It can be difficult to stay on top of cleaning everything we own. Especially if we have a large family or simply don’t have enough hours in the day spare to do so. But it’s important to take a little time out to give those more fragile and valuable items some much-needed attention. Give jewellery and glassware a new lease of life by following a few simple tricks and tips.
Cleaning jewellery can be quite a fiddly task. Especially necklaces with fine cable chains or very delicate earrings. Before you clean any jewellery, set up a plastic bowl lined with a clean, dry cloth. Avoid cleaning and handling jewellery over a sink to avoid losing anything down the plughole.
For precious and semi-precious gemstones, you can use a little washing-up liquid mixed with warm water. A small make-up brush is ideal for gently scrubbing gems clean. Be very careful and pay special attention to gems, take your time to avoid damaging them. Once you have finished, gently rinse them in warm water and either apply or dip into some surgical spirit to remove soap and disinfect them. Dry doing so with a soft clean cloth or chamois leather to be extra careful.
Avoid washing pearls, turquoise and emeralds in water. Instead, polish with chamois leather and protect them from any perfume or sprays.
Polish base metals and plating gently for a high shine finish. Take extra care when cleaning plated items as you might run the risk of the plate coming loose.
Both silver and gold can be cleaned by using a small solution of warm and soapy water; use a little washing-up liquid for best results. With a small, clean make-up bush or toothbrush, gently scrub and then rinse in a some hot water and dry by buffing to polish. Stains can be easily removed by mixing a little water and baking soda, them rubbing silver very gently and polishing dry.
Polish brass to clean and shine it, you can purchase brass cleaner products or for a more unusual trick, try a little tomato ketchup or toothpaste.
When washing any silver or gold stone set jewellery, be really careful with what you absorb with water as some precious gems should not be soaked.
Glass and Crystal
Similarly to jewellery, wash glass and crystal in a plastic bowl to avoid damaging them in a hard sink and therefore preventing any knocks that may occur. Both glass and crystal can be left to dry on a tea towel, facing down, and then polished with a lint-free cloth.
Drinking glasses should only go in the dishwasher if they are inexpensive or tumblers. Any delicate glass and crystal should be washed by hand only, to avoid damages such as scratching and staining.
If your glasses are looking a little cloudy, try gently soaking in a warm bowl of water with a splash of white vinegar.
Give wine glasses and champagne flutes an extra shine by gently placing them over a small bowl of steaming hot water (take extra care when handling) and then buffed with a soft, clean cloth.
Crystal can be washed with a little washing-up liquid and a soft sponge or cloth. Always remember to thoroughly rinse with care after doing so.
Optical frames smudge very easily. To clean them effectively, try using a little vinegar and warm water or steam over water and wipe clean with a lint-free cloth.