Jewelry Care & Cleaning
How do I keep my sterling silver jewelry shiny?
- A polishing cloth is the most effective polishing tool for removing tarnish. We hardly ever recommend liquid or paste polish, as many of these products are harsh and will eventually strip away silver, pitting the surface. Other cleaners simply bleach the tarnish, instead of removing it.
For tougher cleaning jobs we do recommend a mild cleaning solution.
- Average household use is about two years. A polishing cloth can be black with tarnish and still be effective. A good rule of thumb: when they have a lot pills (like on a sweater), it's time for a new one.
Do not wash your polishing cloth! The polishing treatment will get washed out.
- It is generally recommended that you avoid your stones while polishing your jewelry, especially soft or porous stones (pearl, lapis, turquoise, opal, malachite, etc.) To clean the stone in your piece use the untreated outside part of your cleaning cloth.
- Opals require a little extra care. They are a soft stone, and contain numerous tiny fractures. These fractures have water molecules trapped in them, a natural phenomenon that gives them their iridescent color and fire. Because of these properties, it is very important that your opal does not get treated roughly or become dehydrated. To avoid dehydration, occasionally give them a little rub on your skin, as the oils from your skin will help lock moisture into the stone. For an annual "deep conditioner", rub your opal with some olive oil and wipe off the excess with a soft cloth. Try to avoid getting you opals wet.
- Never expose your pearl (or mother-of-pearl, or shell) jewelry to water, hairspray, perfume, or cleaning products, including your polishing cloth. Make sure that your pearl jewelry is the “last thing on and first thing off”.
- Never, ever get your Roman Glass jewelry wet or expose it to chemicals, as this will permanently alter the glass' color. It is also fragile and needs to be protected against breakage from being dropped or hit.
If you choose to wear your Roman Glass jewelry daily, be aware that the surface color may change over time.
- Some artisans enhance the surface of a piece by giving it a satin, matte, or sandy finish. The usual method of cleaning with a polishing cloth is not recommended, as it can eventually wear the texture away. To remove tarnish, scrub it gently with a toothbrush dipped in a little baking soda and water, rinse, and blot dry with a soft towel or cloth.
- Never, ever expose your liquid silver to actual liquids, as it will get underneath the beads and eventually rot the silk cord. This includes dipping your liquid silver or using paste cleaners on it. To clean liquid silver, lay it out on a towel or other soft surface, and lightly rub your polishing cloth over the beads, using care not to pull on the stringing.
To keep it clean during storage, wipe it clean after wearing it and wrap it closely, unclasped and untwisted, in plastic kitchen wrap. This keeps the air away from it and prevents the majority of tarnish.
- Tarnishing is a natural chemical process that takes place when silver is exposed to oxygen for long periods of time. To prevent a majority of tarnishing, wear your sterling silver jewelry. To store your piece, especially for longer periods of time, clean it with your polishing cloth first, then wrap in plastic wrap or place in a zipper baggie.