Spring Cleaning: Spruce up your jewelry box

April 27, 2010 (CHICAGO) Jewelry that was long-forgotten can feel brand new again this spring. Fine jewelry is meant to be worn and passed down to future generations. Taking simple steps to care for and clean your jewelry today, will help ensure that it will remain looking beautiful tomorrow, says Amanda Gizzi of the Jewelry Information Center, the consumer education arm of Jewelers of America. Each piece of jewelry and timepiece is individual and needs to be cared for differently, Amanda adds. She provides tips to cleaning and caring for your fine jewelry:

1. Clean your diamonds regularly using a commercial jewelry cleaner, a mix of ammonia and water, or a mild detergent. Dip the jewelry into the solution and use a soft brush to dislodge dust or dirt from under the setting.

2. Chlorine can damage and discolor most fine jewelry. Keep your jewelry away from chlorine bleach or other household chemicals.

3. After wearing, wipe your jewelry thoroughly with a clean, soft, slightly damp cloth. This will enhance the luster of the diamonds and gemstones and ensure that your jewelry is clean before storage.

4. Visit your jeweler every six months to have your jewelry professionally cleaned.

5. Hair spray, perfume and perspiration may cause jewelry to become dull. Apply all cosmetics, perfumes and colognes before putting on colored gemstone jewelry. Make sure to wipe your gemstones after wear to remove any chemicals, oils or perspiration.

6. Visit www.jic.org/index.php?page=how-to-clean for more on how to care for all of your precious baubles.

Jewelry Information Center recommends the following storage and organizing tips:

1. Store your jewelry in a clean, dry place.

2. Make sure your silver is not exposed to air and light during storage -- this can cause silver to tarnish.

3. Don't wear sterling silver in chlorinated water or when working with household chemicals.

4. Always thoroughly rinse and dry your jewelry after cleaning and before storage.

5. Don't jumble your jewelry pieces in a drawer or jewelry case. Pieces can scratch each other.

6. Be careful when removing your jewelry to wash your hands. Do not leave your jewelry on the rim of a sink where it can easily slip down the drain.

7. See your jeweler at least once a year to have your jewelry checked for loose prongs, worn mountings, and general wear and tear.

8. Keep your jewelry in a fabric-lined jewelry case, or in a box with numerous compartments and dividers. This keeps your jewelry untangled and will help keep it from tarnishing. The problem with a lot of jewelry boxes is that they don't have enough compartments and that causes your jewelry to get jumbled together. Look for a style with many little compartments over the styles that have a few larger sections.

9. There are a variety of organizers that have a hanger-like hook with numerous clear pouches. Those styles are a great way to keep your earrings separate and visible. Place one pair of earrings in each pouch to ensure that the posts will not scratch the other earrings. Hang them on the back of your closet door or in your closet.

10. Small zip closure bags make great jewelry travel bags. Keep the clasp of necklaces just outside the zip to keep your necklaces tangle free.

For more fine jewelry care, cleaning or storage tips, email Agizzi@jewelers.org or www.JIC.org.

Copyright © 2023 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.