How To Take Care Of Your Lovely Brass Jewelry
How to care for your brass jewelry.
Brass jewelry is versatile, affordable and relatively low maintenance. That is why I love it. Second to brass jewelry, I love silver jewelry but unlike brass jewelry, it tends to tarnish quite quickly. Honestly, I do not know of an alloy that does not tarnish but some tend to tarnish more quickly than others and silver is one of those that has caused me heartache over my lifetime. For the price paid for such pieces, I just expect that the tarnishing process would take longer, but it is rarely the case as it simply cannot be helped. Alas, I have had to learn to work with what I have—and such is the motto of my life.
If you are a jewelry lover like I am, chances are you have also run into the unavoidable tarnishing problem and have researched different ways of keeping your gems shiny and new. If this is you, I would love to know which process is your favorite.
My two favorite ways of keeping my brass jewelry clean involve 1) cleaning as infrequently as possible with the help of Ziploc Bags and 2) using water and a gentle soap.
It is not a glamorous way of storing my pieces but it sure is effective. Using a Ziploc Bag has been wonderful for my pieces. I especially love tiny little bags as the less my pieces rattle around the more likely they are to stay detangled, and the less space they take up in my jewelry box.
Soap and water
I like to think of this method as a simple tune-up. No soaking. No harsh chemicals. All you do is run a steady stream of water on your piece of jewelry while cleansing with a nonabrasive cloth & dish soap. I personally use Dawn Dish Soap. Once satisfied with the cleanliness of each piece, I use a nonabrasive dry cloth to remove as much of the moisture as possible. If after doing all of the above I still feel grime on the piece I start all over again and repeat until satisfied with the feel of the piece.
Stronger Cleaning Solutions
The methods above work great for maintenance but sometimes the grime becomes too excessive. This is when I bring out the big guns. The stronger chemicals, but only when things get to an unmanageable level.
I can not stress enough that I only use the following as a last resort as I find that they can be a bit too harsh if used too frequently. The original finish may be compromised and as a result, pieces may end up raw. Raw alloys tend to tarnish faster and once this happens your piece will lose its original aesthetic. Alloys that have been treated have a stronger defense against tarnishing, hence it is important to use the following options as a last resort.
EZ Brite Penny Brite Copper & Brass Cleaner / Polish 7oz by EZ Brite Brands
The first necklace I ever made was made with a combination of copper chain, a magnetic heart clasp, and seed beads. To this day it is my favorite necklace, maybe because it has such sentimental value. Unfortunately, I stored it in a bag that was not locked securely, and it tarnished. I tried soap and water but when I first wore it I could smell the scent of tarnish grime. I turned to Amazon and found that this little gem is quite affordable and highly rated. Most customers complain that when it arrives it is not clean or a full jar. I totally agree with them. When mine arrived, it was wrapped in some bubble wrap which was also covered in the product resulting in a tub that was almost half empty. Yes, I was disappointed with the shipping and handling but the results derived from using the product were amazing! My necklace cleaned right up, and the smell was virtually nonexistent. I used so little that what I had that I have not felt the need to repurchase. I highly recommend this little tub of magic if you are in the market for something effective and affordable.
WARNING - Whatever you do, do not soak your jewelry in lemon juice. If you do, expect that you will forever change the appearance of your jewelry.
The best way to use lemon juice is sparingly. Moisten a soft toothbrush with lemon juice and use it to apply the lemon juice to your jewelry. Brush with as much vigor as you see fit but do be careful. The end game is to clean your piece, not change its composition. (Well, at least in this case.) Once you have brushed off as much of the grime as you can, whip it off with a soft cloth dampened with water. Promptly follow this step by drying your piece with a soft dry cloth.
Following this step, I like to smell and tactically inspect my pieces to ensure that there is no lemon juice residue. If I smell lemon juice or feel the presence of it, I again use my soft dampened cloth and again quickly dry it off. I repeat these steps as often as I see fit as the last thing I am looking for is to forever change the appearance of my jewelry pieces.
I hope you found this post useful. It is by no means all-inclusive. These are measures I have used and tested and found to be most effective and cost-efficient.
Again, if you have a favorite method of cleaning your brass jewelry which I did not cover here, please share it with us as we would all love to hear.
Thank you so much for stopping by. I really appreciate your time.
PS: All of the pieces featured in this post were handmade by me. Some can be found in my shop.
PPS: This post is not sponsored. Thank you so much for stopping by. I really appreciate your time.