Many people are not aware that a little extra TLC is needed to maintain fashion jewellery in the humid weather of Singapore. Gold-plated and silver-plated pieces, as well as jewellery made from solid silver and brass, will tarnish faster in the tropics than in climates with low humidity. With this in mind, we have put together a few tips on keeping your gold-plated bangles, bracelets and earrings shiny and bright in tropical climates (most of these tips apply to silver, silver-plated and brass jewellery too).
- How you store your jewellery is critical. To prevent tarnishing, they should be kept in a room that is cool and dry – so keep them out of the bathroom.
- Assess the humidity level of the room that you are storing them in. If the room is quite humid and not regularly dried out through air-conditioning (i.e. every night), then you should store your jewellery in small plastic ziplock bags with silica gel or anti-tarnish strips. Don’t keep them in plastic bags without silica gel or anti-tarnish strips as you could actually be sealing moisture in the plastic bag, which makes things worse. Do replace the gel/strips regularly to keep them fresh.
- If the room doesn’t have humidity issues, then store your pieces in a soft pouch or neatly separated in a jewellery box to avoid scratches. Never store gold-plated jewellery together with silver-plated jewellery, as they can cause each other to tarnish, fade or change colour.
- Bear in mind the state of the room while on holiday – if your room is likely to become humid due to lack of air-conditioning while you are away, then consider putting some silica gel or anti-tarnish strips in with your jewellery as a safety measure.
- Avoid contact with any form of chemicals from hair sprays, perfumes‚ lotions or creams – so when going out, put your jewellery on last and make sure your lotion or cream is dry before putting on your gold-plated pieces.
- It’s also best to remove your jewellery before showering or swimming – and ideally keep your bangles out of the way when washing your hands – to avoid any chemicals in the soap, chlorine and water.
- Similarly, you need to avoid contact with household cleaning products and even with sweat, so take your jewellery off before exercising or cleaning activities.
- After wearing your jewellery, gently wipe with a soft cloth, cotton wool or facial tissue to remove any chemicals, oils or sweat.
Removing tarnish and restoring shine
- To get your plated jewellery shining again, gently rub your jewellery with a facial tissue using a few drops of alcohol or ronson oil. Never use paper towels to clean your jewellery.
- You can also gently polish your pieces using a soft jewellery cloth, but don’t do this too frequently as excessive polishing may remove the plating over time.
- For gold-plated jewellery, do not use silver polishing or jewellery cleaning cloths as these will wear off the plating.
- Lastly, do not clean your jewellery with toothpaste, vinegar, baking soda, anti-bacterial soap or jewellery cleaners, as these substances are too harsh for gold-plated pieces.
Follow these tips and your gold-plated bangles, earrings and other favourite pieces will stay gleaming for longer, even in our tropical climes.