Nowadays, costume jewelry is very popular. This is due to its much greater affordability compared to jewelry. Therefore, you can easily buy new jewelry for every outfit. However, products made of inexpensive materials quickly darken and lose their luster.
The following will be considered how to clean the costume jewelry to make it shine like new again.
Why may costume jewellery be tarnished?
Before you choose a way to clean your costume jewellery, it makes sense to find out where the discoloration comes from. The fact is that the materials from which cheap jewelry is made are quite active. Therefore, they are easy to react with oxygen in the air, as well as with particles of sweat and grease, which are excreted by human skin.
The products of these reactions have a dark color which can be seen with the naked eye on the surface of the jewelry.
The jewelry made of noble metals such as white gold is more inert and resistant to environmental factors. That is why they do not change their color over time.
How to determine which alloy the jewelry is made of
To understand what to clean bijouterie from darkening in home conditions, it is first necessary to determine what it is made of. In doing so, you should be guided by the appearance of the product:
- Melchior has a noble light shade, and the appearance resembles that of silver jewelry;
- Brass, due to its high copper content, has a distinctive yellow color;
- Nickel-silver is similar to silver, but has a cool blue or greenish tint, and is resistant to corrosion;
- Bronze is brown in color with a touch of red or yellow;
- Pewter jewelry is made to look like silver or gold, and is distinguished by its special luster.
How to properly clean bijouterie from the darkening of various materials
Contrary to popular belief, you won’t need to make special efforts and spend money on buying expensive household chemicals to clean your costume jewelry from blackness. You can easily fix your jewelry with a few handy tools. Before you can fight the darkening of your costume jewelry, you’ll need to get it cleaned from hair and build up dirt.
Here are some of the most effective ways to clean your jewelry at home.
You can use one of the following methods to remove tarnish from your metal jewelry so it will shine:
- Mix in a saucer clean water with ground chalk or tooth powder to form a thick paste. The resulting mass should be applied to a toothbrush, and clean metal jewelry from plaque and dirt.
- A faster way is to rub the oxidized metal bracelet with toothpaste until the darkening disappears.
- To wash metal jewelry from fresh darkening will help nine percent table vinegar. Only do not use it to clean jewelry made of medical alloy, otherwise they will darken even more.
- To clean a necklace and cross made of silver, it is better to use ammonia. Remove tarnish simply enough, you just need to moisten a soft cloth with ammonia and rub the problem areas.
- Recent dirt and tarnish on the metal is able to remove the usual soapy solution. You should first hold the jewelry in it fifteen to twenty minutes. Then polish the blackened chain or ring.
If the metal backing is decorated with enamel, you should not use the above methods to clean such items. It is enough to rinse the enamel with cold water and wipe it with a chamois rag.
Clean copper costume jewelry from oxidation by using one of the following methods:
- Crush a large head of garlic, and mix the resulting pulp with fine table salt. The resulting mass rubbed on a chain or earrings. After that – rinse the jewelry in soapy water.
- Add ten milliliters of ethandiic acid and twenty grams of ethanol and turpentine each to a glass of water filled to one-third. Clean the melchior pieces with a soft cloth soaked in this liquid until the dark spots disappear.
- Mix in equal proportions of baking soda and citric acid, and add a little water, until a paste-like consistency is obtained. The active mixture should be applied to the darkening with a toothbrush, and actively rub them.
- To give copper jewelry a special shine, it is worth using milk whey. The first thing to do is to add two teaspoons of salt to one hundred milliliters of fermented milk product, and stir it thoroughly. It is necessary to treat tarnished jewelry with this cleaning agent, and then to rinse and dry it.
Silver can also be cleaned from tarnish with ordinary food foil. To carry out the hygienic procedure will require:
- lay a sheet of shiny paper on the bottom of a small saucepan;
- Pour a little water, about three to four centimeters;
- Add forty grams of baking soda;
- immerse the silverware in the resulting liquid;
- put the container on the fire, and boil the silver for five to seven minutes.
This time will be quite enough to completely dissolve the tarnish.
Plated Costume Jewelry
If properly cleaned, gold-plated costume jewellery will look like real jewelry. To get the gilding in order, and to remove tarnish from its surface, you should use the following recommendations:
- Prepare a warm soapy solution, using water and a little liquid soap. Dip the gilded jewelry into it for three to four minutes. After that time, go over the dark spots on the jewellery with a soft sponge and rinse under running water.
- To qualitatively clean the gilded chain in the home conditions to the shine, you need to dip it in a glass of water for five to ten minutes with five milliliters of ammonia. After that – rub vigorously with a dry cloth.
- Also clean the chain of gilding from the darkness will help wine vinegar. To carry out the hygienic procedure, you need to wet the active liquid clean cloth, and put it in the palm of your hand. After that – clasp the chain in your hand, and pull it through a cloth soaked in vinegar. Rinsing is not required.
It is worth remembering that gold-plated jewelry should never be cleaned with baking soda, salt or other abrasives, which can leave micro-scratches on the delicate surface.
Glass and rhinestones
Costume jewelry often has inserts containing glass, cheap beads or rhinestones. To clean the listed elements from darkening is not so difficult. The following is a sequence of steps:
- dissolve in warm water a little liquid laundry detergent;
- add glycerin heated in a water bath (at the rate: one teaspoon per liter of liquid);
- drop the darkened jewelry in the resulting solution;
- wait ten to fifteen minutes for a more intensive action;
- clean the decorative elements with a soft sponge, rinse and dry.
It is worth noting that the method considered allows you not only to clean the glass and rhinestones from darkening, but also cleans the chain from dirt. Also, this method is suitable for tarnished silver-plated jewelry.
To rhinestones and glass shine and beautifully iridescent in the light, you need to treat them with soapy foam, combined with ammonia in the ratio of five to one.
If it is necessary to clean a Czech beaded bracelet, you should do it in a dry way. It is enough to go along the beads with a soft toothbrush. It is worth taking into account that such items should be stored in an unfolded form, so as not to jam the fishing line.
Natural synthetic stones
Many hostesses have difficulties when cleaning from darkening jewelry with stones. This is because they are afraid that the stone will fall out or get scratched. Let’s take a look at what to do to clean costume jewelry with inlays:
- If the rubber bracelet is embellished with amber, it is better to do without washing. The rubber should be wiped down with a damp cloth and the gemstone should be cleaned with a dry suede cloth.
- Natural pearls can be washed in a soapy solution. Then rinse off the rest of the cleanser with clean water. For artificial pearls, it is enough to polish them with a soft cloth.
- If a blackened, silver-plated bracelet contains a moonstone, you must wipe it with a cotton swab soaked in a mixture of water and alcohol (in equal proportions). The silver itself can be cleaned by rubbing it with a soft cloth.
- Aquamarine may be washed only with clean water, after which it should be rubbed with a felt.
Often, jewellery with stones loses its strength after being cleaned from darkening. Therefore, the inlay may simply be lost. If you notice that the stone is shaky and unstable, there are a few simple steps that must be taken:
- Pick up the stone with a toothpick or nail scissors;
- Clean the inlay using any appropriate method;
- Wipe with medical alcohol the place where the stone was attached;
- apply superglue to the prepared cell;
- Place the pebble in its place, and press it firmly against the jewelry piece.
After performing the above steps, you can not worry that the inlay will accidentally fall out and get lost.
How to Store and Care for Costume Jewelry
To avoid the question of how to clean your costume jewellery from becoming blackened as infrequently as possible, you must take good care of your synthetic jewellery. Here are a few tips to help keep your jewelry looking its best for a long time:
- You should wear costume jewelry only for going out. You should not allow cheap materials to constantly come into contact with your skin or moisture, such as during cleaning or showering.
- To store jewelry, it is better to buy a special jewelry box, which has special cells for placement of jewelry. This is to ensure that the items do not come into contact with each other, as such contact can also cause discoloration.
- Make-up, perfume or medicines should never be allowed to come into contact with the jewellery. For example, traces of iodine or verdigris can permanently damage it.
- Always let your costume jewellery pieces dry completely before putting them into storage. Otherwise, over time, it will darken, peel off and lose its luster.
- The jewelry box should only be left in a darkened space. It is also forbidden to leave costume jewellery in the bathroom.
- If possible, it is better to dry-clean the rings and earrings from darkening by rubbing them with a flannel or chamois.
- If there are any visible scratches on the costume jewellery, or if the plating has worn off, there is no point in wasting time cleaning it. Such items look very unkempt, so it is better to throw them in the trash.
To clean the jewelry from the darkening in the home conditions, you will need the maximum accuracy and concentration. After all, any wrong action can lead to damage to the jewelry. The tips given in the article will help young hostesses to carry out the hygienic procedure on an A-plus basis.