Maintenance

How to Clean and Care for Platinum Jewelry

Image courtesy of Oscar Heyman

Daily doses of soap and water, hand creams and just being out in the elements leave their mark on your jewelry over time, especially if you wear your platinum every day. Luckily, there are plenty of products and techniques designed to make your jewelry gleam without damaging the precious gemstones and platinum setting. Adopting these simple cleaning habits will make your jewelry sparkle and leave you secure in knowing your cherished platinum is in tip-top shape.

Over time, platinum will develop a soft finish known as a patina. Image courtesy of Serendipity Diamonds.

It’s best to clean your jewelry regularly, so pick one day out of the week to do this simple but-oh-so important task. Take the time to visit your jeweler once a year (scheduling a date close to your birthday makes it easy to remember) to bring back that “just purchased” glow. Your jeweler can polish your platinum back to a high shine if you like (platinum’s natural patina, a soft, lustrous finish that develops over time, is preferred by many). Your jeweler should also check your setting, to make sure everything is safe and secure.

Below is a list of the most common jewelry cleaning methods for home use. Make sure to follow the manufacturers’ instructions. Most of these items are available for purchase online or at specialty stores:

Liquid Cleaners: These small jars usually contain a basket and a gentle cleaning solution so you can dip and retrieve your jewelry easily. Some of the most popular brands are ammonia-free; yet contain enough detergent to clean your jewelry thoroughly. Many brands also come with a soft brush, so you can brush with care after dipping. Follow directions on the package and make sure to dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.

 

Jewelry Cleaning Foam and Pre-Packaged Towelettes: These towelettes are perfect for travelers or those who want to store some in their desk for a quick wipe-down. Jewelry foam can be applied to your precious gems and after waiting a brief period of time, use a soft brush to thoroughly clean. Rinse jewelry with water and dry. Pre-packaged wipes also offer a quick way to clean jewelry from surface grime and grit when you’re not at home. Not recommended for deep cleaning.

 

Ultra Sonic Cleaners: Once used only by professionals, ultra-sonic jewelry cleaners can now be purchased for home use. Place your jewelry in the compartment with plain water and set the timer as instructed by the manufacturer. Sound-wave technology does the rest. Dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.

 

Hand-held Ultra Sonic Cleaners: Small, travel-sized and battery-operated, hand-held ultra sonic cleaners can be used to clean jewelry manually—with the help of a small cleaning tip. Follow manufacturer’s directions and dry with a clean, soft and lint-free cloth.

 

Steam Cleaners: Professionals use steam cleaning as a way to quickly and effectively remove built-up debris from fine platinum jewelry. Although a standard at your jeweler’s bench, small steam cleaners are now being sold for home use. Make sure to follow manufacturer’s directions and dry thoroughly before wearing.

 

 

Homemade Jewelry Cleaning: Your grandmother may have told you to clean your fine jewelry with toothpaste and a toothbrush, but there are less-abrasive ways to clean your platinum. One of the simplest is to mix a few drops of dish liquid (yes, the kind that sits on your counter top) with plain seltzer. According to the Good Housekeeping Institute, the carbonation loosens dirt and debris better than plain water, and is just as gentle. Soak your jewelry in this solution for five minutes, swishing it a few times for good measure. Brush away any leftover dirt and debris with a soft jewelry brush and gently dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.

 

A Word About Cleaning Cloths: It’s recommended to use natural, lint-free cloths (not paper towels) to wipe your jewelry. Many different brands are available for sale in stores and online, although any soft, 100 percent cotton fabric remnants will also do the trick. Many store-bought jewelry cloths claim to remove tarnish, but you don’t have to worry, as tarnish is never an issue for a platinum jewelry owner. Your platinum will never tarnish, as its surface is naturally white. And unlike white gold, it will never need to be plated.

 

A Word About Daily Care: If you’re in a secure environment, you may want to remove your platinum rings before you wash your hands or apply hand lotion, but be sure you make a habit of 1. Keeping your rings away from the drain and 2. Knowing where you put them so you don’t forget them, especially if you’re using a public lavatory.

If a high shine is preferred, your jeweler can bring it back to its original luster using professional polishing tools. Remember: Platinum will always retain its original bright, white color. Image courtesy of Serendipity Diamonds.

 

Although you can clean your jewelry at home using so many wonderful products available over the counter, nothing can replace a visit to your jeweler. Only your jeweler has the professional quality cleaning and polishing apparatus that can make your jewelry look practically brand new! With platinum jewelry that contains an important diamond or gemstone, have your jeweler check the gemstone’s prongs. But lucky you: If they’re made from platinum, chances are they’re going to be fine. Nothing—but nothing—securers your beloved gems like platinum prongs! For more about the importance of platinum prongs and what they can do for you, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

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