Beach Bling; Keeping it clean

Memorial day marks the beginning of summer for us and probably most of you.  We are headed to the beach and then just a couple more days of school before we start heading to the pool everyday for endless swim team practices, snack bar sugar rushes and too much sun.  I wish I could say I took care of my jewelry during these summer months but I don’t.  I do, however, try to wear jewelry that not only matches the season but also my lifestyle, hoping to withstand all the additional wear and tear caused by chlorine, sand, salt water and lotion.  But it is nearly impossible to avoid the summer build up, so here are some basic jewelry cleaning tips, from Real Simple Magazine that you can use at home to return some sparkle to your summer bling:

 

Turquoise
Turquoise is the stone to wear this summer. Like many other jewels, this stone has to be cleaned.

According to Real Simple, turquoise should be dipped in warm water and then gently scrubbed with a soft toothbrush. It should be rinsed with warm water and then air-dried. The stone should not come in contact with cleaning fluids like ammonia.

Silver cleaners also should also not be used because they can discolor turquoise. Turquoise is a porous stone, not a crystal gem, which is why it needs to be kept away from ammonia, which can stain or change the color of a stone.

Diamonds
Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but they still need some love and attention. A cleaning solution can be created to bring the sparkle back in the hard stone.

A diamond should be soaked for 20 minutes in a solution of one cup warm water and ¼ cup ammonia. Gently scrub it with a soft-bristle toothbrush. This helps get into the small areas between the diamond and the setting.

Rinse with warm water, and lay on a tissue to dry. If diamonds are set in platinum, this method will also bring shine back to the setting. Avoid contact with chlorinated pools or household cleaning products containing chlorine bleach because they might discolor the mounting.

Gold
Gold needs to be soaked for about 15 minutes in a very easy-to-make solution.

Add two cups of warm water and a few drops of a mild dishwashing liquid like “Joy.” Gently scrub with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.

Avoid wearing gold earrings in the shower. Soap dulls the gold. Also avoid wearing them in swimming pools because chlorine can discolor the metal.

Silver
Silver should be rinsed in warm water and patted dry. If silver jewelry is tarnished, use a silver-polishing cloth or a jar of silver-cleaning fluid. Silver-cleaner won’t harm gold or platinum, but it won’t clean them either.

For jewelry with intricate designs, use a silver-cleaning paste which can get into small crevices. Don’t use a toothbrush or other abrasive cleaners because they will scratch the silver. Wipe with a clean soft cloth.

Silver shouldn’t be worn in pools because the chlorine can cause pitting. Pitting is the erosion or formation of little holes that results from silver touching chlorine.

Pearls
Rub pearls individually with a soft, clean cloth that has been dampened with a solution of two cups warm water and a few drops of a mild detergent. Pearls should not be soaked because it can cause the string to stretch. Air-dry the pearls overnight.

Pearls should be worn after cosmetics and hair spray are applied — these can discolor pearls.

Jewelry should be worn frequently for greater luster. The pearls absorbs the skin’s natural oils. They get a nice shine the more they are worn.

Extras

The cleaning solution for diamonds can also be used for almost all precious jewels such as rubies or sapphires. However, emaralds are a softer gem and it usually has cracks in the surface. So, it would be best not use emaralds with this solution.

Warm water is used because it breaks down the dirt faster. It will make the cleaning agent dissolve faster.

Real Simple magazine’s style director, Elizabeth Mayhew, oversees the visual aspect of the glossy with a focus on food, entertainment, home, beauty, and fashion.

photo by Slim Aarons

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