Platinum jewelry remains highly valued and popular in the jewelry world because of its durability and innate beauty. If you have many pieces of platinum jewelry at home, it would be great to clean them frequently as they do pick up grime from daily use.
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How to Clean Platinum Jewelry at Home?
There are two methods of cleaning platinum jewelry. We will also share with you some platinum care tips afterward.
Using a Platinum Cleaning Solution
This is the fastest way to clean all kinds of platinum jewelry safely. There is a wide variety of jewelry cleaning solutions in the market, and admittedly, it can be confusing. We recommend buying one that is meant to clean gold or platinum.
Specialized cleaning solutions have small quantities of microscopic polymers that help buff the surface of the platinum. These polymers reduce the need for physical buffing and scrubbing that can damage the metal surface. If you aren’t sure, ask your local jewelry store what they can recommend for cleaning your platinum jewelry.
If there isn’t much tarnishing, you can also clean your platinum jewelry with an old toothbrush, warm water, and gentle dish soap. Use only a small quantity of dish soap and always brush along the grain of the metal. When there is heavy grime, you can use a platinum/gold cleaning solution, instead.
Apply the cleaning solution directly on the jewelry and brush gently with a soft toothbrush. Focus on brush across the grain (this can be seen when you look at the metal closely) and not against it. Brushing against the grain may cause unsightly scratches or hatch patterns across the metal surface. Rinse your jewelry with some warm, running water and wipe dry.
Keep in mind when cleaning any jewelry: avoid cleaning any gemstones with a cleaning solution. Some gemstones are porous or semi-porous, and they might take damage from being exposed even to small amounts of moisture. This is why recommend applying the commercial cleaning solution directly to the metal, so you will have control over where the solution is.
The No-Scrub Cleaning Method
Get a deep enough baking tray and line it with some tin foil. The tinfoil should have the shiny side exposed, with the duller side under, in contact with the baking tray. For this method, you will need one US cup of boiling water (feel free to pour from the electric kettle/stovetop kettle), a tablespoon of baking soda, and a tablespoon of salt. Combine all of the ingredients until you have a uniform consistency in the baking tray.
Next, place all of your platinum jewelry flats in the baking tray. Ensure that they are submerged, so all of the sides of the platinum jewelry will be cleaned thoroughly by the solution. If they’re not flat in the water, use any pointy tool to get the jewelry pieces to stay flat.
When all of the jewelry is in, proceed to pour half a cup of white vinegar into the mix. The white vinegar will serve as the activator of the solution, and the solution will begin to bubble aggressively. This is normal, and you should allow the solution to do its work. Allow this no-scrub solution to work on your jewelry for the next ten to fifteen minutes.
After ten minutes to a quarter of an hour, lift your platinum jewelry from the solution and rinse with warm water. Ensure that you remove all of the cleaning solutions from the surface of the metal before setting everything down to dry. Feel free to wipe down the platinum jewelry and then air-dry everything before putting them back in the jewelry organizer.
2 Ways to Polish Platinum Jewelry
One of the key characteristics of platinum jewelry is that it is a ‘liquid surface’ that does not behave like regular metals. When you scratch platinum, the metal moves to side at a molecular level, unlike other metals where grooves form on the surface.
Buffing with Microfiber Cloth
Jeweler recommends regular cleaning and buffing with a clean Microfiber cloth to keep your platinum looking new. Platinum doesn’t tarnish like other metals as well. Instead of developing multicolored marks of tarnishing, the metal turns darker over time.
This darkening is often viewed as an attractive development that adds to the value of platinum. However, if you feel that you want your platinum jewelry to look as they did when you first bought them, then you must clean them frequently to avoid any build-up of grime that may contribute to the darkening of the metal.
You can also bring your platinum jewelry to jeweler for buffing. They will have specialized tools to buff and bring out the shine of your platinum again. The luster of platinum jewelry will eventually change depending on the wearing habits of the owner.
Rhodium Plating on Platinum
Another option for platinum jewelry is rhodium plating. Rhodium is a metal that looks very similar to platinum. It can be used for electroplating platinum. What makes rhodium ideal is that it has a white color that is matched by few other metals. However, because the bonding method is just electroplating, you should know that the metallic plating will also change or be reduced over time. However, it does look beautiful while it’s still viable. You will end up with platinum jewelry that will have such high reflectiveness that you can use the metal surface like a mirror.
Rhodium plating usually lasts for about six months before it begins to wear off.
Basic Care Tips for Platinum Jewelry
- Never use platinum jewelry when handling household cleaners, cleansers, and other chemicals for maintenance and cleaning.
- Remove your platinum jewelry before doing any housework. Do not lift things with them on your fingers.
- Do not toss your platinum jewelry haphazardly with other kinds of metals in your jewelry box.
- Have your jewelry inspected every two years by an experienced jeweler.