One of the most troublesome problems is how to clean silver jewelry, copper jewelry and handmade jewelry. Choosing the incorrect method of cleaning or using harsh chemicals can damage and even ruin you most treasured piece of unique handcrafted jewelry. Here are some ideas to keep your handmade earrings and handmade bracelets looking like new.
All silver and copper jewelry will tarnish with time due to exposure to air and humidity. Sulfides in the air cause silver and copper to tarnish. The best way to polish silver jewelry is to use a jewelry polishing cloth. You should never use a commercial silver dipping solution. The chemicals in these solutions can do more harm than good to the jewelry. This also goes for copper jewelry. Using a jewelry polishing cloth on copper jewelry will bring back the shine if tarnishing occurs. Polishing cloths cost only a few dollars and can be purchased at most stores that sell fine jewelry, and are also available at many drug stores. A jewelry polishing cloth can last for many years so it is a good investment.
Another great way of cleaning copper jewelry uses a solution of lemon or lime juice with a dash of salt. This solution is easy, readily available and will restore the shine to copper jewelry. Rinse the piece off well after dipping and dry before storing. Grapefruit juice and vinegar will also work, although lemon juice tends to get the best results. Use the jewelry polishing cloth to add extra luster and keep the piece shiny between cleanings.
Handmade jewelry handcrafted from metal can also be cleaned using this method. If your handcrafted jewelry, silver jewelry or copper jewelry contains stones take special care to make sure the acidic lemon juice does not come into contact with the stones.
Storing your silver and copper jewelry in plastic re-closeable bags when not being worn will help to keep the jewelry clean and shining. Continuous exposure to air and moisture is what causes the oxidation or tarnish. You might also like to coat your copper jewelry with a clear acrylic lacquer to protect it from discoloration.
Copper jewelry, silver jewelry and handmade jewelry can be quick to tarnish, but the good news is that it is easy to clean and restore to its original shine. With some common household items and a little bit of elbow grease, your silver, copper and handcrafted jewelry can be as lovely as it was the day you purchased it or made it. So do not throw out that tarnished piece of jewelry, make it look like new again!