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Find beautiful new & pre-owned designer jewelry at affordable prices. Shop gemstone jewelry & discount jewelry from David Yurman, Lagos & more at Bella Tutto.

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Is It Time to Clean Your Jewelry?

Bella Tutto Jewelry

David Yurman Sterling Silver .41tcw 14mm Blue Topaz Diamond Split Shank Albion Ring

David Yurman Sterling Silver .41tcw 14mm Blue Topaz Diamond Split Shank Albion Ring

Everybody wears their jewelry in different ways.  Some people are lucky enough to have a ton of it and cycle through their many favorites, so most of what they own doesn’t show much wear.  Others have only a few pieces and wear them all the time, including to bed, in the shower and, well…ALL OF THE TIME. Some of us pride ourselves on wearing a particular pendant every day.  “I NEVER take this off”, she brags.  Well, guess what?  Every time you shower with that thing on, soapy skin-flaked water falls down on it and clogs up every prong, and dirt filled crusty layers coat the stone as if you were cultivating your own pearl. Ladies…It’s OK to wear your favorites over and over again as long as you clean them from time to time… and here are some tips on what you need to buy to keep your baubles looking their best:

Polishing Cloth - Buy a really good one.  Not the little ones that come along with your jewelry purchase, they don’t do much.  You need an industrial strength polishing cloth, like the kind you would use to clean your silverware or your Grandmother’s sterling silver teapot.  Fabulustre makes a good one and it’s available at Amazon for $11.39.  This 9” x 11” cloth can be used on silver and gold and does a great job.  It is double sided with the red side used for removing tarnish and dirt and the yellow side used for polishing when you’re done.  You can feel the abrasive material on the red side going to work. As you clean your jewelry, the cloth will turn black.  This is not entirely your personal dirt coming off, but rather tarnish and oxidation as well.  You can continue to use these cloths for a very long time (save your manicure and use rubber gloves while polishing).  Do not wash the cloth.  When you can’t feel the abrasive any longer it’s time to throw it away and buy a new one.

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Dish Soap, Hot Water and Soft Toothbrush – if you have silver or gold jewelry that has lost its shine because it’s picked up your body oils after a lot of wear, just make a mixture of liquid dish soap (I like Dawn because it cuts grease-even ours) and hot water.  After you have worked up a sweat using your new polishing cloth, dip your jewelry in your sudsy mixture and let it soak for about 5-10 minutes and then use a soft toothbrush to clean in between any grooves.  Place your soapy jewelry in a strainer and rinse under hot tap water.  Pour the wet jewelry out on a few paper towels to air dry.  Your jewelry should sparkle and feel very clean.  It’s good to do this a few times if you are wearing your jewelry a lot, especially during the summer.  Body oils and creams, perspiration and perfume cling to the metals and form a film.  You can even finish off your jewelry with a spritz of Windex and wipe with a dry paper towel when done.

You can use this method to clean your diamond jewelry as well.  If your jewelry has a stone that is accessible and you can see the entire thing from the underside of your ring, you can use this process to clean it.  Just use your little brush to clean under the stone and rinse as usual.  Use a Q-tip to dry the underside of the stone.  If your ring is closed underneath and you can’t see the stone, you may have to have it professionally refurbished.  Check with the store where you purchased your jewelry to see if they provide this service.

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Baby Shampoo - You can use a very mild shampoo (like baby shampoo) to clean dirty pearls.  Place your pearls in knee high pantyhose (if you can find one anywhere) and slowly swish your pearls back and forth through the sudsy water.  Swish back and forth in clear water to rinse off the soap and lay them out on a few layers of paper towel to air dry.  Check the thread used to string your pearls.  If you see a lot of space between the pearls, you may need to have them re-strung.  Ask your local jeweler if they do this or if they can recommend someone who does.  Remember to treat your pearls right – they should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off.  Wipe them gently with a soft cotton cloth (never anything abrasive) when you take them off to help keep them clean.

A Word About Ultrasonics - I’m not a big fan of ultra-sonic cleaners in the hands of people that don't know what they can do.  Ever since I witnessed an emerald disintegrate in one, I use them with caution.  Just remember, there isn’t much you can’t clean with a mild detergent, hot water and a toothbrush, and this way, you won’t destroy any of your jewelry in the process.