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Fine Jewelry Cleaning & Maintenance

Embrace Unique: Fine Jewelry Cleaning & Maintenance in Morgantown, West Virginia Servicing & Repairing Jewelry In Our Community For Over 40 Years!

Steps to Jewelry Cleaning

   1. Bring In Your Jewelry

At Spencer & Kuehn, professional jewelry cleaning is typically a free service and can be completed while you wait. If you have several items, you can always leave them with our shop for a reasonable fee, to be thoroughly cleaned and inspected.

   2. Inspection Process

Before cleaning, your consultant will inspect your jewelry to be sure it does not have any loose stones or require additional repair. If you would like, they can inspect your items even further to notify you of potential dangers to watch out for or future repair to consider.

   3. Jewelry Cleaning

Once it has been determined it is safe to proceed, a jeweler will asses the best method of cleaning your jewelry. The polishing wheel brightens up precious metals, the ultrasonic cleaner removes dirt and grime from small crevices, and the steamer will make any stone sparkle. If you are cleaning white gold jewelry, you may also consider Rhodium Plating.

Jewelry Cleaning at Home

Jewelry Cleaning No No's

Many materials should not be cleaned at home.

Below are a few examples of jewelry that should be handled cautiously.

  1. Organic stones or materials such as pearl, ivory, bone, coral, wood, leather, cord, or string should not be exposed to harsh detergents or soaked in liquids or ultrasonically cleaned. These commonly used jewelry materials may absorb the fluids and be damaged or stained permanently.

  2. Antique or rare artist jewelry should not be tampered with at home. Polishing and jewelry cleaning can destroy the patina and integrity of some rare jewelry.

  3. Coins should never be polished and cleaned by a non-professional.

  4. Some gemstones are treated with or have natural oils that can be disturbed by detergents during jewelry cleaning. Some stones are porous and can absorb detergents or moisture. Here are a few gems to handle with extreme caution and care: Emerald, Opal, Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, and all of the organic stones and materials listed above.

  5. Chemical exposure can lead to disaster. Soaking jewelry in chlorine-based cleaners can completely dissolve a piece of jewelry, leaving behind only the stones. Likewise, constant exposure to pool chlorine can decay the precious metal in jewelry the solders used to make jewelry. A small bead of mercury from a broken thermometer will permeate gold and contaminate any other jewelry that it comes in contact with. This has been known to render entire jewelry boxes of valuable jewelry useless. As a rule, any corrosive household products containing acids, lye, or chemicals that you yourself should not be exposed to is probably not good for jewelry cleaning.

  6. Polishing plated metals with abrasive compounds can wear through the plating. The micron plating solution used on many pieces of costume jewelry is thin, and abrasive compounds can wear through to the underlying metals. Once the base metals are exposed, they may vary in color or tarnish with time.

  7. Caution should be taken when using ultrasonic cleaners. Ultrasonic cleaners use high frequency waves to release makeup grime and dirt from your jewelry.  The process involves vibration:




  • Vibration causes erosion when two items are rubbing against one another or the side of an ultrasonic tank.

  • Vibration can loosen stones, epoxy or glue.

  • Vibration can shatter fragile materials such as amber and enamel.

  • Vibration can change the color or remove surface enhancements on many of the novelty gems in the marketplace today.

  • Vibration can dislodge fills from stones that have additives.

  • Once you have determined that your jewelry can be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner, the tips below can help you with your safe cleaning:

  • Use only recommended ultrasonic jewelry cleaning solutions.

  • Be sure that your items are positioned so that they do not rub on one another or the bottom and side of the ultrasonic tank.

  • Do not leave jewelry unattended in an ultrasonic cleaner for extended periods of time.

Proper Jewelry Cleaning at Home

Now that you have an understanding of what you need to be careful with, let’s review the many things you can do to take care of your jewelry and make it look great. The easiest way to keep your jewelry looking terrific is to perform jewelry cleaning regularly. It is much easier to remove a thin layer of hairspray, lotion, or makeup than a long-term build up. The more often you clean your jewelry the easier the process.  We ALWAYS suggest John's secret recipe below:

John's Secret Recipe

  • Soft bristle toothbrush

  • 1/3c ammonia

  • 2/3c warm water

  • 1 TBSP grease fighting dish soap

Create mixture in an airtight container. Let jewelry soak in mixture either for a few minutes or overnight and then brush with toothbrush. Rinse and dry.

Call us today to book an appointment for your free cleaning!
Or perhaps you need a jewelry repair?  Click here!
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