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Cleaning Your Jewellery


Tips for Cleaning and Caring for your Jewellery


It must be one of my most frequently asked questions.How do I clean my jewellery? This is often when I have handed back a customers jewellery item, having resized, repaired or remade the item and cleaned it, and, yes they do look like new again. 

Step One 

#1 Don't get it gunked up in the first place,remove jewellery items before gardening,concreting the driveway,mixing the playdough or whatever.

#2 If you have to remove the grease and gunk, make up a mix of dish wash detergent and household ammonia, half and half. In New Zealand we have a household product called "Cloudy Ammonia". Be careful this stuff has a strong pungent smell, but is a powerful degreaser, which is what you need.

#3 Drop your jewellery items in this mix (Make sure the item is not on the list below) and depending on how much gunk and grease there is, will depend how long it takes.

#4 Leave it there for half an hour to half a day. With a moistened sponge, to rest the item on, work away with a soft tooth brush at the gunk, if there's lots, you will need to leave it in the mix longer, but it will work and until the grease and gunk is removed the cleaning job will not be successful.

#5  Having removed the dirt/grease build up, the item will look a lot cleaner and stones brighter. Obtain a good jewellery polishing cloth(some are better than others) rubbing it over the metal parts should restore the items lustre.

#6 By keeping a small amount of this mix available, you can maintain your jewellerys lustre easily by giving them a regular soak, wash out and buff.

The above instructions, applies to gold,platinum and silver jewellery most precious and semi precious stones.

pearl, shell(includes cameos), opals, turquoise, emerald jewellery,stones that have been glued or shelacked in place.These items nead to be cleaned carefully and with profesional advice!!!

All jewellery items with some value should be checked regularly to be sure stones and setttings are secure, again if unsure or if you can't remember the last time they were checked, it's more likely they need to be checked out first.

If in ANY doubt give it to a jewellery professional


IF this article does not answer your query, send me an email with your details and Jewellery question,we would love to help out ,if we can.


So,why does our jewellery get dull and dirty?

Cleaning jewellery falls into to two areas.

  • #1The metal is discoloured,looks black or dull.

  • #2 The stones lack their former luster and sparkle.

  • The cause for the first problem is that most metals react in some way with the air or moisture in the environment causing a layer of oxide to form on the surface.The exceptions are, pure, or fine gold, and platinum.Great, lets make all jewellery out of these metals. Gold unfortunatly, is too soft and platinum way too expensive.So we end up mixing or alloying other metals, such as copper or silver, to lower the price and make the items more durable, and it's these additional metals that give us the problems.

  • In reality,most of these problems are with silver or in the lower carat alloys, below 14ct. or in mixes with a lot of copper called "Rose", or "Pink" golds.

  • The second problem with stones and a general lack of luster on your jewellery item is usually attributed to gunk, grease, bread dough and garden dirt to name a few.These are what contribute to gem stones especially looking dull. I often repair jewellery and even after giving the piece a preclean, when it gets heated up, it smells like the bread makers just gone off. So dipping jewellery in a "Jewellery cleaning solution" a few times isn't always going to work.


Coming up

A special mix for cleaning silver:






What NOT to clean your jewellery with:

IF this article does not answer your query, send me an email with your details and Jewellery question,we would love to help out .





Rick and Jenny Bromhead

Jewellery designers and manufacturers. Based in Northland New Zealand, love to travel and delight in encouraging others to do the same. We have produced a range of unique jewellery designs from New Zealand’s traditional Maori Koru, birds and forest, fish and sea shells.

If you are travelling through the Northland region,you are welcome to call(by appointment) at our studio workshop.

Click here for Contact details...



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Pacific Treasures,
Jewellery designed and made in New Zealand


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Pacific Treasures and any one associated with Pacific Treasures are not responsible for any damage or loss to persons or property connected with or attributable to, the advice or instructions given in the above article on jewellery cleaning.

It is offered in good faith but strongly advises if in ANY doubt give it to a jewellery professional.