’t put anything but diamond items in here without checking with somebody knowledgeable! Especially anything like pearls.
Then, I putter around the house and let the items soak for about 30 minutes to an hour.
After the time has elapsed, I come back and drop my watch in for about a minute. The watches I clean in this way are water resistant up to a certain degree – but before I drop them in, I always check that the gaskets are screwed in nice and tight.
Then I drop them in! My watches could probably soak for the entire time but I usually don’t let them sit for that long because I’m still a little paranoid about the water (though nothing has ever happened).
After a minute with my watch has passed, I take it out first and rinse it under lukewarm water under the sink, while concurrently scrubbing in between the links, etc with my soft toothbrush.
Then I rinse the whole thing off…
And pat dry with a clean soft towel.
I repeat the same process for the rest of my jewelry and will stroke the toothbrush gently back and forth over areas that are more likely to accumulate gunk – settings, pave work, etc.
And rinse dry, and towel off.
After all of my items from the dish are done and drying nicely on the towel, I then work on any more delicate items I have, with the microfiber cloth. For me, the items are usually my pearl earrings/necklaces and onyx necklaces. I worry that the soap may be too strong for them and so simply wipe them down carefully with a clean cloth, making sure to get the edges. I have a huge supply of these from airline amenity kits which seem to always include them.
Note that with any visible dirt/marks that aren’t coming off, I will sometimes wet a paper towel very, very lightly and use that to wipe down my pearl items. It’s worked fine for me without any damage but please proceed with caution!
After all my jewelry is clean, I go back and store them (or put them on for the day). Storing your jewelry properly is really key – it protects them from dust and all kinds of other accidents. Plus I know that if I didn’t put my pieces in the same place each night, I’d probably lose them!
Most of my day to day pieces go in a little crystal bamboo box that was a gift from Tiffany. I like crystal/glass/Lucite containers since you can easily see what’s inside. Muji has some great ones.
Even though you see my pearl necklace in the box above, if I know I’m not going to wear it for a few days, I’ll usually put it back into a soft pouch (I have a bunch from various jewelry purchases that I hoard) to keep it from getting accidentally scratched.
And…there you go! My tips on keeping your jewelry clean and pristine.
As always…please share your tips for caring for jewelry and accessories! I always love to learn about them.