Your jewelry collection is more than just an investment. Your jewelry is a reflection of your personal style, a keepsake to pass down to your children, and a reminder of the beautiful experiences you had while wearing each piece. Unfortunately, when it comes time to clean their jewelry, many owners make mistakes that can seriously damage and devalue the jewelry.

Here are a few common jewelry cleaning mistakes you need to avoid.

Using the Wrong Cleaning Products

There are several DIY cleaning solutions and store-bought products and tools that promise to safely clean all types of jewelry. Unfortunately, these solutions often leave your jewelry scratched or tarnished or, worse, can loosen or damage the setting, causing the stone to fall out.

Here are a few jewelry cleaning methods you should never use:

  • Rubbing alcohol. Softer stones and metals are easily damaged by rubbing alcohol because it is too acidic and can speed up jewelry corrosion.
  • Lemon juice. Like rubbing alcohol, lemon juice is very acidic and can damage or corrode several types of metal and stones. Mixing lemon juice and table salt is particularly damaging.
  • Toothpaste. Most brands of toothpaste are granular, meaning they have small particles that can leave small abrasions on jewelry.
  • Ultrasonic cleaners. These machines send ultrasonic waves through a liquid to clean surface debris and dirt from jewelry. Although they are labeled safe, ultrasonic cleaners are often too harsh for softer metals and stones, such as gold, tanzanite, opal, and turquoise.

Instead, use a natural store-bought cleaner that is formulated to safely and gently clean your jewelry without leaving behind abrasions or loosen the stone settings.

Not Cleaning Your Jewelry Often Enough

Whether you wear your jewelry on a daily basis or only pull out pieces for special occasions, it is critical to clean your jewelry regularly. For example, your wedding ring that never leaves your finger will quickly become covered with soap residue, lotion, and perfume. That heirloom necklace that only gets worn on your birthday is likely covered with a layer of dust.

Clean jewelry you wear often once every few weeks. Jewelry that does not get worn often should also be cleaned periodically to ensure that any residue, dust, and other contaminants are safely eliminated.

From not cleaning your jewelry often enough to using harmful, abrasive, and potentially damaging products and cleaners on your jewelry, when it comes to caring for your heirloom, costume, fine, and everyday jewelry, there are several mistakes you need to avoid.

For more information, contact a retailer that has safe jewelry cleaners for sale.