Sterling Silver Jewellery
For mild tarnish and dirt, all you need is a soft toothbrush and some washing up liquid. Just run your jewellery under a warm stream of water, lather up your toothbrush, and gently scrub, being careful of stones and their settings. To dry your jewellery, set it on top of a radiator. For everyday cleaning, invest in a silver polishing cloth. A polishing cloth can go a long way to keeping your silver looking as good as new!
Oxidation is not a permanent finish; therefore can wear off over time. Don’t use heavy abrasives to clean oxidised jewellery. For best results, wipe oxidised jewellery clean with a soft cloth. If your jewellery is really dirty, you can carefully use a toothbrush and washing up liquid, but this isn’t recommended. To maintain the oxidation, you can use beeswax or wax polish to brighten up the finish. The oils from your skin can also help the coating, so handle away!
I use vitreous enamel in my jewellery. The process involves fusing a glass like powder to the metal surface by firing in a kiln at very high temperatures. Enamels come in a variety of lovely, vibrant colours, and are generally resistant to fading, but the colours can and will fade and the surface will degrade when exposed to chemicals,. Due to this, it is recommended that you take off your jewellery when showering, cleaning, or swimming, and always spray your perfume before you put on your jewellery.
Enamel is glass, so care should be taken when wearing it. A hard knock can cause the enamel to crack or break. When storing your jewellery, always store it in a protective pouch or box to keep it from rubbing on other jewellery which can also damage the enamel.
To clean your enamel jewellery, it is best to rub gently with a cloth or with a soft toothbrush and dishwashing liquid. Never clean your enamel jewellery with silver dip or in an ultrasonic cleaner.
Sea Glass Jewellery
Glass jewellery is fragile, so be gentle with your sea glass jewellery. Knocking your jewellery up against something, or simply dropping your jewellery can shatter the beautiful treasure that nature has given you. Jewellery containing sea glass can also be cleaned with a toothbrush and washing up liquid. After cleaning, your sea glass may appear frosty. If you don’t like the frosty look, rub the sea glass with a little oil (coconut or baby oil both work well).
The alcohol and oils in perfumes and cosmetics can damage the finish of some delicate natural materials, enamels, and resins, hasten the tarnishing of silver, and dull and discolour gold. Always use your cosmetics before you put on your jewellery. It is best not to wear jewellery in the shower, when swimming, or in a steam/sauna. Chlorine and damp conditions can also cause damage. Also, it is best practice to no wear your baubles when taking part in physical activity or when sleeping.
Store your jewellery in separate pouches or boxes to protect it from rubbing together and damaging surfaces, and always store in a clean, dry place, away from radiators and areas of high humidity (bathrooms, windowsills, etc.).