How to Care for Handmade Jewelry

Follow these suggestions to keep your handcrafted beaded treasures looking like new.

Now that you’ve have your perfect piece of beaded jewelry, how do you make sure it will be in your collection for many years to come? Many women make the purchase and then never give a second thought on how to care for it, and make sure it lasts. Handmade beaded jewelry can be delicate, so a few extra precautions mean you’ll be able to wear it long into the foreseeable future.

Storing Jewelry:

Just tossing your necklaces, bracelets and earrings in a drawer will only cause frustration, because items tend to get tangled and this puts undue stress on your jewelry and ultimately will ruin you treasured pieces. Get in the habit of properly storing your jewelry, so it will be easily accessible when you’re running out the door and need to accessorize quickly and it will extend the life of your beaded jewelry.

All silver tarnishes naturally, so silver jewelry should be kept in a jewelry box or sealed container to prevent tarnishing (zip-top plastic bags work wonderfully). Should a piece tarnish, simply wipe with a regular cloth to remove it. There are anti-tarnish cloths, but when using, take care not to polish other beads, it could damage and dull their surface. Never hang beaded necklaces or bracelets on a hook, this can put excess strain on clasps and findings, also when jewelry hangs, items tend to bump and/or rub together which could scratch more delicate beads. To protect earrings, lay them flat in a jewelry box, hang them on an earring stand or even on the rim of a glass.

Cleaning Jewelry:

Oils from your skin, residue from your perfume/lotions or simply the dust in the air could be hanging around on the beads and components of your necklaces, bracelets and earrings and could be slowly damaging your jewelry. You can avoid this by regularly and properly cleaning your jewelry.

Always use a cleaner meant for the item you are cleaning. There are special cleaners for metal, like gold, silver, etc. But cleaning your gemstone and beaded jewelry with these harsh cleaners can severely damage the surface of these more delicate beads. Simply wipe with a soft damp cloth to remove any residues and this will enhance the beads luster and ensure it is clean before storing. Occasionally your jewelry could come in contact with unexpected substances, should this occur, use lukewarm soapy water and a soft cloth, making sure it is thoroughly dry before storing.

Do not use jewelry cleaner on any beaded or sterling silver jewelry.

Protecting Jewelry:

Protecting your handmade beaded jewelry before it gets damaged will also ensure its longevity. Always put on make-up, lotions and hair products (and be sure they’ve had time to dry) before putting on your jewelry. Never wear handmade jewelry when swimming, showering, cleaning with harsh chemicals or when doing strenuous activities where they might be subjected to blunt force or even excessive sweat. When in doubt, take it off and spare yourself the disappointment of a damaged piece of jewelry.