A piece of jewellery doesn't need to be real gold or diamond-studded to be your favourite. Even though it may have been cheap, sometimes vintage, gifted or flea-marked costume pieces are just as cherished as the fine jewellery pieces in our collections. Keeping them untarnished can be a challenge because the metal plating on costume jewellery can typically be thin and this means it can easily break down after coming into contact with perfumes, lotions, sweat, water and natural skin oils. Here are some tips on how to store and clean costume jewellery so they stay as beautiful as when you bought them.
A Few Words of Caution Before We Get Started:
- Try to limit your jewellery’s exposure to water, as water can tarnish and rust costume jewellery if it sits too long.
- Before and after cleaning, you'll also want to inspect your jewellery to ensure all stones are secure since most cheap jewellery uses glue to keep these elements in place. If they do come loose, you can usually glue them back in afterward.
- Use only a soft-bristled toothbrush. Harder bristles can inadvertently damage the surface of your jewellery.
- And lastly, always remember to plug the drain if you're doing your cleaning over a sink!
How to Clean Tarnished Jewellery
1. Lemon Juice
Here’s one secret solution for how to clean oxidized metal jewellery: try mixing one part lemon juice and one-part warm water, then soak your jewellery in it for five to 15 minutes. When it’s finished soaking, gently use your toothbrush to buff away any oxidation; then, pat dry with a lint-free cloth. Enjoy your sparkling jewellery!
2. White Vinegar
Just add equal amounts of white vinegar and warm water in a cup. Soak an old toothbrush in the mixture for 5 minutes and then use the wet toothbrush to gently brush the tarnish off your jewellery. Make sure you get into all the corners and gaps. This will get your costume jewellery looking glossy and clean.
3. Toothpaste and Toothbrush
A small amount of regular toothpaste works beautifully for cleaning costume jewellery. Simply smudge the toothpaste with your finger and gently brush the thin coating clean with an old toothbrush. The gritty texture of the toothpaste is known to remove even the toughest dirt. Then rinse the pieces with cool water and buff them dry with a lint-free cloth.
4. Baking Soda, Salt and Aluminium Foil
Line a bowl or baking pan with a sheet of aluminum foil, shiny side up. Lay all your tarnished costume jewellery on the foil. Mix one tablespoon salt, one tablespoon baking soda and one cup warm water. Pour into the dish. The mixture will create a chemical reaction with the foil and bubble as it cleans the jewellery. Rinse with cool water and buff dry with a lint-free cloth. Enjoy your good-as-new jewellery!
5. Mild Hand Soap or Washing-Up Liquid
The safest at-home jewellery cleaner is a combination of mild dish soap and warm water. To make the cleaning solution, mix two tablespoons of mild hand soap or washing-up liquid with one quart of warm water. Then, soak your jewellery for 10 minutes to soften residue and dirt and gently brush the sides, top, bottom, and underside with your toothbrush. Once you're done, rinse with clean jewellery with water and pat dry with a clean, lint-free cloth. Voila!
Ammonia is a powerful cleansing agent for oxidized and dirty jewellery. It’s considered the harshest of these suggestions and requires caution because prolonged or excessive use can damage and discolor your metal, wear down your gemstones, and make fracture-filled diamonds appear cloudy. Here’s how to clean your costume jewellery using ammonia:
Pour 6 parts warm water to one part ammonia into a plastic bowl. Soak your tarnished jewellery in the solution for at least 10 minutes. Then use an old toothbrush to gently brush the jewellery. If there’s grime or tarnish still lingering, soak them again in the solution, but this time with several drops of washing-up liquid. Stir the mixture till it’s foamy. Soak for another 10 minutes, rinse with cool water, and polish with a lint-free cloth.
7. Microfiber Cloths
Keep some microfiber cloths in your jewellery box for cleaning metals like copper. These ultra-soft cleansing cloths clean tarnished jewellery without using water or a liquid solution. Simply rub the cloths in an up/down motion along the surface of the metal. The damage-proof cloths are designed with an anti-tarnish barrier to help make your favorite jewellery pieces look brand new once again.
How To Avoid Cleaning Costume Jewellery
To extend the time between cleanings, it's critical to take care of your cheap jewellery just as well as you do the real stuff.
- Store your jewellery correctly by wrapping it in a soft cloth or ani-tarnish bags.
- Spray perfume or apply lotion beforeputting on your jewellery in the morning. Getting ready in this order will limit how much of the substance in question gets onto the pieces.
- Always take off jewellery before a workout.
Browse Low-Maintenance Jewellery
Now that you know how to clean costume jewellery, check out our collection of costume jewellery made with durability and long-lasting-use in mind. Eshly Jewellery prides itself in using the highest-quality metals and gems so that your favourite pieces will have minimal oxidation and minimal headache. Our jewellery is lightweight, trendy and best of all, easy to maintain. Need ideas on what to shop? Here are 6 Trending Styles for Winter 2022 and discover How to Choose the Best Earrings for Your Face Shape. Shop wisely! Shop Eshly!