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How To Clean Costume Jewelry

Fashion costume jewelry can tarnish, but that doesn’t mean it has to be thrown out! There are several reasons why jewelry becomes dull or dirty, tarnishes from water, air exposure and even hairspray and lotions. The most common problem with fashion jewelry that has been packed away, is that over time the metal is exposed to elements in the air which cause a chemical reaction, leaving them tarnished or discolored. So, learning how to care for your jewelry so that they remain beautiful for as long as possible is key, especially if you want to wear them for years to come.

There’s no rule for how often your fashion costume jewelry needs to be cleaned, but a good rule of thumb is the more you wear a piece, the more it should be cared for. Clean it about once every few months or when it starts to look dull.

It’s important to remember not to use anything acidic like baking soda. Using something harsh or with a lot of acid could ruin your fashion jewelry rather than make it look like new again.

How To Clean Costume Fashion Jewelry

Cleaning costume jewelry needs a soft touch.

Baby shampoo is a mild shampoo, so it can be a good cleaning agent for fashion costume jewelry. Mix 1 drop of baby shampoo with 1 cup of warm water until it's sudsy.  Limit your jewelry's exposure to the water because stones are often glued on rather than set which can cause the glue to loosen and the “gems” could pop off. Water can tarnish and rust fashion costume jewelry if it sits for too long.

Use a soft toothbrush or Q-Tip to apply the soapy water on the jewelry to clean hard-to-reach spots. Make sure the toothbrush is new, and that it hasn't been used before. You don't want to transfer material on an old toothbrush onto the jewelry. You can also try using a toothpick to get hard to reach places.

After applying the mixture and cleaning everything off, immediately rinse the piece off in cool water. Rinse just enough to get the soapy water solution off of the jewelry and dry with a clean, soft hand towel or microfiber cloth.

You may use a hair dryer on the cool setting to speed up the drying process. It's important not to use a warmer setting or the piece may warp, or the glue holding any gemstones in place could melt.

With a few easy steps, your fashion jewelry can look like new again!