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Keeping your wire jewelry in the gift boxes provided will keep them looking their best longer. Keeping your handmade jewelry in plastic zip lock baggies will also retard tarnish.
I have provided here some ways to clean your wire jewelry. They are helpful hints that are FREE recipes (except the first two) just for you! Enjoy!
This is the method I use to clean designer jewelry that is made of silver with pearls, turquoise, or any soft stone.
It is a paste by the Sunshine company...and all you have to do is put it on a T-shirt or whatever...or a toothbrush and BOY will it clean your jewelry! It is SAFE for ALL stones and metals! It is biodegradable and very safe to use. There are other companies that make this paste, and I have found it on Ebay. Just do a search for "biodegradable jewelry cleaner". Look for the cream (paste)...it is the best.
Almost any handmade jewelry can be cleaned with these special cleaning cloths. Here are two of my favorites: Sunshine Polishing Cloth, and the Blitz Jewelry Care Cloth
(non-toxic and has an anti-tarnish agent.)
These cloths are fast and bring a great shine to your pieces. They will last quite awhile. Fast and Easy to use. No Soap or water....just draw the wire through the cloth a few times, and then I do the same with an old T-shirt to remove any residue...
I recommend this method above all others for neckwires...!!!
BASIC CARE FOR ALL JEWELRY:
Not all jewelry can be cleaned with just anything. This is a process that will not damage any kind of jewelry that I know of: Take a square plastic container...add hot water (not as hot for Turquoise, or any other soft stone...then add one teaspoon of Arm and Hammer washing powder(most food stores) and a 1/4 teas. salt... ...dissolve...lay a piece of foil in the bottom (shiny side up)...place your jewelry on top and let set for at least 5 minutes. Rinse and let dry. Voila!
Arm and Hammer toothpaste is also a great cleansing agent. Either with a toothbrush (gently now...) or with a T-shirt....Rinse in warm water...let dry. A blow dryer can sure help in this process! Be sure not to hold it too close...make sure it is on LOW heat!
Sterling Jewelry :
To clean silver jewelry with just about any stone....use plain old lemon juice and a little salt (optional) let soak over night...that's it! Bright and shiny!
may be safely cleaned with an inexpensive silver cleaner from Wal Mart called Conisseurs. You can only leave it in a FEW seconds! Then wash with warm water.
Do not put pearls, malachite, Turquoise, Opals, Sodalite or Cameos in this solution!
Copper jewelry: can be safely cleaned with Ketchup or Worcestershire Sauce! Yes it is true! Place the piece in Ketchup and let set over night. Rinse with warm water and let dry...or swirl around in the Sauce and then Wash with warm water afterwards! Should polish up nicely! You can also use the silver cleaner from Wal Mart. Remember to only dip it for a few seconds! Rinse in warm water and let dry!
Be careful what stones you put into it...see list above.
The lemon juice method above works for copper too!
Note: You can usually clean silver or copper pieces with the same methods.
Care of Pearls:
Check out my All About Pearls section for some very extensive information on how to buy and recognize quality pearls.
Protecting your freshwater pearls by caring for them properly will help to preserve their life span. The actual care and cleaning process is very simple and can be done in only a few short minutes. It doesn't matter if the pearl is a mabe, biwa or pearl beads; the care is pretty much the same.
Pearls are produced by living organisms, therefore they contain calcareous crystals which are very sensitive to chemicals and acids. The content of protein and water in pearls can subject them to drying out and cracking if not Properly taken care of. It is advisable that pearls be dampened periodically, in lightly salted water.
Pearls, because of the natural creation process, are not as durable as other precious stones, therefore it is recommended that they are stored apart from other jewelry to prevent scratching their delicate surfaces. In addition, pearls should not be exposed to substances such as dish washing liquid or acidic products like vinegar, lemon juice, hair spray or perfume.
After wearing your favorite mabe pearl or freshwater pearls, simply wipe them off with a soft cloth or chamois, the cloth can be damp or dry. This will help prevent dirt from building up, as well as stop the accumulation of perspiration, which is slightly acidic and can cause deterioration of the pearl nacre.
If wearing a pearl ring or pearl bracelet, the manner in which it is removed can, in addition to cleaning, preserve its beauty. Always remove the ring by grasping it from the shank rather than by the pearl itself. This will help the pearl from coming into contact with the oils on your skin or from becoming loose.
For pearls that have not been cleaned for an extended period of time, or have become very dirty, the best remedy is to take them to your local jeweler for a thorough cleaning. If you would rather take care of the cleaning yourself, it is a very simple process.
Start by gently washing the pearls in water using a very mild dish soap such as Ivory or Lux. Ensure the dish soap is extremely mild as some commercial dish soaps, such as Dawn, can actually cause damage to the pearls because of their high level of acidity.
While washing the pearls, pay close attention to the areas around the drill holes where dirt tends to collect. Once the washing process is complete, simply lay them flat in a moist kitchen towel to dry. Once the towel is dry the pearls are ready to be worn or put away.