Principles Of Polishing To Perfection
How to Polish Jewelry
No matter what type of jewelry you own, there are simple and affordable ways to keep your jewelry looking clean and shiny. All types of jewelry can benefit from regular at-home cleaning and polishing using simple ingredients found in most kitchens and bathrooms. Not all jewelry, however, should be polished the same way. Whether it’s silver, gold, diamonds, or pearls, each type of jewelry should be cared for in its own way.
Polishing Silver Jewelry
Rinse the silver in warm water.Quickly rinse the silver jewelry in warm, but not hot water. If you’re cleaning several pieces of jewelry, make sure to rinse each piece of jewelry individually. Inspect each piece of jewelry after rinsing to make sure nothing has fallen off or been damaged during the rinsing process.
Dry with a soft cloth.Once you have rinsed the jewelry, then rub a soft chamois jeweler's cloth over the surfaces to polish and shine. Rub the cloth in a gentle, circular motion over the jewelry. Make sure all of the moisture has been dried after you have finished drying and polishing.
Use a silver-cleaning fluid.If rinsing and polishing hasn’t produced a satisfactory result, then use a silver-cleaning fluid. Apply the silver cleaner with a soft toothbrush and scrub gently. Finish polishing with a chamois cloth. A chamois cloth can be purchased at a jewelry store or online.
- You can also choose to use a silver-cleaning cloth rather than a fluid.
- Goddard’s Silver Dip is an example of a silver-cleaning fluid, and it is available at drugstores and supermarkets.
Keep cleaning to a minimum.Make sure to remove silver jewelry before getting into in chlorinated swimming pools or hot tubs. Exposure to air and light tarnishes silver. Avoid wearing silver rings when you will be using your hands for projects, like gardening. Especially avoid wearing your silver when you will be coming into contact with cleaning products and products that contain sulfur, like mayonnaise.
- Always keep your pieces in a cloth jewelry bag when not in use.
- Put on your silver as a finishing touch to your outfit. Don’t use hairspray, cosmetics, or other hair products after putting jewelry on.
Polishing Gold Jewelry
Soak in warm water and dishwashing soap.Create a mixture of two cups of warm water and only a few drops of a mild dishwashing soap. Put the gold jewelry into the water. Allow it to soak for fifteen minutes.
- Joy is an example of a mild dishwashing soap.
Scrub with a soft toothbrush.Once the gold has soaked for fifteen minutes, remove it from the water. Take a soft toothbrush and gently scrub in small, circular motions. Do not scrub too hard or use too hard of a brush or you may damage the gold.
Rinse in warm water.After you have scrubbed the gold, rinse it in warm water. Rinse it thoroughly to remove any leftover mixture. Once it has been rinsed, use a soft cloth to dry the jewelry. Then, store it in your jewelry box or other safe location with care to avoid future damage.
Submerge the gold in a mixture of water and ammonia.Try this method if the warm water and soap did not clean your gold jewelry as well as you desired. Using ammonia is a powerful cleaning method that should be conducted carefully. Mix 6 parts water with 1 part ammonia in a bowl. Submerge the gold jewelry in the mixture for no longer than one minute. Leaving the jewelry in for any longer could damage the gold. Rinse thoroughly with water. Only use this method occasionally for heavy cleaning.
- Using this method too often could result in discolored and damaged jewelry.
- Ask a jeweler if you’re unsure that your jewelry can handle the ammonia.
Polishing Diamonds and Natural Gemstones
Examine for loose prongs.Grime and dirt is sometimes the only thing holding a stone in place, especially if it is an older piece of jewelry. Use care when scrubbing and always polish while holding directly over a towel, never over a sink or floor. If a piece of the jewelry is loose, take it to a jeweler to be fixed before cleaning it on your own.
Create a mixture of warm water and ammonia for diamonds.Pour one cup of warm water and ¼ cup of ammonia into a bowl. Do not put the diamonds in the mixture directly. Instead, take a soft toothbrush toothbrush and dip it into the mixture.
Mix warm water and soap for gemstones like rubies and sapphires.To clean other gemstones, like rubies and sapphires, use two cups of water and a few drops of dish soap or detergent. Put the jewelry into the mixture. Allow the jewelry to soak for twenty minutes before removing.
- You can also use baby shampoo in place of soap or detergent.
Scrub with a soft toothbrush.Begin gently scrubbing the diamonds with the toothbrush that has been dipped into the mixture. Along with cleaning the main parts of the jewelry, make sure to to get into the small areas and setting as well. If you are cleaning diamonds with a platinum setting, this mixture with ammonia will clean the setting as well as the diamonds.
- Use a soft toothbrush that will not be used again for any other purpose outside of cleaning.
Rinse with warm water.Rinse the jewelry under or in warm water when you have finished scrubbing. If you’re cleaning multiple pieces of jewelry, rinse each piece individually. Then, lay the diamonds or gemstones on a tissue to dry. Store them in a safe place once they have finished drying..
Clean with a commercial jewelry cleaner.If the jewelry doesn’t come out as polished as you’d like it be, you can purchase a commercial jewelry cleaner. A cleaner can be purchased online or at a jewelry store. Make sure to ask a jeweler if your jewelry can withstand a commercial cleaner before using it.
- The directions for using a commercial jewelry cleaner depends on the type of cleaner you have. Read the instructions carefully before use.
Create a mixture.Use one cup of water and a few drops of shampoo. Any type of shampoo is fine to use. Pour the shampoo and water into a bowl and stir using a spoon or other utensil..
Go over the pearls with a makeup brush.Don’t dip the pearls directly into the mixture. Instead, use a small and clean makeup brush. Dip the makeup brush into the mixture. Go over each pearl with the makeup brush. Make sure to clean every part of the pearl, even the part near the setting.
Rinse the pearls with a damp cloth.Use a damp cloth that has been wrung dry. Gently rub the pearls with the damp cloth to rinse the mixture off. Allow the pearls to dry on the soft, dry cloth they were originally laid out on.
Practice preventative cleaning measures.Pearls are fragile and easily damaged by harsh cleaning methods. Always put on your pearl jewelry after applying makeup and aerosol products. Clean immediately after perspiring and being in smoky environments.
Cleaning Costume Jewelry
Mix baby shampoo and water.Do not use a commercial jewelry cleaner on costumer jewelry because the solution is usually too harsh. Instead, mix one drop of baby shampoo into one cup of water. Stir the mixture together with a spin or other utensil.
- Don’t put vinegar or any other acidic ingredient into the mixture.
Use a soft toothbrush or Q-Tip.Dip a soft toothbrush or Q-Tip into the mixture. Gently scrub over the surface of the jewelry. Make sure to clean the hard-to-reach spots and small areas. You may want to use a toothbrush for the larger areas, and a Q-Tip for the smaller areas.
Rinse in cold water.After you are done scrubbing, rinse the solution off of the jewelry in cold water. Do not use warm water because it can loosen the glue. Make sure all of the mixture is rinsed off and then dry the jewelry with a towel or microfiber cloth.
Dry with a hairdryer.Use a hair dryer to make sure that the jewelry is completely dry. Any leftover moisture can cause rust. Make sure to use the cool setting. A warmer or hot setting can cause the piece to warp or glue to melt.
Store in plastic bags.Keep each piece of costume jewelry in its own zipper plastic bag. Be sure that all oxygen is removed from the bag before storing it. Keeping the jewelry from being exposed to oxygen will keep it shinier for longer between cleanings. You can also purchase a velvet-lined jewelry box that has a lid instead of using plastic bags. Or, you can store the plastic box inside of the jewelry box.
QuestionCan rubies be scuffed when the gold ring they are in has been enlarged?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo. The jeweler only adds a piece to the bottom part of the ring to enlarge it. The rest of the ring is not touched.Thanks!
QuestionHow do you clean amber?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUse a flannel cloth and a mild solution of soap and warm water.Thanks!
QuestionAre gems the same as stones?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGems are special types of stones, but not all stones are gems.Thanks!
To polish jewelry, start by rinsing silver in warm water, drying it with a soft cloth, and applying a silver-cleaning fluid with a soft toothbrush. Alternatively, if you’re polishing gold jewelry, soak it in warm water and dishwashing soap for 15 minutes. Then, use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub the jewelry. If the jewelry is still dingy, mix water and ammonia, submerge the jewelry in the mixture for a minute, and rinse it with water.
- Jewelry will retain a polished look if you use care when wearing it. Don't clean, swim, or exercise in your favorite jewelry since sweat and chemicals can dull and damage surfaces.
- You can buy anti-tarnish bags to store your jewelry in.
- Silver looks best when it is worn often because the natural oils in your skin keep the silver shiny.
- Costume jewelry should never be allowed to soak in cleaning solutions or even just water, since liquids can get into unsealed areas that do not drain properly. Polishing costume jewelry should consist of little more than buffing the surface with a soft chamois polishing cloth.
Video: How to polish jewelry with a dremel or flex shaft [Beginner Friendly]
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