Question About Cleaning Jewelry

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DaisyFace, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Just wondering if anyone knows a safe way to clean and polish cheap jewelry...?

    I have a set of earrings and bracelet that I really love....but the silver is turning absolutely black! I would like to polish/clean/shine up the silver--but the jewelry also contains fake gemstones. They are pink (not sure what they are supposed to be, if anything) and probably just made out of plastic.

    Can I clean the silver parts without damaging the "gemstones"...?

  2. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Being an engraver I've worked in jewelry stores on and off all my life. I clean all my jewelry precious or semi-precious or costume the same way - and so do the jewelry stores when they take your stuff in the back to their ultra sonic cleaners. They use warm water, dish washing detergent and amonia.

    At home if you have an ultrasonic cleaner? Great. If not - take 1/4 cup warm water (not hot - if your piece is glued hot water will loosen the glue) and 2 tsp of Dawn or other detergent, to 1 tsp amonia and mix in a cup. You can use a toothbrush to gently scrub the piece and rinse in tepid tap water then dry with a soft cloth. You want to gently scrub until the tarnish comes off.

    If the piece or chain is very tarnished? You can soak for up to 1/2 an hour.

    If you have a silver piece or silver over brass piece and want a mild tarnish remover? Rinse the piece under water first to remove any dust or dirt. Use cigarette ashes mixed with water - make a paste, rub with your finger tips onto the piece then rinse with water. Use a soft cloth to dry. Cigarette ashes have NO grit unlike a lot of the commercial silver cleaners and isn't as harsh as TarnX. Also doesn't smell. Yeah - I know you never heard of this. Yes cigar ashes work too. No fire place ashes do not work - not refined enough and you take a chance of wood chips.

    Hope this helps.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I'm keeping this one!

    One thing to remember though, don't do this with real turquoise. Dishwashing soap will make it very brittle.
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Thank you, Star!

    I am all sparkly now...
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You can also use toothpaste. Regular paste type. One of the keys is to use a very soft toothbrush.

    Glad you are all sparkly now. If you have an opal be sure to soak it regularly and then coat it with a dab of oil. They are very porous and if they get too dried out they will break easily. Or so I was told when I bought one.
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911

    OPALS are ONLY if you are born in the month of OCTOBER......

    Star is SUPER superstitious about that. SUPER.....I love opals...but from a very very distant distance.
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    No opals for me unless they are a gift. do not like bad luck.
  8. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I love opals AND I was born in October. Sadly, I'm not a jewellery person. Perhaps someone can wear opals on my behalf. Does that counteract the superstition?
  9. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Be sure if you soak your opals that you use MINERAL oil and not veg. oil. Opals are weird in that they are silicates, but do not have a normal crystal structure. They are actually closer to being liquids than solids for that reason.

    Turqoise is actually a type of copper ore and also likes to be oiled though it hates water. According to husband who collected the stuff, the best way to oil turquoise is to rub it on an oily part of your skin like your chin, nose, or forehead.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Itchy palms? Coming into money -
    Rubbing your nose, chin or forehead? Coming into squash-blossom. (snort)