Jewellery Cleaning Myths, Busted!

With the constant handwashing that we are being encouraged to do to keep the coronoavirus at bay, it can be bad news for your jewellery (we would always recommend taking jewellery off before doing so!). So, we thought we would share some top tips from the experts, Connoisseurs, and dispel some of the myths that you may have believed would make your treasured jewellery pieces sparkle!

Using Toothpaste to clean jewellery

It is a common myth that toothpaste is a good way to clean your jewellery. This is actually false. Toothpaste can damage your diamonds, gemstones, gold and silver.

Toothpaste is abrasive and has a hardness of around 3/4 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. Metals such as gold and silver are softer, so toothpaste can actually scratch damage your gold and silver jewellery. Not to mention the chemicals in the flavour oils used in toothpaste that are corrosive to metal.

Some gemstones have a hardness a slightly higher on the Mohs scale but they can still get surface abrasions if toothpaste is used to clean them. Pearls and opals should never be touched by toothpaste; it can destroy their colour and lustre.  So, unless you are cleaning a loose diamond, it is best to not use your toothpaste, and stick with a jewellery cleaner made to clean your specific jewels.

Jewellery Cleaning Myths, Busted!
Jewellery Cleaning Myths, Busted!

Gin or warm soapy water to clean Jewellery

Why should I use a jewellery cleaner? I have always recommended gin or warm soapy water.

Firstly, it’s hugely expensive and wasteful to buy gin to clean jewellery – especially as you would not want to drink it afterwards. Warm soapy water is not made for jewellery, so it will not be as effective – and soap may leave a greasy residue on your jewellery.

Connoisseurs products are made especially for jewellery so will always give the best results.

Cleaning Silver

If I clean silver will it tarnish faster?

Connoisseurs products when used as we recommend in the training file will not cause tarnish to form any faster, in fact, the polishing cloths and wipes apply an anti-tarnish barrier, so jewellery can be preserved for longer.

What is the best way to clean silver?

The best way to maintain and care for your silver is by using Connoisseurs polishing cloths and jewellery wipes. The specialised formula will clean, polish and protect your silver jewellery and are ideal for use at home or on-the-go to keep your jewellery looking its best.

If you haven’t worn your silver for a long time and it has become tarnished or oxidised, simply use Connoisseurs Jewellery Wipes – watch the tarnish and dirt disappear. If there is trapped hard to reach tarnish, dip your silver into our silver bath, rinse with water, dry with soft cloth and then finish with Connoisseurs polishing cloth.

How do I clean oxidised silver?

Connoisseurs silver bath is designed to remove oxidisation from silver and so its designed for solid .925 sterling silver ONLY. Use Connoisseurs polishing cloths and wipes to clean oxidised silver, if there is trapped cosmetics and dirt build up, use Connoisseurs Precious Jewellery cleaner to remove the dirt, then finish with a cloth or wipe.

I’ve heard silver dip is very strong, I don’t like to use it.

Silver dip is more potent than gold dip, however Connoisseurs silver dip is specially formulated, so it will not damage any precious metal jewellery. Caution should be exercised around pearls, mother of pearl and opals as they are delicate. You can always hold the section with stones, so it doesn’t go in to the dip, but cleans the silver around it, then finish with a cloth or wipe.

What do we do, our silver is strung on nylon?

Nylon can be put into silver dip and water, once you have dipped the article, rinse with water, dry with soft cloth and then polish with Connoisseurs polishing cloth. It will not harm the nylon.

Jewellery Cleaning Myths, Busted!
Jewellery Cleaning Myths, Busted!
Jewellery Cleaning Myths, Busted!
Jewellery Cleaning Myths, Busted!

Cleaning Stones

I have always been told you can’t clean emeralds or other soft/porous stones

Industrial cleaners are not always suitable to clean jewellery after manufacture. So, you should avoid putting emeralds in an ultrasonic. But if the recommended Connoisseurs products are used, there will be no ill effects as they are designed to be safe while effective, for use at home and in store without fear of damage.

The stones I need to clean are glued, how do I do this?

Just make sure that jewellery is not submerged in dips or water as this may cause the glue to perish. It is best to remove dirt from glued jewellery with the brush supplied with the precious cleaner, wet with whichever dip you need to use, then rinsing off with a very small amount of water. Then follow this up with the wipes or cloth, both of which are safe for glued stones – as they are a dry cleaning method.

My jewellery collection has paste stones – how do we clean these?

Jewellery wipes are brilliant and pliable for small articles and are also safe for soft stones, or as recommended above, use a small amount of cleaner (either silver for the non-plated or precious for the plated) on a brush, avoiding the stone set area.

Yellow Gold and Rose Gold Vermeil Jewellery

How can I look after and clean our yellow gold and rose gold vermeil pieces? I’m worried the plating will wear.

Connoisseurs cloths (silver or gold) and wipes are not abrasive, they simply remove dirt and tarnish. So, you can polish all day long, they will not remove plating – they will help preserve and protect the plating by removing harmful cosmetics.

Jewellery Cleaning Myths, Busted!
Jewellery Cleaning Myths, Busted!

Cleaning jewellery that have intricate design

Cleaning pieces that have intricate design … often there are gaps in the jewellery which we cannot reach.

If you use the silver dip to clean intricate designs, make sure to rinse with water, dry and then polish with the Connoisseurs cloth to apply anti-tarnish.
The wipes are more pliable, so they should help getting into hard to reach places. For a more effective clean, take the brush supplied with the gold dip and use it in the silver dip, to brush in-between small gaps.