Spring Cleaning for Your Jewelry: Tips and Tricks for Maintenance


Do you have gold or silver jewelry? Does it feature gemstones? Today we will discuss what causes different types of metals and stones to tarnish. We will also give you tips on how and how often you should clean your jewelry.


Gold jewelry attracts body oils, make-up, soil, germs, and bacteria. This build-up causes gold to lose its luster. Regular cleaning preserves the gleam of gold jewelry for decades.

Cleaning Frequency

Gold is less prone to tarnish than silver. Yet, it can appear dull with frequent handling. Lower karat gold, rich in alloys, tarnishes with exposure to chemicals like chlorine, alcohol, acids, and sulfur compounds. For regularly worn jewelry, a minimum monthly cleaning is advisable, or more if the finish dulls.

Maintaining Your Gold Jewelry

To keep gold jewelry clean for longer, take precautions. Remove it when washing hands or bathing to prevent soap scum buildup.


Keep your gold jewelry away from hot tubs, pools, and the beach, as harsh chemicals harm or discolor gold, especially pieces under 24 karats. It is a great habit to add to your daily care routine to avoid contact between gold and hair sprays, make-up, and medicated lotions.


A rule of thumb is to store gold jewelry separately in fabric-lined compartments to prevent scratching and dulling.


Silver tarnishes due to various factors. Hydrogen sulfide in the air reacts with silver to form silver sulfide. Sulfur dioxide is another air pollutant. It also contributes to tarnishing.


Exposure to chlorine, found in cleaning products and swimming pools, reacts with silver, accelerating tarnish formation. Skin pH levels, varying among individuals, also influence tarnishing. High acidity in some skin types accelerates silver tarnish.

Cleaning Frequency

Cleaning frequency for silver jewelry varies based on wear. Regular wear reduces tarnish buildup. However, if not worn often, silver may require cleaning every few weeks. Factors like air quality and exposure to chemicals influence the need for cleaning. Observing the jewelry's appearance helps determine when cleaning is necessary to maintain its shine.

Maintaining Your Silver Jewelry

It’s beneficial for your silver jewelry to be in contact with your skin often. Skin oils create a protective barrier, reducing the likelihood of tarnish and keeping the silver looking bright.


Store silver jewelry in a dry environment. It is a great idea to use chalk or silica gel packets to absorb moisture. This practice prevents tarnishing.


Now let’s discuss how to take care of your gemstones, including pearls, agates, sapphires, opals, and diamonds. Gemstones require gentle handling. Wipe them with a soft cloth after wearing them to remove oils and perspiration. You should avoid exposing gemstones to harsh chemicals. Store gemstones carefully to prevent scratching.


Specific tips for pearls include the following:

       Avoid dipping a pearl necklace in water. This can weaken the silk thread.

       Ensure your jeweler assesses the integrity of your pearl bracelets and necklaces annually and performs a comprehensive, safe cleaning.




Do your jewelry pieces remain dull or discolored post-cleaning? A professional jeweler, such as Melancon Jewelers can help. Contact us today.