Your Jewelry Is Surprisingly Filthy

cleaning your jewelry

Unsplash/Levi Elizaga

We spend hours each month cleaning our homes, our linens and our clothes, but we tend to neglect our most prized possessions that are both mentally and physically close to us every day: our jewelry. From sentimental necklaces passed down through generations to engagement rings and weddings bands we swore we’d never take off, our gold, silver and H&M cocktail gems see a lot of life. But do you realize just how freaking filthy those accessories become when you don’t clean them?

Think about it for a second. Every time you leave rings on when you apply hand cream, every time you wear your earrings in the shower and toss shampoo and conditioner into your hair, every time you stuff that necklace chain into your sports bra at the gym and sweat to your heart’s content… both residues from the cosmetics you use and your skin itself wedge their way into the nooks and crannies of your jewelry. Over time, it’s filling with dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria, and just all-around icky gunk that not only smells unpleasant, but also destroys the composition of your jewelry.

Grossed out yet? We know we are. And we’ll be damned if we let our family heirlooms disintegrate on our dingy fingers because we don’t get around to cleaning the innocent works of wearable art as often as we should.

cleaning your jewelry

Unsplash/Brooke Cagle

So, with that said…

Take off your jewelry already!

Hard water and soap scum do not come off of fine metals easily, so put an end to wearing your favorite rings and bracelets while doing the dishes, using strong cleaners around your apartment and even showering. What’s more, certain solvents encourage the breakdown of softer metals and jewels (those precious pearls!), so don’t go anywhere near your jewelry with something stronger than mild dish detergent.

Get your jewelry professionally cleaned at least once a year.

Sound extreme? It isn’t — not even for your $5 ring you got on sale at your favorite fast-fashion spot. Plenty of professional jewelers offer complimentary cleanings for earrings, necklaces, watches, bracelets, rings and more. Plus, they have all of the right tools and cleaners that can effectively remove dirt, grime and bacteria without harming your precious accessories in the process. We recommend taking your jewelry in two different batches so you can still have something to wear while the pros take care of half your loot, and then swap.

Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

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