How to Care for Abigail’s Designs Handmade Jewellery
When you want an individualized look, you wear handmade jewellery, but wearing these unique pieces of jewellery means you’ll need to clean them as they are exposed to chemicals, the elements and the little messes of everyday life. Because handmade jewellery is so delicate, caring for it requires special measures. Keep your handcrafted jewellery clean and beautiful for years to come by following these simple steps for cleaning and storing unique jewellery.
- Clean regularly:The first step to maintaining the look and luster of your handcrafted jewellery is to clean it properly. The more often you wear something, the more often it will need to be cleaned, since wearing handmade bracelets or rings will introduce them to the oils from your skin and the chemicals of things you touch. Always use a cleaner that matches the main material of your jewellery; for example, cleaners for gold will not work on handmade silver jewellery because they are designed to clean and preserve a different metal. Also be careful of how you clean your jewellery. Handmade beaded jewellery and gemstone jewellery will need to be cleaned differently because of the presence of the beads and gems; generally, a jewellery cleaner should not touch the gems, as it can wear off the shiny polish or be absorbed by a porous stone. You can purchase these metal cleaners in liquid or paste form or you can use a jewellery cleaning machine to care for your unique jewellery. You can also use mildly sudsy warm water and pat your jewellery dry.
- Prevent damage:Your handmade necklaces and other jewellery will be easier to clean if they’re not very dirty or scratched in the first place. Never wear your jewellery while swimming, sunbathing or cleaning; extensive exposure to saltwater, sunlight or harsh chemicals can permanently damage your handmade jewellery. There are damage-prevention tips for specific metals, too; for example, silver is a soft metal, so always remove your handmade silver jewellery before lifting heavy items or doing strenuous work that could potentially damage it. You may also wish to remove handmade beaded jewellery or gemstone jewellery in these situations to avoid having the beads or gems accidentally break off.
- Store properly:When you’re not wearing or cleaning your handmade jewellery, keep it safe from loss as well as tarnish and age in your jewellery box. Never store your silver handmade earrings or other silver jewellery pieces in the open air, as this will make them tarnish faster. Silver jewellery should always be stored separately from other jewellery in airtight plastic bags to prevent scratching from other jewellery and tarnishing from the moisture in the air. Silver handmade earrings often come with special plastic bags in the right size to protect them. Handmade necklaces and handmade bracelets made of silver can differ a lot, so be careful how you store them; pieces with lots of ornamentation shouldn’t be stored with sleek and simple jewellery. Necklaces made of other metals that don’t tarnish like silver should be hung to keep them from tangling. Bracelets and rings can be set in drawers, while earrings should have special posts or holders for the pins and clasps.
I welcome discussions, comments and questions relating to cleaning of handmade jewellery. Particularly nifty tips.
Written by Abigail Robichon, Owner and Designer at Abigail’s Designs