Top 10 ways to clean and store your handmade beaded jewellery

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it will certainly help to keep your precious items safe and happy. Even the best-made, highest quality jewellery is delicate. If not handled properly, jewellery will break or become damaged. Handmade jewellery can be extra delicate, so a little extra care will allow it to last a lifetime.

You will notice that your crystals and gemstones will start getting a layer of grime which comes from the dirt of daily wear on your skin and bodily fluids (yes, it sounds terrible, but its quite natural). It is a good practice to wipe body oils, makeup and hair spray from jewellery after each wearing. You can follow the steps below:

1. Use a soft cotton cloth to polish your beaded jewels. A coarse cloth may scratch glass, pearls, crystals and some metal beads. I like to use the cloths that you can buy in a pack that you can wash windows with. They soft and fluffy.

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2. For hard gemstones and pearls, I recommend cleaning with a damp cloth to gently wipe the pieces. Never use chemicals on gemstones and pearls. Dry completely with the soft cloth as shown above and do not use toothpaste and a hard toothbrush.

For soft gemstones such as lapis, malachite, coral, turquoise, these should be cleaned carefully with a mild soap and once again, use the soft cloth to clean and dry it.

Glass and plastic beads and crystals can be cleaned with lukewarm mild soapy water such as dishwashing liquid.  Wipe the soap off well and then gently pat dry using a soft cloth and make sure your jewellery is completely dry before storing again. Do not soak the items in water otherwise your Tigertale wire will start to rust.

For harder to reach spaces, such as the wires in between the stones on wire wrapped jewellery, just give a gentle scrub over the area with a soft brush such as a child’s toothbrush and water.

Pearls are organic gemstones that are vulnerable to acid, alkaline and extremely humid conditions. In order to preserve the radiance of your pearls, avoid getting them exposed to cosmetics, hair spray, or perfume. Perspiration can harm the pearl’s lustre, so to prevent this you can wipe them off gently with a soft cloth before returning your them to your jewellery box.

3. To bring the sparkle back to faceted stones and crystals, you can also wash with warm water, a mild detergent (such as dishwashing liquid) and a very soft Softly brush the inside and back of the setting. Due to the light coming in through the back of the setting you need to get that gunk out. Rinse well.

4. Avoid using cleaners such as ammonia since they will remove sealers or coatings on the stones and cause irreparable damage. Commercial jewellery cleaner may contain solvents or harsh chemicals that can damage your beaded jewellery items may damage some stones because many contain ammonia. Also, do not use Windex! Do not use chemical dips or ionic cleaners either as they are too harsh on crystals, pearls and some of the metals.

5. Make sure you’re not seeing more string/wire than normal. If you are, this could mean that your jewellery item is not secured properly and may eventually fall apart. Have your jewellery restrung before it breaks because if it breaks while you’re wearing it, you may lose your beads that are sometimes hard or impossible to replace. This will increase the cost of your repair. Some jewellery creators give you a certain number of free fixtures before they start charging, depending on how the product broke, I know that I offer this service.

6. Do not sleep, shower, bathe, swim, do dishes or household cleaning with chemicals, while wearing your jewellery. Tap, well, sea, and pool water all contain a variety of chemicals that can result in damage or excessive wear and tear to metals and stones. Do not exercise when wearing your jewellery, as sweat, tugging, pulling, and rough handling can result in broken links, wire or thread.

7. Do not put your jewellery on until AFTER you have dressed and applied any cosmetics, hairspray, perfume, lotions and other chemicals.

8. Use extra special care when cleaning color enhanced or delicate natural beads including turquoise, red coral, bone, and pearls.

9. Use a soft toothbrush or a special jewellery brush to clean silver.

10. Store your jewellery in a dry, compartmentalized jewellery box or container to avoid dry rot and tarnish. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight is likely to fade most stones over time. For your necklaces, it is best to store them in a hanging position behind the door in your room or in your cupboard. There are many ways of doing this and you can make your own necklace hangers as well. I made my own and they hang behind the door to our room to keep them away from the sunlight.

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Now that you have the basics of caring and storing your handmade jewellery, your jewellery should now last you close to a lifetime. Remember that handmade jewellery was made with love and dedication to bringing joy to it’s wearer, treat it with love.

As always, please comment below if you have anything to add or comment on and let’s chat.

Keep your crystal on and your sparkle strong


One thought on “Top 10 ways to clean and store your handmade beaded jewellery

  1. Pingback: How to clean tarnish off your costume jewellery | Ondeane Lourens

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