Jewelry Care Guide
For many nature lovers, being outside is an essential part of life. Whether we’re plunging our hands into the soil of our gardens, cutting back brambles to forge new trails, going for an open water swim, or building bird boxes for our local avian visitors, we are often busy and active. So what’s the best way to protect our jewelry when we’re enjoying our favorite pastimes? In this guide, I will cover the best ways to keep your jewelry safe, sound, and looking just as beautiful as it did the day you received it.
How to Protect Your Jewelry
The best way to protect your jewelry is to take proactive steps to keep it safe and sparkling. Chemicals, oils, blunt force, and saltwater are all common factors that can affect the appearance of your jewelry, so here are my top tips for keeping your jewelry free from damage:
Take jewelry off before gardening. While gardening is a wonderful way to escape into nature, it can also be very rough on our hands and jewelry. Be sure to remove your favorite pieces, especially rings and bracelets, before getting dirty.
Keep your jewelry dry. Whether you are working with water or plan to go for a swim, don’t forget to take your jewelry off first. Chemicals and saltwater can damage the finish of your favorite pieces.
Remove jewelry before exercise. Necklaces and earrings may become lost or damaged during fitness activities, and many find that rings can become bent out of shape by physical force exerted during exercise.
Wash hands before touching your jewelry. Many jewelry finishes are susceptible to damage from oils produced by foods like salad dressings, olives, fruits, and eggs, in addition to the oils produced by our hands.
Don’t wear jewelry during chores. Household cleaners often contain caustic chemicals that can damage the finish of your jewelry. Additionally, some jewelry materials like .925 silver can react negatively to latex, rubber, and steel wool.
How to Clean & Polish Your Jewelry
There are many pricey products and solutions geared towards cleaning and polishing jewelry, but I have found the simplest and least expensive method to trump them all: carefully rinsing jewelry in warm water with a gentle detergent like dish soap. Chemicals, ultrasonic cleaners, and rough cloths can be harsh on the finish of your favorite pieces, causing unwanted damage. Instead, rinse pieces with a mild soap, pat them dry, and allow them to completely air dry prior to storing them safely away. It’s worth noting that silver pieces are highly susceptible to tarnish, and these can be polished with a soft, gentle cloth to restore their natural luster.
How to Store your Jewelry
Having a safe place to store your jewelry can prevent it from becoming lost or damaged. Many folks opt for a traditional jewelry box, while others experiment with drawer organizers, over-the-door storage compartments, or even a jewelry armoire. I have a lovely armoire that I use, and it holds all of my favorite pieces with ease. When storing your jewelry, you may want to consider the following:
Always wait for jewelry to fully dry before storing it.
Store any metals susceptible to tarnish in an airtight container or anti-tarnish bag.
Avoid storing jewelry in direct sunlight, as the sun’s rays can distort the finish of some pieces.
Organize necklaces so they don’t become tangled.
Have a designated storage space for earrings, so they can’t become separated or lost.
As someone who is always on the move outdoors, I know I need to take special care of my favorite pieces of jewelry. While I often wear my jewelry when I’m out for a walk or doing basic tasks around the garden, I always make sure to remove, clean, and store pieces before engaging in strenuous or messy activities. If you are looking for a few pieces of nature jewelry to add to your collection, I hope you’ll check out my shop today!