Lots of people wear jewelry everyday, but not many realize that the best way to protect and care for their jewelry is with some simple planning and thought. I’ve compiled some information about caring and cleaning your jewelry, from several websites. Here are the basic guidelines:

When Wearing Your Jewelry

From Zales – “Basic Jewelry Care

Remove Jewelry During Tasks – When performing manual tasks, remove your jewelry to prevent physical damage or exposure to chemicals or cleaning fluids.

Put Jewelry On After Applying Makeup – Cosmetics, hairspray, perfumes and lotion can contain chemicals that can often damage jewelry.

Don’t Wear Jewelry In Swimming Pools and Spas – Chlorinated water can react with the metals found in jewelry causing color changes and even structural damage.

Contact Sports and Jewelry Don’t Mix – Hard blows during sports can damage jewelry not to mention the people involved.

Cleaning Your Jewelry

From Good Housekeeping – “Make Your Jewelry Shine Like New

Shine Silver – For items that are merely dull, filmy, or starting to discolor, mix a few drops of mild dish soap with warm water, and dip in a soft cloth. Rub the jewelry, then rinse in cool water and buff with a cloth until dry.

Brighten Gold and Gems – Give gold a bubble bath by pouring a few drops of mild dish soap into a small bowl of sodium-free seltzer water or club soda. Put the jewelry into a small strainer, and place it in the bowl to soak for about five minutes. Swish it around, fishing out each piece to go over settings and crevices with a soft toothbrush. Return items to the strainer and rinse under running water; dry with a soft cloth.

Freshen Your Pearls – First lay the strand on a soft cloth. Dip a clean, small makeup brush into a mixture of warm water and a little shampoo, and go over each pearl. To finish, rinse the pearls with a clean, well-wrung damp cloth. Let the strand dry flat to prevent the string from stretching.

Storing Your Jewelry

From KC Designs – “How do I properly store my jewelry?

Storing your Jewelry – Your jewelry should be kept in a clean and dry place, such as a jewelry box or case that is fabric lined.

Organizing Jewelry – It is a good idea to keep your jewelry box tidy and organized. If your jewelry pieces are not jumbled together you will not risk one piece getting tangled in or scratching another piece.

Gold – Gold is a relatively malleable metal and can be damaged by scratches from hard gemstones. To avoid this, you should keep your gold pieces stored by themselves in soft cloth bags or the original box that you bought them in.

Silver – If you have silver jewelry, it should always be kept absolutely dry. Your silver pieces should be stored in a tarnish-proof cloth away from exposure to the air.

Diamonds – A diamond is the hardest substance on earth and when it is improperly stored it can scratch your other gemstones such as rubies, emeralds and sapphires. Diamonds can also scratch silver, gold and platinum. In order to prevent this, you should keep it in a soft cloth pouch.

Pieces You Wear Daily – It can be helpful to separate the jewelry that you wear frequently and place it in a smaller jewelry box or a tray. This will help you to find what you need right away and remind you of your jewelry choices.