If you are keen on using jewelry cleaners to take care of your jewelry, you should be able to determine when the jewelry cleaner is still safe to use and when it isn’t. This is because it may not sound obvious, but even cleaning products, including jewelry cleaners, expire.
So, even though most jewelry cleaners will not have an expiration date, you should know that even these cleaners shouldn’t be used to clean your high-value jewelry after some months have passed.
Now, there is a lot that is not known about jewelry cleaners. In addition to letting you know about these cleaners not being ideal for use for a certain duration, we’ll also look at how they work.
What is a jewelry cleaner, and how does it work?
A jewelry cleaner, also known as the jewelry connoisseur’s jewelry cleaner, can be defined as a chemical formulation that is used to clean different kinds of jewelry. These cleaners are made of different chemicals whose formulations have the powerful effect of dissolving dirt, gunk, grime, and even tarnished layers from jewelry without causing deterioration or any other type of harm on the jewelry that is cleaned. Because of the power and the effectiveness of the jewelry cleaners, most of them will leave your jewelry sparkling in minutes.
While there are many types of jewelry cleaners, the cleaner you use will work well depending on the ingredients it’s formulated with and how it works.
The most common jewelry cleaning solutions are formulated with various kinds of proprietary polymers, and others contain ammonia. These ingredients strip all the dirt and grime off the jewelry while also dissolving the layer of tarnish from oxidation. The best of cleaners are known to work in under a minute, and they are free of ammonia.
For the best results, soak the jewelry for the recommended amount of time, brush it using a soft-bristled brush, dry it using a soft cloth, then polish it.
Does jewelry cleaner expire?
Although most jewelry cleaners come without a label for the expiration date, they do have a shelf-life, and you shouldn’t use your jewelry cleaner after some time.
How long does jewelry cleaner last?
It depends on how often it’s used, but some can last for up to 18 months or longer. Just make sure that your store the container holding the cleaning solution in a dark area. And also, you have to change out the solution you use for your cleaning sessions often. For the store-bought cleaning solutions, you should consider dumping the cleaner out if it starts having a cloudy look, smells, or just looks nothing than it did when you first opened it.
If you are using a homemade jewelry cleaner, you’d have to discard that solution after each use.
How often should you replace jewelry cleaner?
Some jewelry cleaners expire, and you shouldn’t use the jewelry cleaner if it is more than a few years old, even if it doesn’t have an expiry date. It’s safe to say that you should consider replacing the jewelry cleaner after every few years.
To ensure that your jewelry looks as good as new and lasts longer, here are some of the important jewelry care tips and tricks to keep in mind.
Mistakes to avoid when caring for your precious jewelry
- Take your jewelry back to the jewelers a few months after the purchase to have it checked or cleaned. Often, this is done for free, and the professional touch-ups go a long way in extending the life of your jewelry. Professional cleaning also means that the original sparkle is returned to the stones, even as the pieces are checked for damage to the prongs or stones themselves. You should do this every 6 months.
- Clean the jewelry frequently at home. Just because it will be cleaned after 6 or 8 months at the jewelry store doesn’t mean that you should ignore it. Use home-based cleaning solutions, or you could buy a safe jewelry cleaner. But don’t clean delicate gems in these cleaning solutions.
- Avoid bad DIY cleaning methods and solutions, especially for jewelry with emeralds, pearls, or opals. Don’t use lemon juice or even toothpaste on some of these pieces of jewelry.
- Stop showering in your jewelry.
- Always put your pearls on last.
- Don’t clean precious gems and jewelry in the ultrasonic cleaner unless you are sure that the materials used for the jewelry are safe.
- Take the jewelry to a reputable jeweler or jewelry store if the piece is damaged in any way, even when the damage looks minimal.
- Always follow the instructions given by the jewelry maker, and don’t clean it with chemical cleaners if the jeweler recommends against it.
- Polishing jewelry should be done using soft polishing cloths. Avoid polishing cloths with abrasives.
If you are wondering if the jewelry cleaner you just found hidden in one of the drawers still works and know that it’s been there for a few years, there is a chance that it’s already gone bad or it’s just unsafe.
And if you must use a jewelry cleaner, you may want to buy a new and safe, ammonia-free jewelry cleaner.