Cleaning your vintage jewellery and modern costume jewellery
Cleaning vintage jewellery and modern costume jewellery information and guide - Whether it is antique, vintage or second hand. What ever age your vintage jewellery is, it will pick up dirt over time. Here is a short guide to cleaning it.
First identify the material in your vintage brooches, vintage necklaces, etc. Never immerse in water as it can loosen any rhinestones or other stones. Also the clasps if they are glued on. Using tweezers look closely at the piece and remove any stray hairs or fibres. A magnifier or lens is useful equipment to own.
Gold, silver and brass - use a recommended liquid or cloth cleaner available from various stores or an ultrasonic cleaner (follow the instructions)
Plastic - wipe with a just damp cloth of a mild soap solution (washing up liquid is ideal) or use a cotton bud. Occasionally you may need to use a soft brush to get into the grooves. Check for colour fastness on any bright coloured pieces first. To make your plastic vintage jewellery shine - use a small dab of petroleum on your jewellery and polish after.
Rhinestone and diamante vintage costume jewellery - use a cotton bud and a window cleaning solution or water mixed with vinegar. Dip the bud in the solution and blot with kitchen tissue, so that is just damp. Clean the piece of vintage jewellery and then buff with a dry cotton bud. the difference is amazing and you can get through several cotton buds on a piece that does not look particularly dirty.
Plain metal vintage jewellery or enamel jewellery - use an ultrasonic cleaner or the above method.
Bone, ivory and shell - use a cotton bud or cloth dipped in olive or vegetable oil so as not to dry out the natural product. Blot almost dry and clean
Gemstones - because there are so many various gemstones then you will need to identify what they are and follow specific cleaning instructions. Many gemstones in vintage costume jewellery are faux and made of glass or plastic.
Cleaning Gemstone Jewellery
For more in depth information see our blog for Jewels & Finery UK