Jewelry is something that even the most stout environmentalist enjoys. There’s nothing wrong with wanting some beautiful things, as long as you take care of them in an environmentally conscious way. After all, you spend so much time finding jewelry that’s locally made, or causes as small of an impact as possible, and you spend a lot of money for that jewelry. You want to be able to keep it looking nice, and luckily it really isn’t that difficult. Here are a couple of tips to help you clean your jewelry in an all-natural, sustainable manner.
Gold is a popular choice for jewelry, and you’ll find pieces made out of this soft metal from all over the world. It’s also incredibly easy to clean. Find a toothbrush you can dedicate to cleaning your jewelry. You can use an older one that’s no longer in rotation in your bathroom, as long as it is of the soft-bristle variety. Take your gold pieces and place them in a solution made up of a few drops of dishwashing liquid and two cups of lukewarm water. Make sure the dish soap is mild, and let the gold pieces soak for fifteen minutes. Then you pull the pieces out and scrub them gently with the toothbrush. Make sure you get into every little nook, so the look is consistent. Then you just rinse them with warm water and dry them off with a gentle cloth. You can also clean pearls with the same mix of warm water and dishwashing soap, but you can’t let them soak. You’ll have to use a cotton cloth to rub off each individual pearl. If you let the whole strand just sit in the liquid, you might inadvertently stretch out the string. Once the pearls are clean, set it aside to dry overnight.
When it comes to diamonds, you’ll have to use something a bit stronger but still isn’t a danger to the environment. Keep aside that soft toothbrush, and soak the diamond pieces in a solution made from one quarter of a cup of ammonia and one cup of lukewarm water. You’ll need to soak each piece for around twenty minutes before you take it out to scrub it off with the toothbrush. Make sure you pay close attention to that gap between the setting and the diamond, as it’s all too easy for dirt to get stuck in there. Once the twenty minutes are up you can pull the diamond out, rinse it off in warm water and let it drip dry on a bit of tissue. Platinum settings will also come clean with the ammonia solution, but other materials will need to be treated differently.
To take the tarnish off of silver you’ll need to lean on science to do things the natural way. Rinse the dirt off the silver with regular water, then set it aside. Take a bowl, and line the bottom with aluminum foil. Then fill it up with warm water. Add in a just a touch of liquid dish detergent and four tablespoons of regular salt. All you have to do is lay the jewelry down on the salt and the tarnish will lift right off of it. The combination of materials actually magnetizes the tarnish and pulls it up.
In the end, most jewelry can be cleaned with some mix of the above materials, so just mix and match to see what works. Test each combination on a small section at the start, so you’ll know of any issues. Just make sure that if you have something made of a fairly soft metal, such as a gold name necklace, that you use a gentle cloth so you don’t scratch the surface.