Once you've established a regular cleaning regimen, make sure to clean your precious metals carefully to prevent damage. There are several different ways that you can clean jewelry.
A. Ultrasonic Cleaning
If you prefer a more powerful approach to cleaning, consider using jewelry cleaning equipment such as an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner, which uses steam and sound waves to clean jewelry. While cleaning your ring makes it look beautiful and sparkly, using powerful jewelry cleaning equipment like an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner on a daily basis will inevitably damage your jewelry. Daily steam and sound waves coming from an ultrasonic cleaning will cause unnecessary wear on your ring and even make side stones loose inducing them to fall out. We recommend cleaning your ring and other gem-set jewelry pieces once every two to ten weeks.
Cleaning gemstones is a delicate task. Some gems are more brittle, porous, and softer than others. Avoid exposure to harsh chemicals, heat or vibrations (ultrasonic sound waves). This includes many gems, like emeralds (which are oiled) and opals (which dry out and shatter), pearls (they absorb the liquids, expand, and become brittle), colored diamonds (they can fade and lose their bright colors). Avoid an ultrasonic cleaning for these soft gemstones. Instead, cleaning gemstones by hand with mild, all-natural soap and water is totally fine.
Here’s a quick list of what not to clean in a ultrasonic cleaner:
- Organic, porous jewelry and soft gemstones. Pieces with emeralds, turquoise, opals, lapis lazuli, malachite, tanzanite, corals, amber and pearls can not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner. Likewise, gems that are coated with oil, plastic or wax should not be cleaned this way.
- Loose gemstones. The ultrasonic vibrations generated by the jewelry cleaner sometimes shake gems loose or chip gems that are set with their girdles touching. A loose gemstone may come out of its setting and then chip in an ultrasonic cleaner.
- Watch heads. Even if a watch is advertised as waterproof, it should never be immersed in an ultrasonic cleaner. The ultrasonic sound waves, that usually clean appropriate items, will damage movement mechanisms and weaken rubber seals in watch heads.
- Enamel Jewelry. An ultrasonic cleaner does a great job of removing enamel paint. Unless you’re trying to remove paint, don’t place your enamel jewelry in an ultrasonic cleaner.
B. Jewelry Steam Cleaner
As the name suggests, a jewelry steam cleaner is a machine that uses steam to clean and restore the luster of jewelry. Water from the reservoir is heated to produce high-pressure steam, usually about 50 to 55 psi, during the cleaning process. To reveal gleaming, clean jewelry that appears brand new, the high-temperature and pressure combine to rapidly blow away any dirt, oil, or grime on a jewel.
There are so many gemstones on the market that it's difficult to know which ones to steam clean without harming or damaging them. Some gemstone treatments may be damaged by a jewelry steam cleaning. Check to see whether your gem has been subjected to any type of gemstone treatment before beginning a jewelry steam cleaning.
C. All-Natural Soap + Soft Brush
A tiny brush with micro-fine cleansers and polymers in the bristles work like magic on diamonds and other precious stones to make them shine like new. Because diamonds are the hardest natural substance on earth, no amount of scrubbing, rubbing, wiping, brushing, or polishing can harm them. That is what makes diamonds so special. They are highly durable.
D. Jewelry Polishing Cloths
A jewelry cleaning cloth is a useful tool for polishing precious jewelry. You don't need to take your jewelry to the jeweler any more. However, there's a critical detail to bear in mind. Jewelry cleaning cloths are not washable. By washing polishing cloths, you will remove the pre-layered polishers (such as red rouge).You don't have to be concerned if your jewelry polishing cloths are filthy. You can continuously use the same jewelry polishing cloth until it becomes black. After using many times, when it gets overly black (completely covered), then it is time to replace it and purchase a new one. Washing jewelry polishing cloths is strongly discouraged.
If you don't replace an overly black cleaning cloth for jewelry, it will hinder your cleaning efforts, leave a gray deposit behind and render a brilliant shine impossible to achieve. With most places charging around $5.00-$10.00 per piece, replacing a jewelry cleaning cloth is reasonably inexpensive. Plus, it is much less expensive than a professional jewelry cleaning, which can cost up to $100 per piece.