- Keep jewelry away from household cleaners and chlorine.
- When not wearing your jewelry, store each piece in its plastic or soft fabric bag. Keep in a dark place. This reduces tarnish, keeps softer metals from being scratched, and preserves colored rings longer.
- Always handle your jewelry gently. Remember that most chainmaille links are not soldered closed, and can therefore be pulled open. Treat your chainmaille just as you would handle a delicate pearl necklace or crystal bracelet.
- To clean most metals (sterling silver, stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, niobium, and gold-fill), soak jewelry in soapy water (use a non-lotion dishwashing soap like Dawn) for several minutes. Then lather with soap and gently but briskly rub the jewelry between your palms. Rinse with warm water and let air dry. You can also use a toothbrush to clean between rings.
For heavily dirty or tarnished Silver, Copper or Brass, see below:
Silver and Gold
1 cup boiling water
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp salt
½ cup vinegar
1 piece aluminum foil
Place aluminum foil shiny side up in an old dish or Tupperware at least 2 inchs deep. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt onto the foil. Place your jewelry in the dish. Combine the water and vinegar and pour over the jewelry. The mix will bubble up and have a sulfur smell. Leave for at least an hour, then rinse well with warm soapy water and dry.
Note: If your jewelry contains precious gems, stone or pearls, use a different method.
You can also use a commercial jewelry cleaner.
A nice jewelry cloth is always good to have and will clean any type of metal nicely. Maybe someday I’ll add one to my shop for sale.
Cleaning Aluminum, Brass, Copper and Steel….ABCs
Copper and Brass
Juice from a lemon or reconstituted lemon juice
1 tbsp salt
Place one quarter to one half cup of juice in a non-metal bowl. Add salt and stir till dissolved. Let soak for 30-60 second but never longer than 5 minutes. Rinse well with warm soapy water and dry.
Aluminum and Stainless Steel
Soak jewelry in soapy water (use non-lotion dishwashing soap) for several minutes. Then lather with soap and gently but briskly rub the jewelry between your palms. Rinse with warm water and let air dry, or use a blow dryer on lowest and coolest setting.