How does an Accessory Snob take care of her jewelry…
Being an Accessory Snob means you are committed to your jewelry AND accessories. You are like “that’s hot, that’s not…” and being so committed, you must enlighten others around you so that they too, one day can become properly accessorized as you are.
As the head Accessory Snob in my area of expertise, I have found that there are some VERY basic care and cleaning instructions that I can help with. Now since this is going out to the masses, forgive me if I am covering old ground with you on things you already know, there may yet be some pearls of Accessory Snob Wisdom you may be able to glean from these words…
So here are a few of my tips…..
- The most important tip I will tell you is never ever sleep in your jewelry. You just never know what the heck it is going to catch on. Then if you do sleep in it it inevitably lands up in the shower with you which leads to my second big no-no.
- Do not shower with your jewelry on. The shower is no friend to jewelry. Jewelry just gets dull from the different products we use on our bodies and hair not to mention and softeners in the water.
- So then what the heck do you do with it when you aren’t wearing it?
Sterling Silver Tips
If it’s sterling silver you actually want to keep it in a plastic bag. You want to get all the air out of it. If you don’t get all the air out your silver will tarnish which is a chemical reaction silver undergoes with the oxygen in the air.
When silver tarnishes it combines with oxygen and forms silver oxide. Silver oxide is black. When a thin coating of silver oxide forms on the surface of silver it darkens the silver. You may see it as a patina of gold coloring to black. The silver can be returned to its former luster by removing the silver oxide coating from it’s surface.
You can also put a piece of aluminum foil in the bag. Very important, only one piece of silver jewelry in the bag. This will keep the silver from oxidizing or tarnishing.
If your PLAIN silver has tarnished this is a home recipe you can use. NOTE this is for plain silver only do not use this if there are any stones in or on the jewelry.
- Line the bottom of a pan with aluminum foil.
- Set the silver object on top of the aluminum foil. Make sure the silver touches the aluminum.
- Cover the jewelry completely with very warm water.
- For every gallon of water you use use a cup if baking soda. If you use a half a gallon of water use half a cup of baking soda.
- You can add a quarter tea spoon of salt. The water will start to froth a bit and spill over the container so you want to do this in the kitchen sink.
You may need to change this mixture several times and go through the process over and over. When you see that your jewelry is clean you need to rinse it completely. Then place it on a dish towel or paper towel and dry it with a blow dryer. PLEASE note, do not dry while in your hands. The silver will heat up and burn the heck out of you!
For sterling silver with stones you have to use a polishing cloth. Just never polish the stone itself as the chemicals in the cloth can take off layers of your natural stone, abalone and mother of pearl.
A store bought silver cleaner which is wonderful is called Dip It. Please read any instructions carefully. Most silver cleaners allow for 30 to 60 seconds in the solution and that is it. These cleaners are very strong and if silver jewelry is left any longer than the recommended directions the jewelry can get severely damaged.
Other types of Jewelry
Swarovski Crystal can be kept in a gift box, plastic bag or just separate slot in your jewelry box. You never want anything touching the crystal itself. So pull the chain away from it so as not to touch the crystal. You can use a micro fiber cloth on the crystal to take off smudges.
The rest of your jewelry should just go in the jewelry box in it’s own compartment. Omega’s should not be clasped, just loosely wrapped around itself like a coil.
Gold and Precious Stones
Now for gold and diamonds, this is my home made recipe. I do not like this for rings with rhodium plating on them that has come off. This is for solid gold and NO PEARLS or OPALS. I mainly use for my diamonds only or plain gold. For semi-precious stones omit the ammonia.
- Open the windows…..get a glass or a coffee cup.
- Fill it half way with warm water. Add about 2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap.
- Then add about an inch or so of ammonia. Let your jewelry soak in this.
- Sometimes I put this in a container with a lid on it and leave my wedding ring in it over night. Then after soaking a use a soft tooth brush to get anything left in it.
- Then before rinsing, make sure the drain is stopped up so your ring can’t go down and then rinse away.
After rinsing the jewelry I again use the blow dryer and you will see spectacular results.
Please remember and note very well……you want to open your windows when using ammonia. If this smell bothers you you can completely omit it from the receipt. The hot water and the liquid soap is a great cleanser all by itself.
Well, until next time, I am the Head Accessory Snob Signing off for now…
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And please share this information far and wide with all your friends.
Bye for now,
Mary Elizabeth Glosup