Jewelry Care

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Sterling silver jewelry is both known for it’s beauty and ability to stand the test of time. But just because it’s durable doesn’t mean it lacks the need for special treatment. Read below to find out exactly how to care for you sterling silver jewelry!

Tarnishing
Over time, sterling silver can and will tarnish. Tarnish is a darkening that forms over metals as their outermost layer undergoes a chemical reaction. Usually it’s due to the piece’s natural exposure to air, but can also be from water, hand lotions, and other foreign substances. For this reason, it’s important to remove your sterling silver jewelry when showering, exercising, washing your hands, etc. I know it’s convenient to leave your jewelry on, but removing it will keep your piece shinier longer. Furthermore, it prevents any damage or pitting to the surface that cannot be fixed and will make it appear dull even when polished.

Cleaning
1. Polishing Cloth. Fortunately cleaning sterling silver jewelry can be done at home. The best option is to purchase a polishing cloth, like Goddard’s. What’s great about the cloth is that it can be used on all jewelry, not just sterling. I highly recommend it. In fact, if you purchased your ring through my jewelry shop, the cloth that came with your order is, in fact, a small sample of a Goddard’s cloth.

2. Vinegar. Another remedy (and green too!) is to warm a class of white vinegar and allow your piece to sit in it. This may take longer that chemically-based options but it will get the job done.

3. Fine steel wool. Fine steel wool can be used to polish your piece and can easily be purchased at your local hardware store. However, it may not be able to get into the nooks and crannies and will shed as you use it, so be sure to polish over a trash receptacle.

4. Baking sodas. Another “home remedy” is to create a mixture of baking soda, water, and lemon juice. Rub your piece with the concoction and a tooth brush to remove any tough to reach tarnish.

Restoring Design Details
With all this cleaning, any oxidized areas purposely placed to highlight details and designs may fade. Although as the piece re-oxidizes (tarnishes) the details will be restored, the fastest option is to color in the areas with a Sharpie and remove any excess with a polishing cloth or fine steel wool. It’s fast and works every time.

Green Fingers
Not an urban myth, sterling silver CAN still turn fingers green. If you’re not normally allergic to sterling silver, there’s most likely a residue on the inside of the band that is causing the skin reaction. Clean with the above methods daily until the reaction stops occurring.

There you have it! Follow the above directions and your sterling silver jewelry will always be in tip-top shape!

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How To Care for and Clean Brass JewelryWith the cost of gold being so high, brass is an excellent alternative to those whole love the warm, rich color of gold but can’t afford it’s price tag. However, the swap to brass does come with some (minor) care responsibilities. But follow the steps below and you’ll be able to enjoy your brass jewelry for years to come.

 

How to Clean & Care for Brass Jewelry

  1.  Brass does not like getting wet. Want to tarnish brass quickly? Just get it a little damp and you’ll see a brown patina form. While this can be quite lovely sometimes, if you’d like your brass jewelry to shine like gold, keep it dry!
  2. Inevitably, however, no matter how hard you try to keep your brass jewelry dry, it will tarnish over time. Oils and sweat (not sexy, I know) are the main culprits here. To clean flat surfaces or jewelry that has detail you don’t want to disturb, like stampings, buff the piece with a jewelry polishing cloth, like Goddard’s, or use fine steel wool available at any hardware store. You’ll be surprised at how quickly a light buff will restore shine. P.S. I highly recommend the cloth, as it is inexpensive and can be used on all jewelry! Also, when you use the steel wool, be ware that it will shed so polish over a receptacle.
  3. For a deeper clean in those hard-to-reach areas, create a mixture of lemon juice, baking powder, and water. Grab a dollop with a toothbrush and gently go over your brass jewelry. The toothbrush should help you get into those dirty nooks and crannies, making your jewelry golden once again.
  4. If you ever get a little over-zealous in your scrubbing and remove detail in nooks and crannies that should have it, simply use a Sharpie to fill in those areas and then gently rub over them with fine steel wool to remove any surface excess.
  5. Some people have an allergy to brass that causes a tint to be left behind on the skin. Simply seal the offending areas on your jewelry with any clear nail polish or clear Rustoleum to prevent this from happening. Reapply as needed.

And that’s it! Follow the steps above and you will get many happy years of wear from brass jewelry.

<3
Andrea

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Thank you for supporting handmade and Eagle Rowe!

Each piece is handcrafted with love and care, so please take some time to read the following care directions. It will keep you and your piece loving each other much longer :)

Sterling Silver Care

Brass Jewelry Care

Aluminum Jewelry Care

<3
Andrea

 

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