According to recent studies, coronaviruses including SARS are able to survive on surfaces anywhere from 24 hours on cardboard to as long as nine days on metal, glass and plastic unless property cleaned. While we’ve heard endless reinforcement on hand washing and the best soaps to buy, what about your jewellery? To find out the top hacks, I caught up with jewellery designer Tomasz Donocik on exactly what to do with your gems while at home.
CT: While at home, how do you recommend we clean our jewellery?
TD: I suggest cleaning your jewellery by following three steps. 1) get rid of any grease so best to give it a bath in gin or any other white alcohol. 2) use hot soupy water and an ear bud or toothbrush to give it a good scrub. Keep it in the hot water for a white. 3) rinse off the soapy water under a running tap.
CT: Just what is the importance of cleaning your pieces?
TD: Jewellery (especially rings) pick up a lot of everyday grease. When you wash your hands and you don’t take off your rings, they will collect some of the soap and other lotions so it’s good to give them a proper clean up from time to time. Especially now with the Covid-19 virus it’s good to keep your jewels clean of muck.
CT: Can you recommend the same for watches and metal straps?
TD: When it comes to watch straps that are in metal, they can be cleaned up the same way. Most watches are waterproof but do check your label first. If in doubt just clean your straps and use a wet sponge to clean the watch itself. With leather straps I would recommend using a wet wipe that is water based and with no cleaning solution. Alternatively use a wet towel to run it through your hands. Remember not to make the leather too wet. If you do accidentally drop it into water do not let it dry on a radiator. That will dry the leather out too much making it brittle and make it crack. Just let it dry out in normal room temperature.
CT: Do you recommend any household tools to clean jewellery? i/e toothbrush?
TD: I would stick to an old toothbrush, ear buds, toothpicks or cotton wipes.
CT: What is the biggest myth we should know about when cleaning jewellery? TD: When it comes to pearls, be careful. They have a natural layer on the top surface that makes it glow and gives the pearl the effect we all love. So, clean it without any detergent and do NOT clean it with alcohol or any white spirits. It will take the shine off the pearl.
CT: Can you explain how to clean a gemstone compared to the various metals that may be on the band?
TD: Most real gemstones you can clean with warm soapy water. Washing up liquid and warm water won’t harm gems.
CT: Three DIY hacks worth knowing?
TD: 1) if you really are struggling to get some grease out from underneath the setting (very common) where creams and other lotions gather use your dental floss. Cut a good amount so it’s easy to hold and weave it underneath the setting and move the ring up and down so that the floss loosens up the grease. Your stone will instantly start to glow again.
2)another way getting into little tricky areas is to use your toothpick. Take a bit of cotton and swirl it around the tip of the toothpick. Once it firmly sits on top of it, it will allow you to use it in these pesky unreachable areas.
3)if you have silver jewellery, remember that silver tends to tarnish. Therefore, go to your local supermarket and pick up a polishing cloth. Give it a through rub and your silver will shine again.