How to Care For and Clean Your Jewelry

This guide is available from Leeleeko Jewelry at Print Care

Tips on how to care for and clean your handcrafted jewelry the easy and inexpensive way.

All the methods below apply to wirework and other types of sterling silver, fine silver, gold filled and gold jewelry, with the exception of the last section which applies only to copper and brass jewelry.

Please Note:  Do not wear jewelry while washing dishes, swimming, showering or bathing. Chlorine, bleach and other chemicals in soaps and detergents may damage soft stones, pearls and cause metals to discolor.

Cleaning a wirework cameo or gemstone pendant

  1. The best way to keep your cameo clean and the wirework polished is some toothpaste and an old toothbrush. Use a gentle toothpaste without baking soda. Be careful using the toothbrush on the wirework so it doesn't get caught in the wires, just brush gently. Rinse it off with water and gently pat dry with a towel. Let it air dry completely before placing in the plastic bag.

  2. You can use this method on other gemstones as well, but not with pearls. An ionic jewelry cleaner (not ultrasonic) can be used on just about anything including pearls, but they are expensive and for cameos the toothpaste method is the best for cleaning the surface of the cameo.

  3. Storing your cameo or pendant in a small zip lock plastic bag when it's not being worn will keep it from tarnishing.

Caring for Wirework Gemstone or Dichroic Glass Jewelry

  1. Try not to drop. Stones, shells and glass are breakable if dropped on a hard surface such as concrete.

  2. Keep jewelry in a zip lock plastic bag. Exposure to air and moisture causes tarnishing. It should only need cleaning once a year at most, maybe every two or three years. Not because of tarnish but the wire may become slightly dull and not be it's shiniest.

  3. Resist the temptation to fiddle with the wirework. If you feel that the gemstone is loose or it needs adjusting have some one who does wirework look at the piece.  If it is a Leeleeko Jewelry piece contact us.

  4. Dichroic glass can be cleaned with glass cleaner such as Windex or rubbing alcohol use a cotton swab to apply.

Caring for Pearl Jewelry

  1. Pearls are fragile and require more care than other types of jewelry.

  2. We clean our pearl jewelry with an ionic jewelry cleaner. If you do not have one, have your pearls cleaned by a professional.

  3. Don't use toothpaste or an ultrasonic cleaner to clean pearls.

  4. Don't wear body lotion if you are wearing a pearl necklace and take care not to spray hairspray or perfume on pearls.

  5. Don't use anti-tarnish strips when storing pearls. These are fine for most jewelry, however they may discolor pearls, I am not positive about this but be cautious, pearls are finicky.

Caring for Gemstone, Shell, Glass, Polymer Clay Beaded Jewelry

  1. We use an ionic cleaner.

  2. If there are silver beads or the clasp has become dull or tarnished you can use an old toothbrush and toothpaste to clean them.

  3. Keeping in a closed box or zip lock bag will keep silver or gold beads and clasp polished longer.

Caring for Wire Chokers

  1. Be careful not to kink a wire choker by bending or stretching.

  2. To clean use a silver polishing cloth.
    Gently pull down the length of the wire taking care not to straighten the wire out.

  3. Keep choker in a closed box or zip lock bag to keep choker polished longer.

Caring for Copper and Brass Jewelry

  1. An easy way to remove tarnish which does not damage stones is to clean with white vinegar. Take an old toothbrush and dip in vinegar and lightly brush surface of copper.

  2. Rinse off with water. Dry with a towel or hair dryer on cool setting.

  3. Keeping in a zip lock bag or box when not worn helps keep tarnish down. Make sure item is completely dry before sealing in bag.