Precious and alternative metal Cleaning Tips and Tricks
Often overlooked when someone is researching how to clean their beautiful new diamond piece is the metal that accompanies their primary stone. Ring jewelry for example will have a metal band made of different precious metals or alternative metals that are essential to keeping the gemstone in place. These metals, in addition to your gemstone, also have specific cleaning rules that must be followed. I know, you probably already thought gemstone cleaning was already complicated enough. But! We made it easier for you by formulating a list of dos and don’ts for alternative and precious metal cleaning.
How to clean precious metals
Cleaning your Gold jewelry:
We all know and love gold, it's a staple of almost every one of our favorite pieces. But sometimes gold's delicacy can be overlooked, especially when it comes to cleaning it. Below are some tips on how you can safely clean your gold jewelry without damaging it.
First, make sure you are not near a sink or crevice where your jewelry may fall into and disappear. Next, mix safe dish soap and warm water into a small dish, and then place your gold jewelry inside. After your jewelry has sat for 15/20 minutes, remove it. Take a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently scrub off any dirt or oil from the gold, feel free to use a little more dish soap on the brush if necessary. Finally, place your jewelry back in the water to give it one last rinse, let it air dry, and voilà! Your gold should be sparkly clean.
Note: gold is a softer metal especially if it has a high karat, so be sure to be gentle and treat your precious metal with care.
- Avoid Harmful chemicals: some soaps and cleaning supplies contain harmful chemicals that can damage and tarnish your gold. It's safest to check online to see if your specific dish soap is safe to use on your ring, dawn dish soap should be fine. You may also come across cleaning solutions that are specifically made to clean gold jewelry, just make sure you read the fine print and the reviews. Additionally, taking your jewelry off when in the shower is probably safest. By taking your piece off you avoid building up soap residue that may contain chemicals that could react with your gold.
- Check before going in the pool: Lastly, chlorine can scar your gold as well, be sure to take your gold off if you are about to enter a pool or hot tub you aren’t sure has chlorine in it.
Cleaning rose gold and white gold: Rose and white gold can be cleaned the same way as yellow gold.
Cleaning gold plated jewelry: If your jewelry is plated with gold instead of being gold throughout then you should do everything listed above but, with one subtle change. Don't use a toothbrush or any other scrubbing method. Gold plating can be scratched right off your jewelry even with a soft bristle toothbrush.
Cleaning your Platinum jewelry:
This is going to be anti-climatic but….
You can use the same cleaning regime for platinum as you do for gold. So, if you are curious about how to clean your platinum jewelry simply read the steps, tricks, and tips listed above in the gold cleaning section. Happy reading!
Cleaning your silver jewelry:
Silver tarnishes fast, especially if it's locked away and you are not wearing it. This means silver will need some frequent cleaning. To make your life easier we have some tips and tricks that make the cleaning task fast and efficient.
The simplest and most effective method requires 3 things: a bowl of warm water and soap, a dry rag, and a silver polishing cloth.
The first thing you want to do is to prepare a bowl, away from any open drains of course, and fill the bowl with water and a little dish soap. Next, place the silver in the bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. Afterward, dry off your piece with a clean rag, and transfer it to a clean surface. After it's completely dry you can take a silver polishing cloth, ones specifically made for removing tarnish, and gently rub the cloth onto the silver with your fingers. You don't have to press too hard to remove the tarnish. Move your fingers up and down the metal, you don’t have to make circular motions. You know that you are done when no more tarnish comes off the silver.
Silver is slightly softer than most gold jewelry, so you have to be extra careful when cleaning it. This process shouldn't take more than 5-6, minutes and is something you can do frequently without it being too much of an inconvenience. You can use the soft toothbrush technique if you have some leftover grime but be careful and gentle.
Alternative method: We've also seen silver cleaned with vinegar, boiling water, and aluminum foil. If you are curious and want to learn about these methods, there are a lot of tutorials online. However, when extra heat is involved, things tend to get more complicated, especially when this method is typically used for silverware. Therefore we recommended simpler methods specifically for jewelry like the ones listed above.
Cleaning your Palladium:
we are happy to disclose to you that palladium rings don't tarnish, at least not like silver! Palladium is 95 percent pure and is highly resistant to air tarnishing. This makes them very easy to maintain as they rarely need to be deep cleaned. But when you do decide to give your palladium a much-deserved bath you can do the following steps.
Place your palladium in a bowl of hot water and dish soap, leave it for 5 minutes, take it out and scrub with a soft toothbrush. That's all there is to it.
How to clean alternative metal rings
Don't forget about alternative metals! All metals need a good bath once in a while, regardless if they are labeled as “precious” or not. Below are some tips and tricks to help you clean your alternative metal rings or jewelry. You might find what you read to be a relief as a lot of different alternative metal types are super easy to clean and rarely tarnish.
Cleaning your Tungsten Carbide ring:
With its all-natural elements, tungsten carbide is susceptible to chemical damage like other metals so be sure to keep it away from things like chlorine and floor cleaner. But if tungsten gets dirty you can clean it with the same bowl of soapy water method as palladium, gold, and platinum.
Cleaning your Titanium ring:
we have been saying not to use harsh chemicals to clean your jewelry, but rules change when the metal is super resistant to chemicals. Titanium can be cleaned super easily with products that contain the chemical ammonia. That means you can simply use Windex and a clean cloth to restore your ring's beauty. Give it a shot, shouldn't take more than 10 seconds of your time and it will restore that luster to your titanium.
Cleaning your Cobalt ring:
Soap and water method works for this one too. Unlike titanium, you can’t use any ammonia products to clean cobalt as it will damage it. You also have avoided all the same cleaning chemicals you wouldn't use for gold, platinum, or silver.
Cleaning your Ceramic ring:
Use a bowl of cool water, dish soap, and a clean rag. Afterward, you can use a toothbrush and some toothpaste to scrub away any dirt if you wish. If you use toothpaste and your ceramic ring contains other precious metals, be sure to avoid scrubbing those areas as it may damage them.
Cleaning your Stainless Steel ring:
You can use the soapy water bowl trick for stainless steel rings as well. But you can take it a step further and scrub the ring with toothpaste and a soft toothbrush. You would think that toothpaste is a strange way of cleaning the ring, but on stainless steel and ceramic, it can do wonders. Just make sure the toothpaste doesn't contain silica as it may wear down your stainless steel.
Don't forget about professional options: you can always bring your piece to a jeweler like Dunkin's Diamonds to see if we can either help you safely clean your piece or do it for you. It's always better to get professional help in person, after all, we can give you a more accurate and specific cleaning regime and help you get onto an easy cleaning routine.
We hope Dunkin’s Diamonds has inspired you to either upgrade how you have been cleaning your ring or inspired you to clean your jewelry more frequently. Enjoy your sparkly clean rings!