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Caring for Your Fashion & Costume Jewelry

Guides & Tips



Helpful Tips on How to Properly Care for Fashion & Costume Jewelry



Though fashion and costume jewelry certainly do not have quite the same reputation for being as pricey as fine jewelry, the owner of any type of jewelry, whether expensive or cheap, must take steps to properly maintain the look and quality of their jewelry. After all, the fashion forward person dons costume jewelry for the express purpose of brightening up an outfit and adding a nice pop of color and fun, so proper care of fashion and costume jewelry should be on the minds of all fashion lovers. This article will cover a range of topics as concerns the proper care of fashion and costume jewelry, from the tools required in the cleaning process to the appropriate way to store jewelry when not being worn. These helpful tips will ensure that the owner of fashion and costume jewelry gets the maximum enjoyment from wearing their accessories.

Most fashion and costume jewelry can easily be cleaned with supplies found in one's own kitchen, but even so, it is still important to understand what materials are used to create the beautiful end product of a costume jewelry necklace. Fashion and costume jewelry, in their very name, make it clear that they are merely an element of fashion that one can use to add a lovely touch to an already polished look. Since fashion and costume jewelry are more about adding a finishing touch, then it is clear that one would never find the materials of fine jewelry, that of silver, gold, and diamonds, in the make-up of fashion and costume jewelry. In contrast to fine jewelry, the type of jewelry under discussion is usually made out of materials like plastic or glass. It is important to take note of this, especially during the cleaning of such jewelry.

As mentioned earlier, the supplies needed to properly clean fashion and costume jewelry can be found in a kitchen. With a soft, cotton cloth, an owner of fashion and costume jewelry can clean their entire collection. Not only does an owner only need a cloth, but also the motivation to clean a jewelry collection once per month. Furthermore, for jewelry pieces with small beads or decorative elements which are not easy to clean with a cloth, it is recommended to use a soft brush, like an unused mascara brush from a make-up supply store or a soft-bristled toothbrush. The proper tools will help maintain the integrity and quality of all fashion and costume jewelry, and in doing so, will extend the life and enjoyment one can glean from this type of jewelry.

Fashion and costume jewelry which for one reason or another has become extremely dirty, for example from the misfortune of falling into a mud-filled puddle or something of this sort, should be handled in a very specific manner when cleaned. The initial urge may be to fill up a sink with warm, soapy water, and submerge the entire piece of jewelry in this bath. However, fully submerging jewelry in water is precisely the incorrect method of properly cleaning heavily soiled jewelry. What can result from full submersion are the formation of rust and pits. Pits are exactly as their name describes – miniature pits that form on the exterior of jewelry where a piece or chunk of the original material has deteriorated. Another initial thought may be to use an ultra-sonic jewelry cleaner. Though these ultra-sonic devices make cleaning most other types of jewelry a breeze, it is highly discouraged to use them when cleaning fashion and costume jewelry as they are too harsh on the jewelry's materials. Instead, it is recommended to use a mild dish soap along with either a soft sponge or a soft, cotton cloth to clean the heavily soiled jewelry. Once clean, a cloth can be used to dry and polish the jewelry.

If the cloth and soap are not cutting it, then a jewelry cleaner can be used. However, it is of incredible importance to review the label on the jewelry cleaner of choice to ensure that it can be used to clean fashion and costume jewelry. As mentioned earlier, this type of jewelry is made from materials like plastic and glass, and these materials, unlike most metals and stones, are not able to handle harsh jewelry cleaner solutions. Once a gentle jewelry cleaner is found, simply follow the directions on the bottle's label in order to properly clean a jewelry collection.

As fashion and costume jewelry should be kept away from exposure to harsh cleaning solutions, this type of jewelry should never make contact with a number of other substances as well. It is highly recommended to never wear fashion and costume jewelry while cleaning, as exposure is likely with chemicals such as acid, ammonia, alcohol, or vinegar. Also, another helpful tip is to add jewelry last. This means when getting ready for work in the morning or for an evening soirée, jewelry should be added after having already applied lotions, hairsprays, and perfumes. Though chemicals in these beauty products have no harm to skin or hair, they wreak havoc on the veneer of fashion and costume jewelry.

Properly storing fashion and costume jewelry is of equal importance as the cleaning process. It is necessary to take the time to create an adequate storage environment for all jewelry. Because fashion and costume jewelry is made out of materials of lesser quality than fine jewelry, it might be assumed that this type of jewelry can be thrown together into a single box or jewelry compartment. However, this is not the case, as close contact amongst a mess of jewelry pieces will most certainly lead to scratches. To avoid unwanted damage from improper storage, it is key to store each piece of jewelry in its own soft pouch or box. Another way to safely organize and store fashion and costume jewelry is to use a jewelry box with a variety of compartments.

Over time, no matter the monthly cleanings and proper storage environment, fashion and costume jewelry does not have the life of fine jewelry. Though, this short life in comparison to fine jewelry is really no matter, as fashion and costume jewelry do not have hefty price tags. As a result, a fashion lover has the financial flexibility to continue to sample new styles once older pieces of jewelry have lost their color and sparkle.

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