We get it: you can’t walk past a cute boutique without walking away with at least one shiny new necklace or bangle, even though you have approximately 15 back home that look almost identical. It’s easy to overlook that tarnished silver watch you used to love. It’s like opening the fridge, seeing the droopy basil leaves on last night’s leftovers, and paying $15 for someone else to make the same pasta primavera. But it only takes about 15 minutes to bring back that first-time-I-saw-you shine.
For Your Wristology Watch
Our watches are built to last, so follow some basic cleaning instructions to keep them running and looking beautiful for years to come. We don’t recommend exposing your watch to hot water or steam, so clean your watch with a soft cloth and lukewarm water (don’t submerge it completely). Dry the watch thoroughly, and it’ll shine like new.
For Your Silver
Silver naturally tarnishes when it’s exposed to air; it’s almost unavoidable. Over time, your silver jewelry will naturally develop hues of yellow or black. The good news is that cleaning sterling silver is super easy, and you can use basic household products to turn back the clock on your silver watch (sorry, couldn’t resist).
If you’re willing to take on a light DIY project, grab a bowl, some aluminum foil, boiling water, and baking soda. Boil about 3 cups of water (enough to fill your bowl), and add in 3 tablespoons of baking soda. Line the bottom of the bowl with foil, and place your jewelry on top. Once your water and baking soda reaches a boil, pour it over your jewelry and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
Why does cleaning silver this way work so well? The sulfide atoms that tarnished your jewelry are transferring to the aluminum, reversing the original chemical reaction that gave it that dull tarnish. Fastest, most useful science lesson ever.
For Your Gold
Gold is a soft metal, and unfortunately it’s easy to scratch. A lot of your gold jewelry is probably mixed with other metals to make it more durable, but even so, your best offense is a good defense: if you’re hitting the gym or going to the pool, it might be a good idea to leave your gold jewelry at home.
That said, it’s pretty easy to bring back the original luster. Mix a small amount of Dawn dish detergent in a bowl of lukewarm water, and add a few drops of ammonia (if the piece has a gemstone, especially something delicate like pearl or amber, skip the ammonia). Dip a soft cloth in the solution and gently buff the jewelry. Rinse in warm water and dry (again, gently) with a soft cloth or air dry.
For Everything Else
Turns out the best jewelry cleaner out there is probably already in your kitchen: Dawn dish detergent. This is your secret weapon: a few years’ worth of gold and silver jewelry cleaner for about $4. Some diluted Dawn and warm water should do the trick for titanium and most gem stones (but to be safe, always look up the best cleaning solution for that particular stone). Let your jewelry air dry or gently wipe clean with a soft cloth, and you’re done. You literally have no excuse to put off your jewelry cleaning project since everything you need is on the counter, under the sink, and at the bottom of your jewelry drawer.
Of course, if you have any doubts, do a little research first: if you paid more than $100 for the piece, you can probably take 10 minutes to make sure you’re not turning a sapphire orange. A quick Google search will reveal the top of the line products for cleaning gold jewelry or finding the best silver polish.
Cleaning silver, gold, and everything else in your treasure chest is fast, easy to do, and you’ll have beautiful results. And honestly, the instant gratification makes cleaning jewelry the perfect DIY project.
We’re not saying you need to stop shopping (every season needs a new watch/ring/earring combo, am I right?). But don’t neglect your favorite pieces just because they’ve lost some of their original shine. Everyone needs a little TLC sometimes.