How many times have you washed your hands this week?
I think I’m up to about 4700! At least it seems like it...
Please make sure you’re not only getting your hands nice and clean, but also your rings in the safest way possible. As a graduate gemologist and someone who has been in the industry for over 15 years, I’ve been asked a lot about the best way to clean jewelry at home...
If you leave your rings on, most gemstones are fine with simple washing using mild hand soap and warm water. Softer gemstones like pearls, opals and turquoise are more delicate and it’s recommended to take them off before washing your hands. Also, be careful if you are washing your hands in cold water because it can cause your fingers to shrink and you don’t want your ring to fly off and go down the drain. (Safety tip: I always close the drain before I wash my hands if I have rings on.) Put your rings back on once your hands are clean and dry.
All of this handwashing probably means you’re using more hand lotion than usual. Be careful not to use hand lotion while you are wearing your rings. The lotion builds up on the jewelry and can give a dirty dull look to gemstones. Use your lotion right after you wash and dry your hands. Let the lotion dry and then put your rings back on. This will keep your rings sparkling and looking like new for much longer.
If you take your jewelry off while you wash your hands, put them in a little dish next to the sink so they don’t fall down the drain by accident. For best results with cleaning your jewelry at home, use a mild soap like Dawn and warm water. It’s important the water isn’t too hot or too cold because some gemstones don’t do very well with drastic temperature changes.
Let the piece sit in the soapy warm water for a few minutes then gently scrub with a new, soft toothbrush. Rinse them in a new container of lukewarm water and immediately dry with a clean paper towel or cloth. This method is safe for most diamond or colored gemstone jewelry.
If you follow these tips you should be able to keep your rings clean and looking good. However, there’s no substitute for having your fine jewelry cleaned by a professional jeweler.
Happy (and safe) cleaning!