Thought I would do a post on cleaning your jewellery pieces.
I can be a bit lazy with some of my own pieces when they get dirty, but if you give them a little love every now and then, your pieces should last a long time !
As you know, I mostly use wood in my jewellery, and as you can guess, water and wood are not friends. Now I do seal my jewellery with resin and/or varnish of some kind. This will help protect your pieces of course, but please don't wear your jewellery and this goes for any jewellery in water, so no showering or swimming whilst wearing it.
Brass & tarnishing, what to do ?
You know I love using raw brass pieces in some of my work, but raw brass can develop a patina/tarnish over time, now remember this is a natural discolouration. I actually like the look of the brass when it goes like this, but if you prefer the shiny look, there are a few options to help restore the lustre of the metal.
Polishing cloths work a treat, & solutions like lemon, vinegar or baking soda will work well. I have used these all successfully. My favourite to use, is the tomato sauce remedy, yes good old ketchup sauce! Just pop your bits in a bowl and pour some ketchup sauce on top, leave sit for a couple of minutes, rinse off and pat dry. The brass will be nice and shiny, simple and done in a few minutes.
Another remedy and thanks to my mother for this, she swears by vinegar for cleaning everything ! Heat some water in a cup, then add some salt, about a tablespoon and the same again with white vinegar. Use this mixture to clean the brass, then pat dry.
Lemon juice can also be used like above.
If you find your brass pieces are dirty rather than tarnished, then give them a wash in some warm soapy water. Then you can clean them with a soft cloth. Use a soft toothbrush for any extra dirty areas.
Just to note, as of Jan 2020, I have now updated the hoops I use on my earrings to a tarnish resistant free brass.The base metal is brass so this has a nice substantial weight. A clear enamel coating is baked on. It is non-tarnishing and perfect for my hoops.
To prolong the life of plated jewellery, you can wash it gently with soapy warm water, using a mild soap only if necessary. Getting junk out of nooks and crannies with an old, soft toothbrush is ok. You can also try some home remedies, like ketchup or lemon juice, all work perfectly well & are cheap!
Perfume will also tarnish and damage the plating on your jewellery, so try to avoid direct contact. Try putting on your perfume first, then leave it to settle and then put on your piece.
Keep your jewellery stored in the box supplied or bag, it will keep them clean and away from dust and less likely to get scratched or lost for that matter!
Hope that helps !
Till next time.