Cleaning sterling silver
This is for cleaning all sterling silver except pieces that have stones in them. Lay a sheet of aluminum foil, shiny side up, in a heat proof container. Lay the silver chains, earrings, etc in the container on top of the foil. Pour boiling water over them and immediately add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of salt. Let sit for a few minutes and then use tongs to remove the jewelry and rinse and dry well polishing with a soft cloth.
Cleaning gold jewelry
Add 1 teaspoon of ammonia and 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap to 1 cup of warm water. Soak jewelry in it, using a soft brush if necessary to clean the pieces. Rinse well and dry.
Cleaning turquoise and opals
These are very soft stones and will absorb cleaners and water. Shine these with a chamois cloth or use a just damp microfiber cloth to clean and buff them.
The best way to clean pearls is to wear them. This keeps their luster. If you don’t wear your often, buff them with a microfiber cloth and a soft cloth with just a dab of olive oil on it. Buff well.
Cleaning costume jewelry
Use a soft toothbrush and some baking powder (not soda) to gently clean costume pieces. Avoid soaking in water as it may cause stones to come out. If you must wash it, Use shampoo and rinse and dry quickly, using the blow dry to get the piece completely dry.
These are best cleaned by a professional as an oil is generally used in the cleaning and buffing.
For hard stones, such as diamonds, a quick swish through some inexpensive vodka will make them sparkle like new.
Use common sense when cleaning jewelry. Don’t attempt to clean anything with loose stones and don’t soak jewelry for long amounts of time in water. If in doubt, take it to your jeweler for advice.