When it comes to jewelry care, a little bit really does go a long way.
Sure, it’s easy to get into the habit of slipping your everyday jewelry on and off without any rhyme or reason. But, things like overuse or exposure to the sun, water, and pollution can cause scratches, tarnishing, and discoloration over time.
The good news is that with a few simple daily jewelry care habits, your jewelry will stay in prime condition for years to come.
Keep reading for the best and easiest ways to keep your jewelry looking like new.
Putting It On
How do you keep your jewelry safe from the get-go?
Keep your jewelry safe by putting it on last. Getting ready to go out can involve all sorts of sprays and lotions, and even the elixirs that are healthy for our skin and hair can be damaging to our jewelry. Things, like perfume and hairspray, are especially harsh.
Jewelry (just like everything) is made up of atoms and molecules that react with the substances that they come into contact with.
So, even if you don’t notice anything right away, frequent exposure to chemicals will cause micro changes in the surface of your jewelry that become visible over time.
What to do?
- Wait a minute after applying lotion, perfume, or make-up, and wash your hands before donning your jewelry.
- If you forget (hey it happens) and douse yourself with a generous spritz of perfume after you’ve donned your jewels, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe off the residue as soon as possible.
- Be gentle when layering pieces, especially mixed metals, as harder metals or gems can scratch softer ones.
Taking It Off
Taking your jewelry off before certain activities is another simple and effective way to keep it in good condition long-term. Dry, clean jewelry lasts longer.
We’ve all done it. You’re running out the door, so you hop in the shower with your earrings on. It’s ok if it happens once in a blue moon, but it’s best to get into the habit of taking your jewelry off when…
- Showering, washing dishes, or any situation that will expose your jewelry to water and soaps
- Exercising, or any situation where you’ll be sweating (i.e. gardening, sitting in a hot stadium)
- Cooking, crafting, etc.
A splash of water now and then may be ok, especially for high-quality metals like gold vermeil and sterling silver. But, keeping your pieces dry also protects them from PH, mineral, chemical, chlorine, and salt damage. And, keeping them out of the sun for extended periods protects them from UV damage.
How to make it a habit?
- Keep a jewelry holder next to your sink, tub, and shower. It can literally be a teacup, but there are some pretty dishes out there made just for jewelry, and the aesthetic might make the ritual more enjoyable for you.
- Keep a jewelry bag in your purse, bonus points if it’s a bag with separate compartments to prevent tangling and scratching.
Putting It Away
When it comes to jewelry storage, whether for a few days or long term, ideally, you’ll keep it in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight, with plenty of space to keep the pieces from scratching and tangling. You can use spacers in a drawer as a DIY jewelry organizer box.
How to store jewelry and make it easy on yourself?
Invest in a jewelry box or case. Jewelry cases are specially designed to store your jewelry, so they already come with a soft lining and compartments that make your jewelry easy to see and access.
Start with something small like our Travel Jewelry Case. You can keep it displayed on your vanity or bathroom counter while at home and easily pack up your favorite pieces to take with you on a trip. For more advanced tips on how to best care for jewelry when you’re not wearing it, check out our How to Store Jewelry post!
If you follow the jewelry care habits listed in this post, your jewelry will remain in sparkling condition long-term. The finishing touch when it comes to jewelry care is the occasional clean-and-polish.
When cleaning jewelry, it’s best to use a very soft, damp cloth. Microfiber and fine cotton work well as well as cloth made specifically for jewelry cleaning. For polishing, look for a jewelry polish cloth and a professional product made specifically for the metal that you want to polish.
Remember gold jewelry, silver jewelry, and gemstone jewelry each have different cleaning procedures.
So, be careful with any kind of product, whether professional jewelry polish or homemade jewelry cleaner. It’s important to know what’s safe for the specific metal and gemstone that you plan to clean. Mild dish soap is usually generally a safe bet, but pearls for example are very sensitive, and shouldn’t come into contact with any water or detergent. For specific cleaning practices according to jewelry type, be sure to read our How to Clean your Jewelry at Home article!
The high-quality gold vermeil jewelry and sterling silver jewelry pieces in Linjer’s Fine Jewelry Collection are made to last. With these simple and effective practices, you can rest assured that your pieces will accompany you over the years.