While you are stuck at home with no access to our FREE cleaning & safety checking for your jewelry: here's a few tips!
We want to keep you clean and ready to go - especially with all the health concerns of the coronavirus right now. So how do you keep your jewelry clean? What about all the handwashing and commensurate lotion wearing?
Below we will talk about how to keep your jewelry clean and safe until we can see you again!
Safety Checking is KEY
At Gold N Carats, we always check your pieces under a microscope before and after professional cleaning to see if there are any concerns!
Now, at home, you likely won't be checking your pieces under a microscope. However, there are a few things you can watch out for at home. If one of these things is true of your piece of jewelry, we strongly suggest NOT TO WEAR IT until you can get our professional opinion:
We don't like to be "Debbie Downers," but we want to keep you safe on a daily basis! The other thing that we will suggest (because things like the ones listed above can happen to anyone) is to GET YOUR JEWELRY INSURED! Don't be caught without it on your precious pieces & family heirlooms.
How do I clean my jewelry at home?
NOT ALL JEWELRY CAN BE CLEANED THE SAME WAY. We cannot emphasize this enough. Part of why we offer free cleaning is for that reason! But at home, what can you do?
If you have a bottle of our blue jewelry cleaner, then you are typically good to use that on white/yellow/rose gold, platinum, and palladium pieces with diamonds, sapphires,aquamarine, morganite, and other non-porous stones IF the directions are followed. [2 minutes in the cleaner basket, then if needed use the included brush to gently scrub off excess residue, rinse well with water, and then you are good to wear it.]
***Most of the time, rubies and emeralds are also safe to use in the cleaner, but for these we suggest a shorter time in the cleaner to be safe.***
***DO NOT USE THE SAME BOTTLE FOR GOLD/PLATINUM AND SILVER. Do not let silver soak in this cleaner!!! This can leave behind a residue that will cling to your gold pieces and has to be hard polished off.***
***DO NOT USE ON PEARLS OR POROUS STONES!***
If you do not have a bottle of our cleaner, then soaking your pieces in rubbing alcohol (70-90% is best) for a while is helpful, plus, it helps to disinfect your pieces! You can even use a soft-bristled toothbrush to get in those hard-to-reach places (please use a new one!). Just be sure to let others in the house know where you are putting your pieces so that no one dumps them out on accident...!
For pearls: A soft cotton or microfiber cloth that is slightly damp will work well to run over your pearl strands.
For porous stones such as shell or turquoise: a gentle wipe usually with a cloth lightly sprayed with alcohol can get a layer of grime off and help them shine once more. But don't use too much!
For SILVER: If it is not too bad, you can use a cloth with alcohol or a silver polishing cloth (we have available for purchase once we reopen). Polishing cloths are not to be washed, since they contain a resin! This will brighten up silver pieces and clean off the top layer. If the silver piece is very dark, then you may want to pick up a bottle of Tarnex, which you can find at a local store like Walgreens or CVS (check their website).
DO NOT EVER PUT YOUR JEWELRY IN CHLORINE BLEACH. This will eat away at your metal and is NOT AT ALL a proper way to clean your jewelry! There is also a new pool cleaner, bromine. DO NOT let your jewelry get in this cleaner either!
ALSO, never soak a watch in any solution. Not all watches are sealed the same and this may allow liquid into your watch! (A post will be coming specifically on watch cleaning later.)
Need more help? You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions!
*Gold N Carats is not responsible for any damage that results from home cleaning.*
What if I am noticing some change/sensitivity from my jewelry?
Especially right now, everyone is washing their hands and sanitizing much more often. This can mean irritation for anything that you wear!
For people who wear rings - if your rings are feeling extra tight (or loose) in this time, maybe it's time to consider not wearing it for a while to be safe.
If you notice an itchy red or whitish irritation under a ring (usually larger/wider rings, like men's wedding bands), take off the ring and let your finger breathe for a few days. A fungal infection may be forming from trapped water under the ring. If you caught it early, your body will likely take care of it on it's own. If it will not go away, see your doctor. To treat this, we've often seen OTC anti-fungal creams like Lotrimin prescribed to use on the area.
For those who wear earrings and are known for fidgeting with them - though many of us are concerned about holes closing up (and for those where this is a real concern, keep them clean but keep them in and try not to mess with them), you may want to consider nixing the earrings when you're out for the time being. Any time we touch our face/ears, we are opening others and ourselves up to germs! If you notice they are itchy, clean them in a rubbing alcohol solution more often.
What's this about jewelry insurance?
Many of you are thinking: Doesn't my homeowners/renters policy already cover my jewelry?
That is something you will have to check. Some of you have a separate rider for your jewelry and it is itemized. This typically requires a recent purchase receipt or a professional jewelry appraisal.
Some of you just have a general amount covered, but do not have special pieces itemized.
This can get you into trouble! We highly suggest to call your insurance company and ask what coverage they provide:
Some companies have great service for jewelry and if so, wonderful! We've also seen many issues over the years with companies referring to the "fine print" after an issue comes up.
If you're looking for a way to insure your jewelry that is not connected to homeowners, we suggest you check out Jeweler's Mutual insurance. We actually insure our personal jewelry and our store through them! (We are not paid to suggest them and receive no financial benefit from referring to them.)
They have competitive rates (no deductible!) and if something happens to your jewelry, there will be no "ding" on your homeowners. They allow you to pick your jeweler, cover mysterious disappearance, and much more. They do require a professional jewelry appraisal to get started, but not to worry! We have an independent appraiser that comes in to our store twice a month to help you out! Reach out to us for schedule and costs. By appointment only.
Wondering about cleaning your watch? We will have a post later on about watches specifically!