Jewelers choose stainless steel to make earrings, watches, bracelets and even wedding bands. This is because it is strong, durable and cost effective, compared to silver, gold and platinum. This metal is rust resistant and rather easy to clean. We are going to show you how to take care of your stainless steel jewelry with simple products you can find around your house.
There are three ways in which you can clean your stainless steel. Keep reading to see what they are, as well as how to keep it clean for longer.
Depending on how often you wear your stainless steel jewelry, your cleaning schedule may vary. It does not rust but tarnish caused by pollution and scratches may make it look dull. You should clean it any time you notice it has lost its shine.
Here is what you are going to need:
- two small bowls
- soft-bristled toothbrush
- microfibre cloth
- jewelry polishing cloth
- ultrasonic jewelry cleaner
- mild dishwasher
- baking soda
- non-whitening toothpaste
Soap & Water
This method would work well for stainless steel jewelry that can be submerged in water for soaking. Avoid using it for jewelry that contains pearls or other soft gemstones. If cleaning stainless steel watches – make sure they are waterproof.Even professional cleaning companies use this method.
- Mix – pour a bowl of warm water and add 2 or 3 drops of dishwashing liquid. Mix them together. Fill a second bowl with just water.
- Soak – put the jewelry in the soap liquid and let it soak for about 5 minutes. After that use a toothbrush to gently scrub away any visible soil.
- RInse and Buff – dip in the water to rinse. Use a lint-free microfibre cloth to dry the jewelry. Buff the surface with a jeweler’s polishing cloth.
Baking soda is a mild abrasive that works well if there is dirt stuck in engraved jewelry or small openings in stainless steel chains.
- Make a Paste – mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of water to make a paste. Add more soda if the paste is too thin.
- Scrub Gently – use the toothbrush to apply the paste. Scrub gently.
- Rinse, Dry and Buff – hold the jewelry under warm running water or soak in a bowl. Use the toothbrush if you can’t properly rinse all the paste. Buff with a polishing cloth and restore the shine.
- Toothpaste works well as a stainless steel polish. Choose a mild, non-gel formula. Always make sure the toothpaste you chose does not contain whitening agents.
- Apply – add a dab of the toothpaste and gently clean the stainless steel with a microfibre cloth or a toothbrush ( depending on the condition).
- Rinse, Dry and Buff – rinse in warm water and make sure that all of the toothpaste is removed. Buff with a microfibre cloth.
You can also use ultrasonic jewelry cleaners for your stainless steel jewelry. Ultrasonic cleaners are great for removing tarnish and general jewelry cleaning. They use waves and a special solution to create bubbles that ‘cling’ to the foreign particles such as dirt, oil and other substances. The high frequency waves are sent out and pull the contaminants off the object. Take note that organic gems, soft gems, heat treated and highly brittle gemstones should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaning machine.
Here is what you can do to protect your stainless steel jewelry and keep it clean for longer:
- Remove your stainless steel jewelry before working with harsh chemicals or going into a chlorinated pool or hot tub.
- Protect your stainless steel jewelry from direct contact with perfumes, cosmetics which contain alcohol or ingredients that can dull and erode the finish.
- Store in a closed jewelry box or a soft bag to protect it from dust and scratches.
- Do not use harsh abrasive cleaners on stainless steel jewelry.
Keep in mind that those tips and tricks are not only for jewelry. Nowadays, a lot of the kitchen appliances that we use are also made of stainless steel. When you first get them, they look shiny and bright and make your kitchen look amazing. However, with time fingerprints, water drips and messy accidents cause them to lose their beautiful looks.
Here are some ways in which you can clean your stainless steel appliances. You can use the dishwashing liquid solution from above. It will easily remove any stains. Another option is to use mineral oil. It will not only erase but also prevent fingerprints. Make sure you only apply a light coating in order to avoid tacky buildup. Avoid any vegetable and olive oil because they might turn rancid. The last way you can clean your beautiful stainless steel kitchen appliances is using windex. Sray them with a vinegar free window cleaner and wipe away. Easy as that!
Fun facts about stainless steel :
- Rolex began producing stainless steel watches in the 1920s and made a huge splash with the 1950-era Submariner stainless steel morel.
- Stainless steel jewelry is hypoallergenic and nonreactive next to the skin.
- Stainless steel can be polished to look very similar to white gold and platinum jewelry. It can also be gold-plated.