After noticing my store bought jewelry cleaner smelled mostly like ammonia, I refilled the empty jar with half sudsy ammonia and half water and used that to clean my jewelry instead. Works as well as (if not better than) the store bought stuff.
Worked in a jewelry store years back. At that time, we used sudsy ammonia, water and just a drop of dishwashing liquid to get jewels sparking clean. Watch out for opals, though. (04/14/2005)
By trouble's mother
Use equal amounts of cold distilled water and ammonia in a container and soak your jewelry for 1/2 hour to clean it.
By Geri Taylor (05/26/2005)
Pearls also must be treated a certain way, ask before you clean them as I don't know how. (05/27/2005)
Pearls must be cleaned very gently, otherwise you can remove the coating that makes them look good. The best way is simply wiping them with a soft clean cloth and a little water.
Opals can lose their color if they come in contact with hot water. Make sure to remove opal rings when you are bathing or doing dishes.
Treat both of these with great care.
The reason your "pearls" lose their coating is they either are not pearls--pearls are solid nacre--or they are color treated to look like a more costly version. Real pearls feel grainy when you rub them on your teeth. Others feel slick.
Pearls, coral, amber and jet are organic gemstones, made by living things. Opal thinks it's organic, so be gentle to all these groups. Baby shampoo diluted is fine, but you do want to wash off make-up and sweat that can weaken stringing threads and have them glow. DO NOT PAY for washing your pearls when you have them restrung. Do it yourself. A soft facial brush will do. Photograph your pearls on a table before you go, and write a number beside each one to confirm the count. It's nickels and dimes that made eBay what it is today.
Otherwise, I find the best jewelry cleaner are the effervescent denture tablets, especially the "5-minute" kind. They are individually wrapped and work in any glass or small plastic cup or bowl. For traveling or getting dressed at the last minute, they can't be beat. Plop, plop. Fizz, fizz. Oooops, that's for heartburn. hahaha (08/28/2005)
Use equal amounts of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia. The dirt and grime just bubbles out of the jewelry in mere seconds! (10/17/2005)
One thing you can use to clean all your jewelry is toothpaste. It may be hard to believe but it's true, I read it from a newspaper article. I didn't believe it but I thought there's nothing bad out of trying, so I did. Toothpaste was strong enough to clean off the dirt and grime, but gentle enough not to damage anything. Toothpaste also helps with burns! (12/17/2007)
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