Here are some cleaning instructions for any of my hand crafted goods made from sterling silver, gold, copper, or brass.
Removing Fingerprints, Smudges and Grime
The best way to clean fingerprints, smudges, and other minor surface grime off your jewelry and gemstones is with a soft, lint-free cloth like someone would use to clean their glasses. This is the safest, easiest way to clean your jewelry.
If you've got a quite a bit of dirt or grime on your jewelry, the best way to clean it yourself is with a soft toothbrush and dawn dish soap under running water. Be sure to plug your sink!!! Do not use toothpaste as a cleaning agent! Toothpaste is a mild abrasive and will put scratches on any metal surfaces! When you're done, damp it dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
If you've purchased one of my high polish engraved pendants , the best way to clean them is with eye glass cleaner and a soft, lint free cloth. Scrubbing them with dawn dish soap under running water, as mentioned above, will be fine too.
Removing Minor Scratches
Over time, when wearing your jewelry, the finish will get scratched up a bit. It can't be helped. The best way to get rid of minor scratches is with a polish cloth. Polish cloths can usually be purchased at a local jewelry store, or some department stores, and are very affordable. With one of these cloths, and a little elbow grease, you can remove most minor scratches, and put a slight polish on your piece. Please note: Polish cloths over time will start to turn a black color, but it does not mean they're dirty. DO NOT WASH THEM!!! If you wash a polish cloth, you will wash the polishing compound out of them and they won't work right.
Next, let me explain that sterling silver, copper, and brass will tarnish over a long period of time. It's nothing you can prevent, and it's nothing I can prevent. It's what these metals do.
However, tarnish can be easily removed.
A polish cloth will not only remove minor scratches, it's also a very good way to remove tarnish from a piece. In fact, it's the best way to remove tarnish from jewelry.
However, If the piece is badly tarnished, there is a tarnish remover dip that can be purchased at your local Wal-Mart or Target called "Connoisseurs Jewelry Cleaner for Sterling Silver Jewelry" It's in a dark red container located in the jewelry department. www.walmart.com/ip/Connoisseur… Just shake the solution well, submerge your piece in it for about 4 seconds, take out and rinse under running water. This will instantly remove any and all tarnish. Please note: This stuff will remove tarnish only! It won't remove dirt or grime, or polish your piece..
To help prevent tarnishing, I recommend storing your jewelry in a concealed bag or container. The tarnishing of metals happens when the sulfurs in the air from car emissions, and other pollution, attack the surface of the metal.
Storing your jewelry in concealed bags or containers helps to prevent this. A zip-lock bag will do the trick. But for the best results, go to your local jeweler and see if they have anti-tarnish bags or satchels you can store your jewelry in.
If you want to slow down the tarnishing process, I've discovered that "Renaissance Polishing Wax" works better than anything I've found so far:
www.riogrande.com/Product/rena… After you clean all the dirt, grime and tarnish off your piece, buff the surface with a thin layer of this wax, then wipe it off. As I said, this should slow down tarnishing significantly. It'll also help prevent fingerprints and smudges from appearing on the surface of the piece.
When Not to Wear Your Jewelry:
-- Don't wear your jewelry while you sleep
-- Don't wear your jewelry while you swim (Chlorine attacks some metals like nickel)
-- If you work with machinery with motors spinning at high RPMs, don't wear necklaces. Or at least keep them under your shirt while working.
I hope I've answered any questions you might have about taking care of your jewelry. If you have any other questions feel free to ask me in the comment section or in a note!