What’s the deal with cleaning jewelry? Cleaning floors — easy! Cleaning clothes — learned that in middle school. Cleaning ourselves — pretty much instinctual. But when it comes to cleaning jewelry, the task is often met with more questions than answers. Can I get an opal wet? Will my pearl disintegrate if I put soap on it? Say no more. We’re breaking it all down and giving you an easy way to prioritize using a traffic light system.
If it’s under the RED LIGHT, stop and chill. We want you to use extra caution. In fact, most of these gemstones under this category should not be cleaned at all. With this in mind, we urge you to be mindful of how often pieces of jewelry with these gemstones are worn. We recommend not wearing these 24/7, especially while working out, gardening, cooking/baking, taking care of children, or heavy lifting.
Caring for these gems includes a gentle wiping with a microfiber cloth and keeping them away from direct sunlight.
Red Light: opals, pearls, kunzite, emeralds, turquoise, coral, amber, tanzanite, lapis
You’re cruising but we’ve come up on some uncharted territory. Do we roll to a stop? Do we gun it? YELLOW LIGHT, be careful with items in this category. The gemstones featured here are softer than your gems that can be worn daily.
Time to get sudsy. Grab a dish of warm, soapy water and a soft toothbrush. Take the plunge, let your yellow light items soak for us to 30 minutes and then clean with a toothbrush, rinse, and let dry on a towel.
Yellow Light: quartz, amethyst, citrine, malachite, onyx, moonstone, topaz, garnet, tourmaline
GREEN LIGHT means go — all the gemstones in this category are good to go. They can be worn everyday, you can clean them without using as much caution as all the others. Although these stones are near the top of the hardness scale, they can still break, chip or fracture, as with any gemstone. So as with any traffic light, green does mean go, but you could have an accident at any time.
Use an ultrasonic cleaner for an even better clean — let jewelry soak in an ultrasonic for up to 30 minutes with dish soap, Mr. Clean or whatever the ultrasonic comes with as the cleaning solution. For diamonds bigger than a half carat steam clean with a steamer.