A statement necklace. A bright cocktail wring. A set of silver and turquoise bangles. Accessories like these are fun and inexpensive ways of jazzing up your wardrobe. But how do you take care of your accessories so they won’t chip, fade, tarnish or break after just a few uses? Here are some tips to keep your accessories in good shape.
Long necklaces can get tangled, and pulling and tugging at them can weaken the chains. One inexpensive way of hanging them is to nail or glue a strip of corkboard on your wall or closet door, and attaching pushpins where you can hang your necklaces. You can also use nails on a painted plank. This also works for dangling earrings!
Bracelets and rings should be stored individually in plastic bags so they don’t scratch each other. Then keep the bags in small, clear plastic containers that you can stack—they’re much more practical than pretty jewelry cases you put on your vanity table (you can just use those to store pieces you use everyday, like the pearls and watch you always use for work). You can label boxes by type (like “thin bangles” and another “chunky bracelets”) or mood/look (“rockstar elements” and another “bohemian”). Whatever works for you!
Store jewelry away from extreme temperatures, sunlight and humidity. Some gemstones may actually fade when they are exposed to the sun all day, so be careful if your vanity table is next to a window.
Avoid chemical exposure
Don’t wear jewelry when you swim or take a bath, since the chlorine can damage the metals and gemstones. The chemicals in perfumes and lotions can also tarnish jewelry, so put them on after you’re done applying any beauty products or scents.
Periodically wipe jewelry with a soft cloth and the recommended cleaning product for your accessory. Don’t assume one product will work for everything! For example, the jewelry cleaner you use for your gold accessories may actually damage the finish of gemstones or sterling silver. So always ask a store the best way to take care of an item, especially pieces that are handmade, rare, or expensive. (Read tips on buying gold and silver jewelry.)
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