Sterling Silver, Brass and Bronze
At Waxing Poetic, we always use the finest alloys on the market for our sterling silver, brass, and bronze pieces.
We do regularly get questions about these from our customers on the best practices for maintaining their jewelry, and will answer some of the most common questions here in hopes that it will help you enjoy your jewelry for even longer.
How do I clean my Waxing Poetic jewelry, particularly bronze pieces?
For cleaning, it is safe to use a polishing cloth lightly; water is not recommended. For sterling silver pieces, you can use a standard silver cleaner, if a polishing cloth is not enough.
How do you keep jewelry from tarnishing, particularly brass jewelry?
Though it contains anti-tarnishing agents, all fine sterling silver does eventually tarnish with age and exposure to various elements. Brass or bronze jewelry will tarnish more quickly than sterling silver, but can easily have its shine restored.
CARE FOR HEAVY TARNISH BUILD-UP
Regular maintenance of your jewelry will help keep pieces from building excessive tarnish. In the case of heavy build-up, create a natural dip to lift tarnish:
- Line a small dish with aluminum foil and fill it with very hot water.
- Shake in some baking soda, approximately ¼ teaspoon.
- Soak metals for approximately 2-5 minutes. The baking soda will react with the aluminum to lift tarnish. Monitor as it is soaking to be sure the oxidization is not stripped from the details of the jewelry.
- Dry the piece thoroughly (moisture can contribute to tarnish) then polish and buff with a jewelry polishing cloth.
Is it bad to wear brass jewelry?
The short answer is, no. That said, there are ways to help your brass pieces continue to look nice and last longer into the future, with just a little care. First of all, do not submerge your brass jewelry into water. This will only make it tarnish faster. As well, try not to polish your brass frequently, as it can remove the finish and patina.
Can I wear my brass jewelry in the shower?
We recommend that you do not wear any of your jewelry in the shower, hot tub, sauna, ocean, or swimming pool, as moisture accelerates the tarnishing of metal.
Will lotion or soaps tarnish my jewelry?
Sometimes the chemical makeup of skin oils combined with lotions may also contribute to tarnishing, so apply fragrance and hair spray prior to putting on jewelry.
Why is some of my brass jewelry so much darker?
Boiled brass features a naturally darker finish that develops over time and adds to the piece. These items are low maintenance as frequent polishing can remove the finish.
Pearls, Stones and Crystals
Pearls, stones and crystals are fragile and require more care than other types of jewelry. Use a soft, lint-free cloth, not a polishing cloth, to wipe your jewelry after you take it off. If your pearls, stones, or crystals have become dull, use a damp cloth to gently pat them clean and then let them dry flat. Do not use any chemicals or cleaners. Check the cord on strung pieces regularly to be sure it is not fraying. Fragrance, lotions and hair spray should be applied prior to wearing your jewelry.
Excessive heat and moisture can damage leather. Avoid wearing leather jewelry in the shower, hot tub, sauna, ocean or swimming pool as these can easily damage your leather. Over time, leather will darken from normal wear, water exposure, your skin’s oils and lotions.
Our plated jewelry is made by covering a base metal with a thin layer of gold or sterling silver. Over time, it will eventually wear away despite your best attempts to preserve it. Plating is mutable and will tarnish: this is not a bad thing and in fact can be quite lovely. Lightly wipe your plated jewelry with a soft jewelry polishing cloth to gently restore shine. This will help eliminate any dirt or dust from accumulating on the surface and wearing away the plated layer. Do not polish plated jewelry often; the more you polish, the more the plating is worn away. Keep plated jewelry away from hard surfaces, as bumps and scratches will cause the plated layer to wear away faster. Do not bathe, swim, soak, sauna, or steam in your plated jewelry. Not only will this tarnish the plating, it can actually hasten its separation from the metal below and cause further oxidization. Store your plated jewelry in our Waxing Poetic pouch or store in a soft material that will prevent scratches.
HOW TO USE A POLISHING CLOTH
Regular polishing with a polishing cloth along with proper storage will help maintain the finish and reduce the natural buildup of tarnish on metals. Follow these steps to use a polishing cloth:
- Use the inside of the cloth to loosen and lift tarnish. The interior of the cloth is treated with a cleaner that is safe for the keepsake quality of Waxing Poetic jewelry, and the cloth is woven of soft material that will not scratch metal. For heavier areas of tarnish, moisten the interior of the cloth slightly with water when polishing.
- After polishing, buff the piece with the dry exterior of the cloth to wipe away the lifted tarnish and bring out the finish and luster of the metal
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