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Local Business

Tips for keeping jewelry sparkling clean


Jewelry is meant to be worn. And when it is, those pieces can often collect dirt or smudges from handling. What can you do to keep your jewelry in tip-top shape? Theresa Murphy, owner of the Joliet-based Newstar Jewelers, offers tips for keeping your jewelry clean:

1. Use dish soap

At home, if you do not have a jewelry cleaning solution, mixing warm water and mild dish soap can do the trick.

“One that doesn't contain bleach,” Murphy said.

Soak your jewelry for just a few minutes and then use a brush on the underside of the piece where dirt likes to hide to remove the debris. Use warm water to rinse it off.

“Remember to close the drain first,” Murphy said. “Just in case the piece slips out of your hands.”

Of note: certain colored stones and pearls need extra care when cleaning. Check with your jeweler on the best way to clean your jewelry at home.

2. Ditch the toothpaste

While toothpaste can do wonders for your teeth, it can damage your jewelry.

“Toothpaste is an old wives' tale,” Murphy said. “Toothpaste will stick to your stones, making them look cloudy and it can actually scratch the metal.”

3. Keep clear of chemicals

Chlorine can be very damaging to jewelry. To that end, make sure to remove your jewelry before going swimming or using harsh household cleaners.

“Repeated exposure to chlorine can make the metal brittle, causing broken prongs and cracked rings,” Murphy said. “And never put gold in silver cleaner.”

4. Bring it to the experts

 Make sure to get your jewelry professionally cleaned and checked at least every six months. “Jewelers will have an ultrasonic cleaner that will loosen any dirt and a steamer to help remove that loosened dirt,” Murphy said. “We will also check for loose, cracked or damaged stones, worn or missing prongs, worn or broken clasps, cracks in the metal or anything else that goes wrong in daily wear.”

Newstar Jewelers : 2417 W Jefferson Street : Joliet, IL 60435 : 815.741.8502 :