Picture by the National Jewelry Center®
While you can perform day-to-day jewelry cleaning yourself, it’s best to trust a particularly grimy piece to a professional. There are a variety of tools and methods available only to professional jewelers that you should take advantage of regularly; probably around every six months to once a year.
Signs Your Jewelry Needs Professional Help
- Heavy tarnish – If you can’t take off that discoloration with DIY cleaning methods, try a little PLC (Professional Loving Care).
- Signs of wear – Scratches in the metal, or bent or broken prongs? Time for a checkup.
- White gold turning yellow – If your white gold is starting to look not-so-white, that’s a sign the rhodium plating is wearing off and it’s time for a re-dipping.
- Porous stones – Emeralds, rubies, turquoise and other porous stones are not meant to be cleaned with commercial cleaners, so if a moist washcloth doesn’t do the trick for your gem stone jewelry, take it to your jeweler.
How Professional Jewelers Do It
- Polishing – A buffing wheel will polish the scratches out of your jewelry to return it to a like-new shine.
- Ultrasonic cleaning – This high-tech cleaner uses water and ultrasonic waves to clean tiny particles of dirt and grime off of jewelry without scrubbing, polishes or harsh chemicals.
- Steaming – The jeweler holds the jewelry under a powerful jet of steam to remove any remaining dirt particles.
- White gold re-dipping / rhodium plating – If your jewelry is white gold, your jeweler can also put a new rhodium coating on it to restore its pure white luster.