Rather than spending a fortune on ultrasonic cleaning tanks and numerous cleaning solutions or potions; use some household detergent (same as you use in the washing machine or to wash dishes…) a cup of warm water and an old toothbrush (soft if possible).
Leave the item to be cleaned in the warm soapy water for 10 mins or so, to give the detergent a chance to work, then gently clean with your old toothbrush. Rinse it in clean water, dry and then give it a rub with a jewellery polishing cloth (or dry, non fluffy duster).
Would advise you NOT to put cemented stones, pearls, opal, turquoise, paste or malachite into dips/detergents though. Detergents will normally be fine on diamonds, sapphires, rubies, quartz and numerous other gemstones (General rule of thumb: If the gemstone is transparent detergents are usually OK, but more care is needed if the gemstone is opaque). Sorry the freebie tip won’t work on tarnished silver, but it will clean any dirt off…
Final bit of advice, once you’ve cleaned & rinsed the item check the stones are all still there BEFORE you tip the contents of the basin/cup.
Modern clothing now often includes harder wearing acrylics which tend to increase the rate of wear and tear to stone set rings, great for the clothes but not so good for your jewellery! Every couple of years it's worth having us look at the setting of the ring to ensure the claws or settings are not excessively worn.
In most cases the claws can be repaired (re-tipped) and settings re-built. If you ever feel the setting catching at all, our advice is to STOP using the ring immediately and bring it in to have it checked.
Pearls don't like perfume, hairspray or cosmetics... irrespective of whether they are simulated (completely man-made), cultured (started by man, finished by nature) or real (completely natural). The best way to ensure the lustre or orient of the pearls are not damaged is to put on your perfume, hairpsray etc first and let it dry, before wearing your necklet.
The last thing that should 'go on' is your pearl necklet and the first thing that should come off after you've returned home... is your pearls. After use, give them a 'dry' or wipe with a clean, non fluffy duster (no polish etc) and pop them back in the box or pouch they were supplied in. Don't be tempted to drop them in the jewellery box beside gold, silver or platinum items as the metals are harder wearing and can damage the pearls.
Pearls should be restrung at reasonable intervals, if the pearls can move along the silk it means the silk has stretched and will be more likely to break or cut through if you continue to use them. Pearl necklets and bracelets can be restrung, to prolong the life of the piece of jewellery
41 Mill Street
Phone: 01259 723303
Monday to Saturday
9am to 5pm