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Jewelry Care Guide

So, you just scored some rad new jewelry? Here are some tips to keep you stoked on your purchase for years to come.

HOW DO I CLEAN MY BRASS JEWELRY?

Over time, brass jewelry may acquire a darker patina. While most people (including us!) love the look created by this aging process, we know it’s not for everyone. If you want your fave brass piece to shine like new, use a commercial brass cleaner such as JAX. Polishing cloths work well too! A DIY trick is to rub ketchup or lemon juice on it, wait a few minutes, and then rinse it off. The acid and sugar work some sort of mysterious magic that de-tarnishes the metal and makes it look so fresh and so clean again. Enjoy!

HOW DO I CLEAN MY PLATED JEWELRY?

All silver-plated jewelry tarnishes at some point, as the chemicals from daily wear and the exposed layer of silver react with air to change the color of a piece. Though gold-plated jewelry will never tarnish, it can still get dirty from daily wear. Plated jewelry has a very thin layer of silver or gold that covers a non-precious base metal. Because the coating is so thin on the base, cleaning needs to be careful but complete to keep up an item’s shine.

If you want to get your favorite piece shining like new, start by mixing 1 tsp. of mild liquid dish soap with lukewarm water in a small bowl. Dip a soft cloth in the soapy water, then gently scrub your jewelry while keeping it submerged in the bowl. Concentrate on any grooves or ridges the piece may have. Don’t scrub too hard though, or you risk scratching the item. Clean the jewelry for no longer than 5 minutes, then rinse and dry it with a clean, lint-free cloth.

I’M ALLERGIC TO BRASS AND SOME OTHER ALLOYS. ANY TIPS?

Many metals can leave a green or grey tarnish on some peoples’ skin. If you know from experience that you have had this common allergic reaction in the past, there are some easy way to avoid “green finger” in the future!

The allergic reaction is amplified by moisture. Avoid wearing your jewelry in the shower or while exercising, and remove rings before washing your hands. One DIY trick is to put a layer of clear nail polish on the skin-facing side of the jewelry to create a barrier between the alloy and your skin. We’ve also seen our crafty friends apply masking tape (which has been carefully cut to shape) on the inside of alloy rings for a more permanent barrier.