How to Clean Your Artisan Jewelry


Everyone loves to unbox a dazzling new accessory. You impatiently cut through the tape and untie the satin bow shrouding your newest favorite possession. As you lift the lid, the light hits the resident ornament just right, resulting in a ravishing feast for the eyes. Eagerly you grasp the necklace, bracelet, or earrings and adorn your body with your latest find. 

You’ll proudly tout this piece as your latest wardrobe token whenever possible, until one day you mindlessly adjust it with less than clean fingers. In a split second, your precious jewelry goes from glimmering bright to dull and tainted. You hurriedly try and clean the smudge with your well-worn t-shirt, but to no avail. The smudge remains. Before you dejectedly drop your latest prize into the bottom of your jewelry box, rest assured that not all hope is lost. Follow along for simple instructions on how to clean your vermeil artisanal jewelry. 

Basic Cleaning Must-Dos

In order to brave the world of handcrafted jewelry care, you will need a few supplies. Purchase a soft cotton cloth, regular mild dish soap, and an optional silver polishing cloth. 

To begin, use a small amount of the dish detergent to cleanse your jewelry item under warm water. After you finish rinsing all the soap off, use the soft cloth to gently remove all residue and moisture from the jewelry. You’ll want to ensure that the cotton cloth is extremely soft to avoid scratching the surface. 

An additional silver polishing cloth is an excellent way to help remove any tarnishing on your piece. A good point here is to choose rinsing with water over excessive wiping with a cloth when it comes to “dusting” your jewelry. Water is milder than fabric on softer stones and still leaves it looking fresh. 

What Not to Do 

Do not ever soak your vermeil jewelry or leave it wet for a long period of time. Humidity, or excess moisture, leads to tarnishing for substances like silver. 

Do not use toothpaste to clean your jewelry. This bit of folk wisdom will not bode well to the lifespan of your handmade pieces. 

Do not use silver dip cleaners on natural stones. Though these cleaning systems often leave a coveted shine, the chemicals in the cleansing solution often ruin natural stones. 

Maintenance and Upkeep

Before you step into that steamy hot yoga class, take a moment to slip off any rings and necklaces. It is a good rule of thumb to remove all jewelry before exercising. This also applies to swimming and showering. Chlorine and salt water (think sweat) are all detrimental to numerous softer stones as well as gold, silvers, and copper. 

When storing your jewelry, use a jewelry rack or a spacious jewelry box to avoid stacking. When jewelry is mingled together, more sensitive stones can be scratched. Make a habit out of taking all jewelry off before applying hairspray, fragrances, and lotion.

With a little extra care and a whole lot of mindfulness, you can keep your artisanally handcrafted vermeil jewelry looking just as good as that first day you unboxed it.