How to Care for your handmade Jewelry

Over time, copper or silver jewelry will lose its bright shine and take on a patina of its very own. This is due  to oxidation. Moisture in the air causes  copper and silver  to tarnish or patina. Some people like this natural patina. For those of you that like to keep your jewelry bright and shiny use one of the following jewelry cleaning methods below:

  • Make a paste of baking soda, a dab of dish detergent (eco friendly if possible) and water (do not use hot or boiling water if your jewelry also includes stones, to prevent the possibility of damaging the stone). You can also use tooth paste or ketchup for copper and brass, or if you would rather use a commercial product, I recommend Brasso. Gently rub copper or silver metal with cleaning paste of your choosing until shiny (you can use an old toothbrush or any small soft brush). After achieving the result you wanted put jewelry in a bowl of clean water with a bit of dish soap (eco friendly if possible), remove the cleaning compound with your brush, and then put into a bowl of clean water and swish around until no longer soapy. You may have to change the water a couple of times. You can also just rinse it under the tap. Rinse thoroughly to make sure you removed the paste completely. Shake jewelry onto dry cloth to remove water from the inside and dry jewelry with a soft towel. Lay flat to let jewelry dry completely before wearing again or you can also use a hairdryer to dry faster if in a hurry.
  • For jewelry that has been intentionally oxidized by me as part of the design just use a soft cotton cloth to polish accents.
  • Whatever method you choose it requires a bit of elbow grease 😉

To prevent your jewelry from tarnishing:

  • It is a good practice to wipe body oils, makeup and hair spray from jewelry after each wearing.
  • Put jewelry on after:  bathing, applying body lotions, perfume and hair spray to avoid build up and damage from ingredients used in beauty products.
  • Store your jewelry in a dry, compartmentalized jewelry box or container to avoid dry rot and tarnish.
  • Use commercial products for tarnish prevention coating like ProtectaClear or Renaissance Wax (on your own responsibility)

If you have any questions about caring for and storing your handmade jewelry feel free to contact me.

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