Care for Your Beaded Jewelry
It’s hard to resist buying jewelry, we all know that. When you see a gorgeous handmade bracelet, you just have to have it and why shouldn’t you? You’re so happy with how well it looks on your wrist and you can’t take your eyes from it, but have you ever wondered what can you do to keep your most prized pieces of jewelry shiny and polished for years and years to come?
Here are a few tips to help you take care of your beaded jewelry.
Keep beads protected from the elements
Don’t you love it how those beads shine in the light when your bracelet is brand new? Gems are usually treated to resist wear and tear, but they’re not indestructible. If you care about them, protect them from the elements and dangerous chemicals.
Water, in any form, can damage your gemstones. Remove necklaces, earrings, or bracelets while taking a shower or a bath. It’s not just the water that can dull the brightness of your jewelry, but also the chemicals in soap, shower gels, and shampoo. You might not notice the effect immediately, but repeated exposure will damage the beads.
Don’t wear jewelry in the pool
If you have a pair of colorful earrings and a matching necklace that go perfectly with your bathing suit, you might want to parade them together by the poolside, that’s understandable. That’s what jewelry is all about, to make you look pretty. However, you shouldn’t wear your beaded jewelry in the pool because the chlorine in the water can damage the stones, as well as the gold and silver.
If your gemstones do get wet somehow, make sure to wipe them dry as soon as possible.
A special word of advice: water can be very dangerous if your beads are strung on a leather cord. Repeated exposure to water will make the leather brittle and cracked. Use shoe polish or leather conditioner to keep the leather cord soft and flexible.
Jewelry is not for cleaning around the house
There are many instances in which your jewelry might be exposed to chemicals without you even realizing it. When you’re doing household chores, your beads might come into contact with harsh chemicals, maybe just a few drops, but still enough to cause damage over time.
Another good rule is when you’re getting ready to go out wait till you’ve finished applying makeup, hair spray, and perfume before putting on your jewelry.
Clean after each use
A necklace or a bracelet that is in close contact with your skin throughout the day will be affected by sweat and natural body oils. It’s not noticeable, but it’s there so if you care about your beads clean them every time you wear them, using a clean, soft, just slightly damp piece of cloth. A coarse cloth might cause minute scratches to your beads. Allow them to dry before storing them away in their box.
At the same time, avoid using jewelry cleaning solutions directly on the beads. If you do need to clean the metallic elements, be as careful as possible and don’t apply cleaners on the gems.
Don’t hurt your jewelry
They might be stones, but even stones can break under impact. You should avoid wearing beaded jewelry when you’re engaging in rough manual work. Your beautiful gems can get chipped or cracked if they take a direct hit. For the same reason try not to drop your beads on a hard floor.
Store your jewelry smartly
Many women make this mistake. They have many painted or lacquered jewelry boxes that look so cute, indeed, and just throw their necklaces and bracelets in one of them as soon as they take them of. I’m sure you know what I’m driving at – that dreaded moment when you want to wear a certain piece and discover all your precious possessions are tangled and disentangling that mess is going to take a while.
If you like beaded jewelry (well, who doesn’t?) you should look for special jewelry chests that allow you to hang necklaces and bracelets on little pegs to keep them from tangling.
Another option would be a chest with many little drawers so you can store each item separately.
In any case, avoid keeping your handmade jewelry under direct sunlight or in a hot room. Your jewelry boxes should be kept in a cool dry place away from moisture.
How to keep gold and silver bright
The metals in your jewelry require as much care as your gemstones. If the sterling silver parts in your bracelets get tarnished it will ruin the whole piece.
There’s an easy solution to this problem – look for jewelry boxes lined with anti-tarnish fabric or buy some anti-tarnish paper that you can place in whatever chest you’re keeping your precious jewelry.
Even with the best of care, your jewelry might become tarnished at some point, but this is easily fixable with a good jewelry cleaner (just don’t forget to keep it away from the beads!).
Your handmade jewelry was made with love and when you bought a pair of exquisite earrings or a splendid bracelet you made a silent promise to keep them safe from harm. Repeated exposure to the elements and chemicals will damage your jewelry, causing the light in your gemstones to fade away. If you want to preserve their vibrant colors and natural radiance keep them protected – don’t let them get wet, clean them after each use, and store them in a dry cool box. This way your jewelry will never get old or dull and you will enjoy wearing all the pieces you love for many many years.