How to Clean Diamond Stud Earrings at Home
Diamond earrings are a beautiful addition to any wardrobe. Versatile enough to work well with almost any outfit, diamonds are a timeless jewel that sends out a constant message of exclusivity and style. Suitable for both men and women, diamond earrings are available in a wide range of designs: from ostentatious, large earrings which are settings for bigger diamonds of significant worth, right down to small diamond stud earrings which are a perennial favorite in almost everybody's wardrobe. Although diamond earrings are a great choice, one of the challenges for wearers is how best to keep them in top condition.
CUT DOWN ON PROFESSIONAL JEWELLERY CLEANING COSTS
Whilst some people prefer to regularly send their jewellery to a jeweller for cleaning and maintenance, many others want a more cost-effective option that can still give them great results. We've therefore put together a complete guide to cleaning diamond studs using household materials. Read on to discover the dangers of not cleaning your studs regularly, a variety of different cleaning methods and cleaning tips and tricks, as well as some ways of reducing the chances your earrings will end up dirty, tarnished or damaged. Using this information will not only save you the cost of a professional clean, but it will also help you make sure that your diamond studs stay looking good, hopefully for many years to come.
WHY SHOULD I KEEP MY GOLD DIAMOND EARRINGS CLEAN?
Although a pair of earrings may look clean, the reality may be somewhat different. Take a look at three reasons why earring cleanliness should always be a key consideration.
- Prevent the build-up of bacteria: even if you're the only person who wears the earrings, over time, grime can build up on the jewellery piece, providing the nutrition bacteria needs to thrive. Regular cleaning prevents this, ensuring your earrings stay hygienic between wearings.
- Your diamonds and settings look better clean! Diamonds need to sparkle! That's why cleaning is vital. Nobody wants dull, lack-luster earrings: to stay appealing, Diamond Studs need to be immaculately clean.
- Prolong their life: although diamonds can put up with some pretty tough treatment without permanent ill effects, settings may not be so durable! Depending on the metal used in the setting, exposure to some substances may well result in deterioration. Why risk it? Simple cleaning is all that's needed to minimize the risk of a degraded setting.
BASIC MATERIALS FOR CLEANING YOUR STUD EARRINGS
Before starting the cleaning process, you will need the following materials:
- Some form of the cleaning agent. We discuss below the various types of cleaning agent which may be most suitable, but you will need to choose one in order to complete the cleaning process effectively.
- A bowl or other small container in which to soak your jewellery. Do not soak your jewellery in the sink or basin. It's all too easy for it to end up down the plughole!
A toothbrush, specialist jewellery brush or other small, fine-haired brush in order to remove dirt and grime through a gentle abrasive action. Bear in mind that settings, in particular, can be badly damaged by a brush that's too rough. If using a toothbrush, we suggest using a child's brush rather than one designed for adults, as that will be gentler on the earrings.
Warm water for rinsing: regardless of the cleaning agent which you use, almost invariably it will need to be washed off. Rinsing not only removes the dirt along with the cleaning agent, but it also ensures that no cleaning agent remains on the jewellery. Many of the substances which help to get diamond studs clean can also cause skin irritation with prolonged contact, so a good rinse is important.
A soft cloth for drying and polishing the stud. You can buy special jewellery cleaning cloth, or simply use an old rag or micro-fiber cloth. Micro-fibre can be particularly good, as there is a limited risk of small threads getting caught on the jewellery: if you decide to use a rag, try to make sure it's made from a closely woven, absorbent material.
WHERE TO CLEAN YOUR JEWELLERY
It sounds silly, but you'd be amazed by the number of people who've managed to lose or damage their white gold diamond stud earrings simply by picking the wrong placed in which to clean them. When you're ready to clean your earrings, we suggest the following in order to make the experience as hassle-free and straight-forward as possible.
- Choose a flat surface. A sloping or moving surface will obviously make it harder to keep track of your earrings - ask anyone who has tried to clean their earrings in a moving car or on the train how difficult it was!
- Clean the earrings against a dark background. It's much easier to see the earrings if they are lying on a plain, dark background.
- Do not clean them near the sink. Despite best intentions, it's little surprise that thousands of earrings get lost down plugholes each year. Don't let your precious studs be plug hole victims!
- Make sure you clean in a good light. Natural daylight is best. This helps you ensure that every last particle of dirt is removed from the studs before they're worn again.
TYPES OF CLEANING AGENT FOR DIAMOND STUDS
There are a wide variety of cleaning agents that can be used to loosen grime and dirt. Here are some of the most commonly used:
- Proprietary cleaning agent: available from jewellery stores and other specialist outlets, a proprietary cleaning agent is specifically intended to give great results for cleaning jewellery. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for best results.
- Liquid detergent/washing-up liquid: simply add a small squirt of washing up liquid to a bowl of warm water. Stir gently until the bubbles disperse. The solution can then be used to soak the earrings in, prior to cleaning.
- White vinegar: this can be used either neat or diluted. Simply pour a little into a bowl, add some warm water if you wish, then leave the studs to soak.
- Bicarbonate of soda: this can be used in two ways: either soak the earrings in a small bowl of water to which a teaspoonful of bicarb has been added, or make a thick bicarb and water paste, apply it to the earrings, leave for ten minutes and then rinse away, cleaning with the brush at the same time.
- Immersion in rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide: carefully fill a bowl with a small amount of either of these two substances, let the earrings soak for ten minutes, rinse thoroughly then dry and polish. Note that hydrogen peroxide is an irritant to skin and eyes, so care should be used if opting for this cleaning agent.
- Ensure that you have everything you need and are in a suitable environment for cleaning your earrings.
- Fill a small bowl with your preferred combination of cleaning substances.
- Immerse the earrings fully and leave for at least ten minutes to soak (unless instructed otherwise by the manufacturers instructions on the cleaning agent).
- Carefully remove the earrings and begin to rub at the dirt with the small brush. Re-immersion may be necessary.
- When the earrings are completely clean, rinse them thoroughly in warm water. Do not rinse them under the tap or over the sink!
- Dry them using a soft cloth.
- Polish them for optimal sparkle.
- Store them appropriately until required.
TOP TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR DIAMOND STUDS AS CLEAN AS POSSIBLE
To reduce the amount and frequency of cleaning required, we suggest:
- Keep your earrings in a jewellery box, pouch or some other clean, appropriate storage between wears.
- Do not keep your earrings in continuously - take them out periodically to clean them.
- Try to avoid wearing your earrings when engaged in activities which are likely to be dirty: construction work; redecorating; or gardening, for example.
- Remember that skin and hair particles are two of the key substances which can cause build-up on an earring. As well as making sure you take breaks from wearing your earrings, it's also important to keep on top of hygiene in the area immediately surrounding the earring's location.
- If undergoing hair & beauty treatments in the area near the ears (for example a hair cut, facial, waxing or similar), remove the earrings and store them safely to reduce the risk of contamination.