How to Clean Costume Jewelry, a Complete Guide
In simple words, costume jewelry is the jewelry that we usually buy to wear every day or for a not-so-important occasion. It is made up of cheaper metal and the stones used in this jewelry are semi-precious or ordinary stones. It is basically imitation jewelry that gives the look of maybe real gold or silver while containing 0% of the precious metal. The different colors of gemstones used and the different styles and designs make the costume jewelry really pretty to wear. However, unlike the precious jewelry items, costume jewelry is not made to last forever. The more you wear your costume jewelry the more it loses its shine and gets tarnished. However, if you take extra care of your costume jewelry, you might be able to keep it for a little more than its original lifetime. To know about How to Clean Costume Jewelry, Scroll Down.
How to Clean Tarnished Costume Jewelry?
Tarnishing is the most common problem with costume jewelry. No matter what, after some time, the metal loses its color and starts tarnishing. However, there are a few simple methods or tricks which you can use to clean your costume jewelry.
- First of all, collect all the jewelry pieces that need to be cleaned. Keep in mind, cleaning fake jewelry and real gold or silver jewelry is totally different. You cannot apply the same method on both.
- Carefully inspect the jewelry, if it has any gemstones, then you cannot use too much cleaning liquid as it might weaken the glue.
- Use either a toothbrush or a Q-tip to clean the costume jewelry, rub gently on your jewelry, you may notice the toothbrush or Q-tip getting dirty because of the gunk in your jewelry.
- Lemon is another useful source to clean costume jewelry. It helps to remove the oxide layer on the metal of the jewelry. You can add baking soda to lemon as well, then rub with a cloth to clean the rust off.
- White vinegar and water solution can do wonders. If you soak your costume jewelry in this solution, it can help bring back the shine of your chains. Use a toothbrush to scrape off the dirt.
- Baby shampoo can also be used to clean costume jewelry as it is a milder shampoo. Put one drop of baby shampoo and one drop of water on the jewelry and then use a Q-tip to clean the corners and surface of the piece.
- Warm water with soap can be applied to the costume jewelry to make it clean, however, keeping costume jewelry in water for a long time is not advised as it can tarnish the metal.
- Aluminum foil with baking soda and salt is also one way to clean your tarnished jewelry. Put your costume jewelry in a foil, place it in a bowl then add baking soda, salt, and warm water into it. The chemical reaction would cleanse the jewelry.
How to Keep Costume Jewelry from Tarnishing in the First Place?
This is a million-dollar question but the answer is a lot cheaper and easier. There are just a few things you need to be careful about when handling your costume jewelry. Make sure you keep it away from water or any kind of liquid for as long as possible. which means you should take your jewelry off when washing hands or when applying lotion or any sort of cream on your body. Avoid putting perfume directly on your jewelry. Try not to wear your costume jewelry when you know you will sweat a lot. and if you do get your jewelry wet by accident, be sure to quickly wipe it with a tissue or a soft towel.
Furthermore, you can also get a Jewelry Protectant Spray from a jewelry store near you, this will help you in keeping your jewelry tarnish-free for a longer time by providing an extra layer of protection. Some of these sprays can also protect you from allergies like rashes and irritation. Another important factor to keep the jewelry tarnish-free is to store it properly. We will be discussing this point in detail below.
At the end of the day, costume jewelry is prone to tarnish after some time, no matter how careful you are. If you are looking to keep something for a reasonable amount of time, we would suggest you invest in gold plated, silver plated, rhodium plated or even gold filled jewelry, however, if you can invest a substantial amount, then go for gold or sterling silver.
How Should You Store This Jewelry?
Read carefully! because this one is important when it comes to keeping your costume jewelry safe and like new. It is essential that you keep your costume jewelry stored properly as even the slightest moisture in the environment can wear it down. You can use the Ziploc bags to keep the jewelry airtight and protected from the scratches and moisture. You can also use small silk or velvet pouches to keep your costume jewelry safe from the sun and the environment. 3M Anti-Tarnish strips can also be used to keep your costume jewelry safely stored and these strips will suck in the moisture from the environment and keep your jewelry safe. You can place these in your jewelry drawer or you can also place your jewelry on these strips and put them where ever you want.
What Household Items Can You Use to Clean Jewelry?
Many household items can be used to clean jewelry, White Vinegar, Baking Soda, Toothpaste, Lemon, Dish Soap, Hand Soap, Baby Shampoo. Moreover, these items are easily available at homes and are very useful when it comes to cleaning the jewelry items.
What Not to Do When Cleaning Costume Ornaments?
Following are the things you should avoid when cleaning your jewelry so that you don’t damage any piece:
- Avoid exposing your jewelry to too much water.
- Harsh chemicals should be avoided.
- Don’t use rough cloth for wiping.
- Wipe or cleanse gently, with a soft touch.
- Don’t use an ultrasonic cleaner to clean your costume jewelry as it may crack the gemstones.
Read more about How to Clean a Diamond Ring at Home | Complete Jewelry Guide