Fine jewelry shouldn’t just be for special occasions. In fact, I pride myself on making jewelry that can be worn everyday. Wearing jewelry frequently is actually a great way to protect it; jewelry loves to be worn and not kept in a box! That said, it’s necessary to do some basic care and maintenance on your fine jewelry. Following these simple tips will help keep your pieces sparkling!
Many people wear their wedding and engagement rings at all times, including in the shower. This causes buildup and gunk to collect around your stones, and really reduces that sparkle. The simple solution: take your jewelry off while washing your hands or while in the shower! I know this might seem annoying (or even a bit nerve wracking) but simply having a handy ring holder sitting on your sink counter makes it really easy to do.
Similarly, I don’t recommend wearing your jewelry while swimming, going to the beach, or while exercising and playing sports. It’s very easy to break something or even lose a stone in these situations, which can be so sad. Also, this may seem obvious, always wear your rubber or metal jewelry backs with your earrings to keep them from falling out. Finally, please, please, please do not wear your jewelry while rock climbing, gardening, or playing contact sports! (Believe me, I’ve seen it all!)
Inevitably, gunk, residue, and tarnish will build up over time. Fortunately, it’s really easy to clean jewelry! Just follow these simple steps:
- Wash the piece with Dawn dish soap and warm water to cut oils and grease
- Scrub it with a soft toothbrush to get in all the nooks and crannies, paying extra attention to the areas around your gemstones.
- Complete a thorough buff with a polishing cloth (included with every Kristen Baird® purchase.)
- Wash the piece again with Dawn dish soap and warm water to remove the polishing residue
- Dry with a soft towel or microfiber towel.
- Repeat every time you notice the sparkle of your piece starting to dull. Pro tip: we often don’t realize how our pieces lose their luster due to natural build up, so do a little clean before you think it needs it. You’ll be shocked by how much it makes a difference!
Want to have everything you need in one place? Snag my Jewelry Care and Cleaning Kit!
Step Up Your Jewelry Care!
Fortunately, most of the best products used to clean jewelry are available right at home (a toothbrush, Dawn dish soap, ect.). But if you want to step up your jewelry maintenance like a professional, you can throw in a few extras:
- Sunshine Polishing Cloth - I’m so obsessed with these that I include them in all orders that leave my studio! They are activated with a special polishing agent that will turn black when put into contact with silver, gold, or platinum. That means its working! Follow up by washing the piece with soap and water after polishing for a super sparkly finish
- Klean Karats - Useful for dissolving gunk trapped around gemstones. Included in my KB Jewelry Care Kit!
- Speed Brite Turbo Cleaner - There is no better way to remove tarnish from silver jewelry like a pro. This is what I use in my studio!
- Dazzle Stick - If you want convenience in a compact package, give this tiny tool a try! It’s similar to the “Dawn + toothbrush” method, but pre-packaged for ease of use and great for a little extra cleaning “oomph” to get the grit gone.
- Anti-Tarnish Strips - To store Sterling Silver Jewelry, place it in a sealed plastic baggie along with one of these stips. This goes a long way toward preventing tarnish. Replace the strips every 6 months to 1 year.
Maintenance and Repair
On a semi-annual or annual basis, it’s good to check in with a jeweler to make sure no stones are coming loose and everything seems in order. This is especially the case for prong-set jewelry, as prongs can wear down or need maintenance over time.
If your Kristen Baird® jewelry is in need of repair, you can always send it to me!
Assuming you’re not wearing all of your jewelry all the time, you will want to store it safely and securely. Silver jewelry especially should be stored in airtight ziplock bags to keep it away from moisture. It can even be helpful to throw in one of those silica bags that come in shoeboxes and purses! (For more in-depth information on cleaning Sterling Silver jewelry and protecting it from tarnish, visit our All About Silver blog.)
Aside from that, use a jewelry box with compartments that can help keep things separate and prevent tangling and scratching. For storing jewelry while traveling, I love this jewelry case that also comes with a detachable pouch for watches and bracelets. This case is a great option as well. It’s small, but can fit so much!
Every piece of Kristen Baird® Jewelry is made to last a lifetime - and beyond. Following these simple practices will protect these heirloom pieces and keep them looking stunning for years to come.