In partnership with Town Talk Polishing Co Ltd
Jewellery Cleaning and Care with Zuleika
First off, I cannot stress how important it is to understand what your item is made of. Every piece of jewellery is unique and requires different care- especially when it comes to cleaning. It can be difficult and confusing to know the best way to care for them – so if you have any doubts, please do get in touch with us for advice- we are more than happy to help. For example, some items that are foil-backed (usually Georgian rings) or contain soft porous gemstones, like pearls and turquoise, and these cannot be left to soak in liquid.
In fact, it is always a good idea to ask a professional jeweller to examine your jewellery every few years to check for loose settings. One of the most common repair jobs, especially for rings, is re-tipping - this is where the claws (prongs) have worn thin, or been pulled back. You will be amazed how easily this is, just doing simple things like putting on a jumper or pulling up tights!
But lets talk cleaning ! There is nothing stopping you being able to get that professional clean at home!
The most simple cleaning solution at home: The warm soapy method
Usually the most simple solution for most jewellery is warm, soapy water in a bowl (washing up liquid), a soft tooth brush and a kitchen towel as well as a microfibre cloth. If you have a really dirty piece of jewellery (hard dirt in difficult places) you can leave the item in the bowl of soapy water for a good hour. This should loosen or at least soften the dirt. Then, with your soft tooth brush (or use an old toothbrush you no longer use), brush away any dirt. Using another bowl of water (not soapy), rinse the jewellery. (Never clean/rinse under a running tap over the sink- I fear for jewellery going down that plug hole!!). Pat dry with a kitchen towel and give it a good polish with a mircofibre cloth if you have one. Repeat the process if it still does not look clean.
WANT THAT EXTRA PROFESSIONAL SPARKLE?
Below is some basic cleaning advice, in partnership with Talk Town Polish Co Ltd.
TALK TOWN POLISH Ltd
Now, Talk Town Polish is brilliant - I have been a personal fan of their jewellery cleaning products for years.
And to make your life easier, you can purchase the recommended product directly from Parkin & Gerrish here. A lovely extra gift for you or loved one, and one that will keep sparkling.
The company was founded in 1895. They still manufacture in Britain. Not only that, they are by appointment to the HM The Queen - that means they have the Royal seal of approval!
FOR JEWELLERY THAT IS MADE FROM GOLD, PLATINUM WITH OR WITHOUT HARD GEMSTONES
(Hard gemstones - Agate, Amethyst, Apatite, Aquamarine, Blue Topaz, Citrine, Diamonds, Garnet, Jade, Moonstone, Onyx, Ruby, Sapphires, Zircon.)
My personal favourite little pot is Jewel Sparkle, which is especially designed for cleaning all your gold earrings, rings, necklaces and bracelets etc. It gently dissolves surface grime on the stones and the metal mounts, which will make the gemstones shine much more brightly!
Town Talk’s Jewel Sparkle is designed to clean gold, platinum, diamonds and many precious stones by gently dissolving the residues of everyday life – such as soaps and detergents, food particles, body oils and perspiration – that attach to their surfaces.
Leave your jewellery in the liquid for one or two minutes. After that, a little work with the brush should remove any embedded dirt, particularly in the settings of rings and brooches. It is this build-up of dirt which, if left, can cause the stones to look dull. Rinse and dry your jewellery with a soft cloth after use.
When using the Jewel Sparkle dip, avoid fully submerging gold watches, or jewellery that has emeralds, coral, amber, opals, or any stones that have water-soluble fixings (other hard gemstones are fine). Instead, use the Microfibre Polishing Cloth on the stones to buff up the gold. It’s perfect for hard gemstones such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires and amethyst set in gold, platinum or silver jewellery.
If you’re on the go, try a Town Talk Jewel Sparkle Wand. This handy wand is the perfect accessory for your handbag! The brush is specially designed to get behind settings and remove trapped dirt which can dull the diamonds and other hard stones. A quick rinse in water and polish dry with the Microfibre Cloth that’s provided and hey presto – the sparkle and shine of your jewellery is restored!
JEWELLERY WITH SOFT GEMSTONES
(Soft Gemstones - Amber, Coral, Emerald, Opal, Turquoise)
These gemstones tend to be porous - they will soak up the liquid /and likely change colour or contain oils which can be removed/replaced with dirty liquid when dipped in a jewellery cleaner. The best thing to use is Talk Town’s Mini Pearl Spray. It is gentle enough to clean the gemstones. Alternately, a quick wash with the at home warm soapy water method is best - but do not leave to soak.
With both methods, I would recommend using Talk Town’s microfibre Jewellery Polishing Cloth. It is designed to gently remove the everyday smears, oils and grease that can build up and cause the stones to look dull. (please note, the Mini Pearl Spray comes with its own little polishing cloth.)
Pearls are among the most delicate of all gems. They are incredibly sensitive to acids, chemicals, body oils and perspiration so avoid pearls coming into contact with ANY scent or perfume, cosmetics and hairspray.
If they are not cleaned correctly, the pearl’s surface can become pitted and dull, even discoloured. Soap may not remove all the surface impurities and, indeed, may harm the pearls if the soap is too harsh. Worse still, the soap residue may remain on the pearls, leaving them looking dull and lifeless.
Choose Talk Town’s Mini Pearl Spray. It has the ideally pH balanced for pearls and will clean the delicate surface of these natural gems effectively. All will safely clean the impurities away from your pearls and will come with a soft microfibre cloth to polish them dry afterwards.
Pearl necklaces should not be dipped or washed as this may cause the thread to expand which could crack the pearls.
Top tip: The best thing in the world for preserving the gleam in your pearls is the natural oil in your skin – so wear them as often as possible!
To keep your jewellery really clean and sparkling for longer, put it on last, when you are getting ready. Scent/perfume, cosmetics and hairspray can build up and dull our jewellery without us realising- especially diamonds! (Diamonds are a magnet to grease - their one major downfall!)
Please note that Silver Sparkle and Silver Polishing Cloths are not suitable for jewellery made of oxidized silver, i.e. silver which has been intentionally blackened during the manufacturing process, as their use will remove the blackened finish. We recommend you use a Microfibre Jewellery Polishing Cloth instead.
For silver jewellery containing other gemstones we recommend using a Silver Polishing Cloth on the silver, and a Microfibre Polishing Cloth on the gemstones.
The Silver Polishing Cloths will carry on working as long as they are not washed. As you use them, they will start to turn black. This is a chemical reaction rather than a build-up of dirt and shows that the cloth is doing its job! Store them in a dry environment and you need only replace them when they are quite black on both sides.
VERMEIL AND GOLD PLATED JEWELLERY
Vermeil and gold plated jewellery are very different options when it comes to purchasing jewellery. Vermeil is sterling silver covered with a layer of gold which must be at least 2.5 microns thick. Gold-plated jewellery, on the other hand, uses a cheaper base metal such as steel or brass, and has a thinner coating of gold. As neither are solid gold they should be treated carefully and can with wear and age wear away. It is recommended cleaning both vermeil and gold plated jewellery with the Microfibre Jewellery Polishing Cloth. This will safely remove all the surface dust, pollution, oils etc that might dull or even damage the surface, and so restore the shine.