Dirty Little Secret

When I was at a wedding about 10 years ago, I scouted a bartender who made the very best martinis. After paying her several visits and requesting an extra, extra dirty martini each time (90% olive juice, 10% vodka), she cheekily smiled at me and said with a wink, “How can someone so pretty be so . . . dirty?”

I now pose the same question to my jewelry.

Have you ever looked closely at your rings? The ones you wear every day? They’re filthy. Little bits of lotion, soap, and other detritus I don’t really want to think about get wedged into all the tiny crevices and facets. Over time this can dull their sparkle. So what can you do about it?

I’ve found several products that work wonders for cleaning my jewelry.

For sterling silver pieces, Connoisseurs Silver Jewelry Cleaner is a miracle worker that costs only $4.99 on Amazon. You submerge your most tarnished silver pieces into the magic liquid for a mere 10 seconds, and they emerge shiny and new. This is best for use with silver-only pieces, i.e., no gemstones. The only downside: it has a terrible, sulfuric odor.

For my finer pieces and jewelry with more fragile stones, I prefer to use my Bogue Systems Professional Ultrasonic Cleaner along with a capful of Blitz Gem & Jewelry Cleaner ($7 on Amazon). My Bogue model is currently unavailable on Amazon, but there are similar options available, e.g., this ($32). You set your jewelry in the machine, fill the tank with warm water and a bit of cleaning liquid, then push the button and watch as your jewelry is ultrasonically shaken free of its nastiness.

For jewelry with small nooks and crannies or filigree detail, I use the Connoisseurs Diamond Dazzle Stik ($8 on Amazon), which has a small brush applicator and dispenses a grainy cleaning paste for an extra thorough scrub. A toothbrush dipped in rubbing alcohol also works for hard-to-reach places.

The simplest thing you can do to keep your baubles clean is be diligent about removing your jewelry before applying lotion, soap, sunscreen, and perfume. And it’s best to store your jewelry in a closed container to protect it from dust (storage: a topic for a future post).

For the very best cleaning, visit any jeweler to have your pieces professionally steam cleaned.


There’s nothing wrong with being dirty; just don’t let dingy jewels kill your vibe.

2 thoughts on “Dirty Little Secret

  1. Sounds like owning fine jewelry is too much work. Give me costume jewelry every time – or tribal jewelry. The dirtier the better!

    Like

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