Below are several Environmentally Friendly ways to take care of you natural gemstone jewelry:
You can naturally clean copper with materials usually already found in your home.
Vinegar and salt: Rub a mixture of 1 tablespoon of table salt and 1 cup of white vinegar onto the copper with a soft cloth and rinse. Or, immerse the tarnished copper into a pot of 3 cups of water and the salt-vinegar mixture, bring to a boil and boil until the grime and tarnish comes off. Once the copper is cool, wash it with soap and water, rinse and rub with a soft cloth.
Ketchup: Not just for your burgers, a small amount of this common kitchen condiment can be rubbed onto tarnished copper to restore its natural luster. Then rinse and dry.
Lemon: To naturally clean copper pots and pans, and less fragile copper pieces, cut a lemon in half, add salt to the cut side and rub gently onto the item. You can also make a paste with lemon juice, and equal parts salt and non-oxidized cornstarch or baking soda.
Baking soda: Combine this mineral with lemon juice to clean copper naturally, or sprinkle just baking soda onto a cloth and polish the tarnished copper.
To keep your copper shiny longer, you can spray or polish a lacquer. Try to keep the oils from your fingers and skin off of the copper, as they can cause discoloration. If you are wearing copper jewelry, apply a clear nail polish to your piece to prevent the copper from coming in contact with your skin.
Because coral is very soft, it has to be treated with great care. It should be cleaned with a soft, clean cloth, and then rinsed in warm, soapy water. It should never be soaked, nor put in an ultrasonic cleaner, nor subjected to a jewelry dip.
If the coral is dusty, the dust can be blown off with a can of compressed air, which can be bought at an office supply store. The coral can also be rinsed in the sink, and then dried thoroughly with a soft cloth.
How to Store Coral
Coral jewelry should be stored in its own soft fabric pouch or in its own section in the jewelry box so that it’s not scratched. Larger pieces of coral jewelry should be wrapped in tissue so they don’t scratch other objects beside them.
Wearing Coral Jewelry
Coral jewelry should only be worn after the person has put on their perfume and makeup and needs to be taken off when they go swimming, wash the dishes, clean, or cook with vinegar.
How to Clean Pearls:
1. Place soiled pearls, either loose or still in a necklace, bracelet or earrings into a pantyhose leg and secure ends so pearls cannot escape.
2. Fill a sink with warm water and mild shampoo.
3. Place “bag” of pearls into water and shampoo mixture and gently message the pearls with the pantyhose being careful not to put stress on the silk thread.
4. When you sense that the soil is removed, rinse with clear water.
5.Take pearls from “bag” and gently absorb moisture with a towel and allow to dry completely before storing.
6. Store your pearls in a soft bag or separate tray in your jewelry box so they are not damaged by other jewelry.
You may be surprised at how much pollution your pearls have picked up over the years. Pearls are best when worn often as they absorb your skins oils. Always remove your pearls when using household cleansers or when swimming.
Cleaning Silver With Aluminum Foil and Baking Soda
Hurray for baking soda! It is such a heavyweight when it comes to uses around the home. This method of cleaning silver works wonders even for heavily tarnished pieces as long as they can stand up to a little heat.
- First, bring a large pot of water to the boil on the stovetop. Make sure that the pot is large enough to fit all of your tarnished silver items. Don’t overfill the pot (leave at least two inches of space at the top).
- When the water boils, remove the pot from the heat. Place a piece of aluminum foil into the bottom of your pot, and place your silver items on top, immersed in the boiling water. Start shaking baking soda into the pot. It will foam and bubble, and you’ll notice a sulfuric smell, like rotten eggs.
- The chemical reaction will (almost magically) remove the tarnish from your silver, as the tarnish will become attracted to the aluminum foil instead of your silver piece. Keep sprinkling in more baking soda until your silver is shiny and clean or until the liquid no longer foams.
The water has to be really hot for this to be effective, but if you do it correctly, it works like a charm on tarnished silver. I’ve actually found this to be the best method for removing tarnish from vintage silver, as it is more effective than many silver polishes I have used. It even gets into the nooks and crannies where you wouldn’t be able to hand-polish the tarnish away.
Once the tarnish is gone, wash the silver with gentle soap and water to remove the rest of the baking soda. If there are a few spots of tarnish left, they should wash off when rubbed gently with a soft cloth.