Handcrafted jewelry loses its luster over time and metals also tarnish. Here are some simple ways to keep beaded or metal jewelry looking its best.
It’s important to care for your beads and jewelry to keep them in the best condition for as long as possible.
After wearing jewelry for a while, it starts to lose its shine. Dirt and oils build up over time making your DIY jewelry look dull. This isn’t just limited to metals which tarnish eventually, but even glass beads and natural materials need a little pick-me-up.
There are a few things you should do to protect handcrafted jewelry and keep it looking good. Below is a list…
CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR MEMBERSHIP SITE, THE BEAD CLUB INSIDERS, and gain instant access to a library of exclusive step-by-step beading tutorials, comprehensive off-loom bead weaving video courses and so much more! It's perfect for beginner to intermediate beaders.
How To Protect And Care Handcrafted Jewelry
This post contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, there’s absolutely no extra cost to you. Read my full Disclosure Policy here.
1. Clean It
Before you clean any piece of jewelry, make sure you know what type of materials it’s made of and which cleaners are safe to use. Test your chosen method on a small area first before using it on the whole thing.
Cleaners that will work on metals like silver may be too harsh for soft gemstones. Here’s a cleaning guide for metals and beads.
Download this free pattern!
Boost your Right-Angle Weave skills with this easy-to-follow bracelet pattern.
Simply sign up for weekly beading tips to have the bracelet tutorial sent straight to your email inbox.
Use soft-bristled toothbrushes and microfiber cloths to clean pieces of jewelry.
Make sure to dry jewelry thoroughly before putting it away.
2. Use Polishing Cloths
The air and even oils in your skin tarnish metal components like chain and clasps. If the jewelry is only slightly tarnished, wipe it with a polishing cloth.
I recommend Sunshine polishing cloths. I have used them myself and they have worked quite well for me.
Sunshine polishing cloths are non-staining cloths, impregnated with special chemical cleansing agents. They remove tarnish from various metals e.g. sterling silver and copper and leave a long-lasting luster behind.
These are sold in three different colors:
- Blue – softest of the three
- Yellow – original version
- Pink – made for professionals
First, make sure the jewelry is free from dust and other abrasives. Gently rub the surface you want cleaned.
Of course, if the jewelry is heavily tarnished, then you might want to use an appropriate cleaning solution.
3. Use Anti-Tarnish Strips
Anti-tarnish strips are the safe and economical way to protect metals in jewelry. These react with and neutralize gases in the air that cause tarnish.
Add them into jewelry boxes, pouches or ziploc bags along with your handcrafted jewelry. They last from six months up to one year depending on environmental conditions.
4. Store In Dry Areas & In Air-Tight Containers
Moisture ruins metals and can also weaken silk thread used to string pearls. So, store your jewelry in a dry location a.k.a not the bathroom or next to a sink.
Also, protect them from the air by placing them into air-tight containers — resealable bags and other small containers are ideal.
5. Separate Jewelry From Other Pieces
Chain and cords in jewelry and even long earrings are prone to tangling.
Hang jewelry from hooks or a jewelry tree to stop this from happening. If you don’t have place to hang pieces, thread chain through straws, put them in small containers or ones with individual compartments.
Crystals and stones with rough edges can scratch other pieces of jewelry e.g.
glass pearls which are very susceptible to scratching. It’s important to store these separately, if possible.
If you maintain your handcrafted jewelry, it will last much longer and look great. After all the hours you spent making these pieces, why wouldn’t you want to protect them?