You just hit the jackpot and have tons of new goodies or your precious faux gems have spent some time in the jewelry box and don’t look their best. Do not fret! Here is a guide to bring those beauties to the most sparkly state.
How do you clean Costume Vintage Jewelry? Very carefully!
This is what is done to every piece of vintage jewelry, costume or fine, that we sell:
The cleaning process depends on which type of jewelry you have. Never dip sterling, never soak rhinestones.
To clean Rhinestone Jewelry:
I use a soft nail brush bought at the dollar store and Windex. Spray the brush very lightly. It has to be almost dry. Pat onto a towel or paper towel to remove the excess liquid Gently brush the piece. Use a magnifier to make sure it’s clean and to inspect the jewelry as you work.
I prefer the Windex with Ammonia, does a great job and removes grime. Get the name brand, it will be cheaper in the long run as it is concentrated and does a better job.
Be prepared to re-glue some stones as they may fall out in the process. They were going to fall out anyway, this just speeds the process and you don’t loose them. Clean over a box lid or place a small towel on the table so if they come of they will be safe.
The glue to be used should not be the crazy-glue type. This types of glue eat the foil on the rhinestone, making it dull. The best glue is Hypo Cement. You can find it at hobby shops, craft stores and on line.
For pieces that do not have rhinestones or glued parts:
I place them in a plastic bowl, spray with Windex (blue one) swish a few times and rinse. We have hard water here so the final rinse is filtered. Shake them gently by holding the whole piece in your cupped hands or a colander to remove the excess water. Lay them on a big plastic tray (also from the dollar store) over an old towel and air dry. You could use paper towels too but we are all for green living, so an old towel or t-shirt is best.
Do not soak wash or brush faux pearls. It could ruin them. Spray a soft rag or paper towel (an old t-shirt is great and re-usable), dab not rub, make sure the fabric is not soaked but rather slightly damp.
If you are unsure about the type of thread used on a beaded necklace, it is best not to soak it. Spray a cloth with the cleaner and wipe the necklace clean instead.
This vintage jewelry has been cleaned this way. As you can see a lot of work and love goes into bringing this jewelry to you. I love jewelry but hate dirt!