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Jewelry Maintenance

Stainless steel is a steel alloy containing a minimum of 10 percent chromium metal. According to the St. Patrick's Guild website, "the chromium properties make the alloy resistant to corrosion or rusting." Stainless steel jewelry is stronger than platinum or silver, but needs proper care to maintain its metal properties. To keep your stainless wedding rings, pendants and necklaces pristine,clean with inexpensive and common household products.


1. Clean surface dirt. Mix 1 tsp. of mild liquid detergent and 1 cup of lukewarm water in a small bowl. Dip the edge of an old T-shirt or lint-free cloth in the soapy mixture. To avoid scratches, rub the cloth gently over the stainless steel jewelry.

2. Dip the dry edge of the cloth in warm water. Wipe the jewelry clean to remove any soap residue. Air-dry the jewelry on a clean cloth overnight, in a well-ventilated area.

3. Remove dirt trapped in the crevices of your stainless steel jewelry. Squirt a small dollop of non-whitening toothpaste on the edge of an old toothbrush. Scrub the toothpaste gently into the etched or grooved areas.

4. Rinse the toothbrush with warm water. Reapply the toothbrush to the dirty jewelry to lift ground-in dirt and remove any toothpaste residue.

5. Dip the dry edge of the cloth in warm water to finish cleaning the piece of jewelry. Wipe clean with the dry edge of the cloth.Air-dry on a T-shirt or cloth overnight.

6. Wipe your jewelry with a polishing cloth used for stainless steel jewelry. these cloths are availabel at jewelry stores.


Although they are not real diamonds, cubic zirconia stones possess many of the same traits of more valuable gems. While diamonds are usually harder, cubic zirconia stones rate nearly as high on the hardness scale and sparkle almost as much. There are many ways to keep your cubic zirconia jewelry clean.

Here are some tips for how to clean your cubic zirconia.


1. Check your jewelry for loose cubic zirconia stones, damaged prongs or other imperfections. The cleaning process can cause loose stones to fall out or damaged prongs to break. If you notice anything wrong with your jewelry, skip the cleaning process and take the cubic zirconia pieces to your local jeweler.

2. Make a cleaning solution from 1 qt. (950 mL) warm water and 1 tsp. (5 mL) mild dish detergent. Mix them together in a clean bowl so they form small bubbles. Place your jewelry into the solution andallow it to soak for 10 to 20 minutes. Set a timer to help you remember to take your jewelry out after it has soaked for awhile.

3. Remove the jewelry from the cleaning solution. Check the jewelry again for any imperfections, loose stones or stretched prongs. Do not continue cleaning your jewelry if there is something wrong with it.

4. Brush your jewelry with an old soft-bristled toothbrush or clean make-up brush.Coat the brush bristles with a combination of baking soda and warm water. Brush your jewelry on all sides:top,bottom,inside and outside.Attempt to get between the stone and the setting, without damaging the prongs.Brush lightly so as to not damage or scratch your jewelry's surface.

5. Rinse your jewelry with warm water. Use a clean bowl or rinse it in the sink. If you rinse your jewelry in the sink,plug the drain. Even if you have confidence that you won't drop your jewelry down the sink, any loose stones could fall out and be washed away.

6. Dry your jewelry using a soft towel or jewelry polishing cloth. Pat it dry,paying special attention to getting the cubic zirconia stone dry, too. Do not use circular motions, as this can scratch your jewelry. After drying, if you suspect that your jewelry is not completely dry, ay it on a cloth to absorb any leftover moisture.

7. Repeat the process if your jewelry dose not appear to be clean. Sometimes grime or stuck-on dirt is stubborn and requires several attempts to remove it. Be patient as you repeat the prcess to clean your cubic zirconia jewelry or accessories.

8. Store your cubic zircon jewelry in a lined jewelry box to keep it clean longer. The lining should be soft and protective. Do not stack your jewelry on other pieces. This will help to avoid scratches or other damage that can be done to your cubic zircon jewelry.


Gold-plated jewelry is made by covering a base metal, usually silver, with a very thin layer of gold. Since the gold layer is so thin and reactive with silver, it will eventually wear away despite your best attempts to preserve it. This wearing away process can take as little as a year depending on whether a barrier was created to separate the silver and gold layers.

Usually, a copper barrier will be used to slow down the reactive process. With the copper barrier, the gold-plating will still wear away, but it will take much longer than a year for it to do so.
Gold-plating is usually used as party or costume jewelry. However, if you are unable to afford gold or gold-filled jewelry, there are several steps you can take to preserve your gold-plated jewelry.


1. Keep gold-plated jewelry away from hard surfaces. Bumps and scratches will cause the gold layer to wear away faster.

2. Store your gold-plated jewelry in a velvet lined jewelry box, or wrap it in a soft material that will prevent scratches.

3. Lightly wipe your gold-plated jewelry with a damp cotton cloth. This will help to eliminate any dirt or dust from accumulating on the surface and wearing away the gold layer.

4. Use a non-abrasive jewelry polishing cloth and gently rub the gold-plated jewelry to restore shine.

5. Take the gold-plated jewelry to a local jewelry where they can replace the gold layer. This may be necessory if the gold plating has already started to wear off.Check with your local jewelry store to see waht they charge for this service.