Nelson Coleman Jewelers

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Cleaning Jewelry at Home

There is nothing like a shiny new piece of jewelry that’s never been worn. But over time, our jewelry (especially our rings) can lose its luster and gain unwanted dirt. When cleaning jewelry at home, it’s essential to do it properly. Your jewelry is an investment that will last for generations when properly cared for. Here are a few things to keep in mind when cleaning and caring for your jewelry.

Rather leave the cleaning to the professionals?
We do clean & brightens 7 days a week!

can i clean my ring with windex

Can I clean my ring with hydrogen peroxide?

Don't use Windex, vinegar, baking soda, or peroxide

You may have heard that it is okay to use Windex if you’re trying to clean your jewelry at home, but it’s a no-no. The ammonia in Windex can damage precious metals over time. 

Vinegar is too acidic and can damage jewelry, too. 

Baking soda won’t remove grease or grime, and worse, it can scratch softer metals and get stuck in small spaces. 

Hydrogen peroxide works great as an antiseptic and mouthwash, but not on diamonds. Again, it’s simply too harsh for fine jewelry.

can i shower in my engagement ring

Can I shower in my engagement ring?

Take your jewelry off before bed, cleaning, and showering

We know how hard it is to part with pieces that carry so much meaning, but trust us, daily exposure to solvents, lotions, soaps can add up. Your jewelry can snag or get bent if you wear it to bed. It’s not worth it!

Jewelry should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off every day. 

How to Clean Jewelry at Home

Know how to clean gold, silver, diamonds, pearls, and gemstones. Like most precious things, jewelry requires a little bit of care and maintenance. Here are a few tips to help you keep your gems and precious metals looking their best.

how to clean gold jewelry at home

Cleaning Gold Jewelry at Home

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently brush away the dirt on chain necklaces or wide bracelets with lots of links. To clean narrow bracelets with small links or diamonds, use a microfiber cloth or soft toothbrush dipped in warm water and dry with another clean microfiber cloth.

how to clean silver jewelry at home

Cleaning Silver Jewelry at Home

Use a silver polishing cloth or cleaner specifically made for silver. Silver is very soft, so care must be taken. Some people like the darker tarnish that develops in small nooks and crannies in silver jewelry, as it adds depth and character. Some people want their silver looking pure and pristine–like a mirror!

Cleaning Diamond Jewelry at Home

Use a professional cleaning solution with a small bristle brush. An ultrasonic cleaner on a low setting will also loosen dirt and grime.

how to clean pearl jewelry at home

Cleaning Pearl Jewelry at Home

The best way to care for pearls is prevention. They should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off. Perfumes, hairsprays, lotions, soap, shampoo, and even hot water can damage them over time. Never submerge pearls in a cleaner or an ultrasonic machine. Use a soft fiber cloth to wipe them down or warm water with gentle, unscented soap.

how to clean gemstone jewelry at home

Cleaning Gemstone Jewelry at Home

Use a soft-bristled brush dipped in a commercially available ammonia-free jewelry cleaner—polish with a chamois cloth or jewelry polishing cloth. Take extra care with emeralds and never put them in an ultrasonic machine.

Where to Get Jewelry Cleaned

While it’s true that many pieces can be safely cleaned at home, your jewelry should be checked and cleaned annually by a professional jeweler.

Below are the type of cleanings that Nelson Coleman offers in our Towson location.

Check & Brighten

This is our basic cleaning service. We will examine your ring under a loupe, check for loose stones, and then (assuming stones look good) give an ultrasonic cleaning and hot steam. This process is free of charge and can usually be done while you wait. You can do this as often as needed, except with softer stones like emeralds, opals, and pearls—these require special care.

Spa Treatment

The next type of cleaning includes a polish and should be done once per year (no more than that because polishing removes a tiny amount of metal). At Nelson Coleman Jewelers, we call this a “spa.” Our jeweler will examine your piece and take his time and expertise to polish it. There is a minimal charge for yellow gold, rose gold, and platinum. For white gold, this service starts at $50* because white gold gets plated with rhodium after it is polished. This is because white gold isn’t really ‘white.’ It’s mixed with other white metal alloys that make the gold appear whiter, but white gold never looks bright white until it is dipped in rhodium, a metal from the platinum family. At Nelson Coleman Jewelers, when we rhodium a ring, we do a heavy dip so that you only need an annual polish.  

Signature Service

The third type of cleaning includes any tightening of stones or necessary repairs. Nelson Coleman calls this a Signature Service (sometimes a ‘spa’ will turn into a Signature Service if the jeweler spots problems). At Nelson Coleman, we charge $40-$75* to tighten up to 20 stones on a ring, along with the spa service listed above. 

Can I have my jewelry cleaned while I wait?

Most cleanings can be completed while you wait most weeks Tuesday – Saturday. If you need to have your jewelry cleaned same day, give us a call at 410-494-0080 to check the jewelers availability. Extensive cleanings and repairs require more time and may not be able to be completed in a single day. 

Do I need an appointment to have my jewelry cleaned?

No, you’re welcome to bring your jewelry in for a cleaning any time. 

If your ring has a unique finish, like an etching, brushing, hammered effect, etc., there will be an additional charge to re-finish the ring. Polishing and dipping will take the finish off, and our jeweler will have to put the finish back in place.

As a member of Jewelers of America, Nelson Coleman Jewelers pledges to adhere to a high standard of ethics and quality. We have transparent pricing and fully and accurately describe our products and services to our clients. High-quality work is worth the yearly expenditure because replacing stones and prongs can be expensive!

*Pricing may be subject to change.

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