The quality of stainless steel jewellery is no lesser than that of jewellery made from gold or silver. If you want to correctly take care of decorative items, prolong their lifespan and enjoy them for longer you have to correctly clean and store them.
Stainless steel jewellery does have certain advantages. To clean and maintain your stainless steel jewellery you could, on the one hand, take your jewellery to a jeweller and have it professionally cleaned. On the other hand, you could clean your stainless steel jewellery on your own at home using handy supplies and virtually for free. We will list several ways to clean stainless steel jewellery that use only products that are commonly found in your home and on top of that are cost-effective.
How to clean stainless steel jewellery at home?
Stainless steel jewellery is made from a steel alloy that contains chrome. The good news is that this alloy is very durable and does not corrode or rust. The bad news is that despite, being very durable stainless steel can scratch or discolour. This is why you have to follow a few simple rules to not only clean but properly take care of your stainless steel jewellery.
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1. How to clean stainless steel jewellery with soap and water.
The first way to clean stainless steel jewellery is by using soap and water. Fill two bowls with warm water. The bowls do not need to be particularly large, they need to be big enough so that the items you are cleaning can be completely covered with water. You will use one bowl to clean your jewellery and the other to rinse it. In one of the bowls add just a few drops of gentle hand soap or dishwashing liquid. If your jewellery is particularly dirty you can use a detergent that is meant to remove oil or grease stains from steel.
You will need a soft, non-abrasive cloth to clean. Make sure the cloth does not leave any hairs or marks. Dip one of the edges of the cloth in the water. The cloth mustn't leave any little hairs on the jewellery and should not be abrasive because it may scratch the surface and could damage any decorative stones or gems. It is best to use microfiber cloths, they are soft, they will not scratch the surface and do leave hairs on surfaces you are cleaning. Use the microfiber cloth to scrub the jewellery.
Bear in mind that you have to clean alongside the jewellery not perpendicular to it. Meaning that if you clean a ring you have to scrub it along its length or circumference. By doing so you will avoid scratching the jewellery. It is almost impossible to clean any has gems, stones, indentations or engravings on your jewellery with the cloth. To clean these spaces you can use an old toothbrush that has been dipped in soap and water.
Always follow the rule to clean along the length of the jewellery even when you use the toothbrush. Be gentle, scrubbing too hard may damage any stones or gems on your jewellery. Now it is time to move on to the second bowl of water. Dip the already cleaned stainless steel jewellery in the second bowl and rinse off the soap. If necessary you can change the water and rinse it again, keep doing so until all traces of soap are removed from your stainless steel jewellery. Next, you have to dry your stainless steel jewellery. To do so use a soft, clean and dry towel that absorbs water. Try and remove as much water as you can in one go, you are trying to make sure that no spots or drops remain on your jewellery. If your stainless steel jewellery has a lot of small details simply wrap it in a towel for a few minutes and lightly pat it. You need to give your stainless steel decoration some time to dry. The final step of the homemade stainless steel jewellery cleaning process is polishing. It is best to use a polishing paste that is made for stainless steel jewellery or a cloth that is made for polishing metal. If you are going to use a polishing paste make sure it is designed to clean stainless steel. Do not, under any circumstances, use paste that is made for polishing silver, it will change the colour of your stainless steel jewellery. You have to follow the cleaning rule even when you are polishing your stainless steel jewellery. Keep polishing along the direction of the jewellery not against it. And that it is, your jewellery is now clean, shiny and looking like new.
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2. How to clean stainless steel jewellery with baking soda.
You can also clean stainless steel jewellery using baking soda and water. This cleaning method is simple and has just a few basic steps to follow. Firstly, you will need baking soda. Mix it in a small bowl with some water until thick paste forms, usually in a 2:1 ratio, 2 parts baking soda and 1 part water.
You will also need an old, soft toothbrush to clean. Usually, children's toothbrushes are soft and are ideal for this purpose. Keep in mind that if you use a harder brush you risk scratching your stainless steel jewellery.
To clean your stainless steel jewellery with baking soda, simply dip the brush in the solution and gently and carefully scrub your decorative item. Try and follow the lines of the jewellery you are cleaning, do not clean perpendicular to them. In this way, you will not scratch your jewellery.
Pay special attention to any ridges or indentations on your jewellery. Clean those well. Do not scrub any gems or stones on your jewellery with the toothbrush, you can easily scratch them. After you have thoroughly scrubbed your jewellery rinse it with warm but not hot water until you wash off all the baking soda from your jewellery. Wrap your stainless steel ring or bracelet in a towel and dry it well.
The final step in the cleaning process is to polish the jewellery using a polishing paste or a cloth that is made for polishing steel. To reiterate you mustn't use a polishing paste that is made for silver. You are risking your stainless steel jewellery discolouring if you do.
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It is also possible to use toothpaste to clean stainless steel jewellery.
Toothpaste is particularly effective at removing stubborn stains from your jewellery. However, it is abrasive. If you decide to use toothpaste make sure it is not whitening and does not contain silicon dioxide. Use a soft towel to evenly and gently clean your jewellery with the toothpaste and do not forget to thoroughly rinse your jewellery, you do not want any residue from the toothpaste to remain on your decorative items.
Alternatively, you can also purchase special cleaning solutions that are made for stainless steel and follow the cleaning instructions listed on the packaging. You can also purchase a cleaning kit that is made for stainless steel. This is most likely your best option for cleaning stainless steel jewellery at home. Even though stainless steel jewellery does not corrode or rust it does require special care. Stainless steel jewellery can easily scratch so take special care of your items while you are wearing them.
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You have to minimize contact with anything that might scratch your stainless steel jewellery while you are wearing or storing it.
If you scratch your jewellery you can always take it to a jeweller and have it professionally polished.
Store stainless steel jewellery separately from any other metals. It is best to store it in separate bags or compartments.