I get it, we need to clean our jewelry. I read with horrified fascination of a couple cleaning their jewelry with gas and was flabbergasted. It did not end well.
Why did they do it? We may never know. It prompted me to look into the many odd ways people have cleaned jewelry over time.
Cleaning Jewelry with Gas – Why?
Gas is known for removing paint and stains. However, it is extremely dangerous to use this liquid for anything other than its intended purpose. This was a hard lesson for one couple located in Las Vegas, who were attempting to clean jewelry with gasoline and ended up catching their apartment and themselves on fire. Here’s the article.
The couple received first and second-degree burns, four others in the apartment building were treated for smoke inhalation, 51 residents had to be removed from the building and there was an estimated $100,000 in damage. This was all due to deciding to clean jewelry with gas. Seriously? Yup gas.
Then There’s Ammonia
For years, people have utilized ammonia to clean their jewelry. In fact, this can be traced back to the 1890’s. Due to how long it has been used, most people think this is a sure way to get their jewelry sparkling like new again. However, they would be wrong!
Ammonia may do great when simply shining the gold, silver, platinum and even diamonds. However, when utilized on pearls, opals, ivory or other delicate gemstones it can simply destroy them.
Ammonia can be dangerous if inhaled, and if the person were to ingest ammonia, such as if they had this on their hands, it is poison. While our ancestors may have used this method, the newer methods of today are much safer and will not destroy your jewelry.
Washing Machines Are For Washing Right?
Yes, there have even been people who have put their delicate jewelry in washing machines to clean these. In several cases, people will put these pieces in a delicate garment bag. This way, the ring is not flushed out with the rinse water, and the person believes it is being protected. They then choose to utilize the delicate cycle.
The problem being is that you are subjecting the jewelry to banging around and other indignities. Those who have done this often find their jewelry is chipped due to the force of the washing machine and some gemstones can permanently dis-colored. That isn’t good.
Secondly, the laundry detergents you use to get your clothes clean are simply too harsh for many pieces of jewelry.
Denture Tablets; Fake Teeth and Jewelry, It’s Like the Same Right?
This is one of those do it yourself types of remedies that some people swear by. However, it is slowly eroding away any vulnerable elements in a piece of jewelry.
While it may make a piece of jewelry shine again, don’t be surprised to find that after a few times of wearing this piece, any glue set gems simply fall out. Jewelry is delicate, and this is a very invasive method of cleaning.
Happy Hour – Vodka for Your Jewelry?
I had a sweet elderly client who told me she’d been boiling her diamond wedding ring in vodka for years. I must admit her diamond ring looked sparkly. But diamonds are about the only thing that could take the abuse of boiling. And vodka, shouldn’t we be drinking that? What if you drink it and you boil your diamond ring in it at the same time? Can you say kitchen fire? Let’s not do that.
No Flames, No Fumes, Just Simple Clean Jewelry
Jewelry cleaning is not something that should be left to chance. In many cases, your jewelry pieces are keepsakes that you want to have in your family for many years to come.
Why do some people risk doing something that could ultimately affect the structure, the beauty and the durability of their jewelry? Why do some guys use duct tape to re-set a diamond? (Really happened).
My recommendation is to read my article on the best ways to clean jewelry. here. For the newest looking cleaned up piece of jewelry, use a professional jeweler for cleaning. To maintain a clean look use my home cleaning tips in the article.
Your Personal Jeweler,