How to look after your Irish Handmade Jewellery
Do you want your jewellery to last longer? To look as good in 5 years as it does on the day you buy it? I recommend that you look after your jewellery by cleaning it regularly and by following some tried and tested tips - it will last much longer and you will get many years more enjoyment from it.
My tried and tested tips for looking after your handmade silver plated jewellery:
- Avoid wearing it while showering, swimming, cleaning, gardening or exercising
- Allow any lotions, fake tan or perfumes to dry completely before wearing your jewellery
- Store carefully - ideally, store it in the box it came in, or else in a separate pouch or lined box, or jewellery box, preferably airtight or out of direct sunlight
- To clean your silver plated jewellery, a soft, non-lotion tissue is fine for wiping off daily oils or dirt
- Silver jewellery is best cleaned with a professional jewellery soft polish cloth, or a jewellery cleaning dip (following the product's instructions carefully)
- Alternatively, make up a bowl of warm water with washing liquid and use a soft toothbrush for gentle scrubbing
When you buy handmade jewellery, you can be sure that everything is made, usually by one individual, from start to finish, by hand, with a focus on quality, finish and design. So it makes sense to look after it, don't you think?
Here's some extra advice on how NOT to clean your silver plated jewellery:
- DON'T use the sterling silver jewellery cleaning products on your silver plated jewellery - these are too harsh and will remove the plating from the base metal layer (remember, the silver plating is a very thin layer applied over other metals, typically copper or bronze).
- Avoid using highly acidic natural sterling silver cleaners on your plated jewellery (like white vinegar or lemon juice), unless you dilute it with other cleaners. This will help retain the silver plating, as well as sparing the base metal underneath.
Do you have any tips that you'd like to pass on? Or maybe tips on how NOT to clean your jewellery? Something maybe passed down from your mother or grandmother? (My own Mam swears by the warm water with washing up liquid and toothbrush scrubbing method.) I'd love to hear from you!
Or do you have any disaster stories of when you wore your jewellery when you really shouldn't have? Bet lots of you can relate to this one! I don't do fake tan myself, but a friend does it at home, and after getting glammed up for a night out, put on her silver plated bangle, on top of the freshly applied fake tan, and it instantly turned copper! Lesson learned - do your fake tan the day before and make sure it's fully dry before putting on your jewellery.
Note: I'm also a fan of mending and recycling jewellery, so if you have something that's broken but otherwise in good condition, or if you have a piece that has history but that you'd like re-designed, get in touch - I'd be happy to help!
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