Ask any jeweler and they can tell you a horror story when it comes to cleaning jewelry. Here at Hendrickson’s, we recommend getting your jewelry professionally cleaned 2 times a year, AT LEAST! Jewelry is a statement that we wear daily. Just like your clothes, hair and car, it needs to be cleaned.
Here is a story from a fellow jewelry store: A sweet lady came in because the chain on her favorite necklace broke and she wanted it fixed. Looking at the hollow heart-shaped pendant, the jeweler could see dirt and grime on it. In fact, they could even see clumps of hair inside the locket. The jeweler took the necklace in a paper towel so they would not touch it, confirmed it was not a memory locket, and started to sanitize it. The full process of the cleaning and sanitation took two days. They first cleaned it for 2 hours in their ultrasonic cleaner, trying to shake and separate all the dirt from the jewelry. After seeing that none of it had moved, they allowed it to soak for about 18 hours, then used a small metal rod to gently scrape and remove the gunk and hair from the locket. They continued to clean it for another day before they could properly repair any breaks, or replace stones that had fallen out years before.
When you bring your jewelry into us to clean, we spend time inspecting it to see if there are any repairs we notice (at times some repairs are not evident until they’re completely cleaned). We then deposit diamond and sapphire stone jewelry that is gold or platinum into acid (silver and other gemstones that can’t go into the acid just go into the ultrasonic). This helps loosen dirt and grime and removes any organic material from the jewelry. Once it has spent at least 5 minutes in the acid bath, we steam off the jewelry and put it into the ultrasonic with our cleaning solution. This sanitizes the jewelry and will shake off the remaining dirt and grime. Sometimes the jewelry needs multiple rotations of ultrasonic and acid to clean it up. We clean all the jewelry thoroughly before we work on it. This keeps us safe and ensures your jewelry looks brand new.
The most overlooked pieces of jewelry are earrings and necklaces. We recommend you come in at least two times a year. The best procedure, however, is to come in every three months to have your jewelry inspected and cleaned. Here at Hendrickson’s, you can bring your jewelry in for a free cleaning and inspection any time we are open! Our staff will make sure your jewelry looks amazing, and inform you if there if any repairs are necessary.