There are a number of things owners can do to prevent build up of dirt and prevent jewellery from becoming tarnished. Namely, store jewellery carefully in its original packaging or a jewellery box. Clean jewellery using warm water, mild soap and a soft bristle toothbrush. Use a non-abrasive silver cloth or soft lint free cloth to polish jewellery and remove tarnishing. Don't expose jewellery to harsh chemicals or perfumes as this could cause damage and discoloration. Don't wear jewellery when using household cleansers. Try to avoid wearing jewellery while applying beauty products such as hair spray, cosmetics or lotions, don't expose it to direct sunlight as this can tarnish or discolour the jewellery.
Take off your silver jewellery before you go swimming and sunbathing. Sterling silver jewellery that is worn for a long period of time often develops a lovely patina, a kind of glow combined with darkened areas. If you like the look, leave it alone. If you prefer a shiny look for your jewels, use a polish cloth to restore the jewelry to its original appearance. Bangles, earrings (particularly those manufactured from hollow tubing) and chains should be worn with care in order to avoid surface damage, and should be removed before going to bed. Check for signs of wear and tear regularly, especially on catches and joints. Stone settings can become loose over time, especially if they have been hit against a hard surface or snagged on clothing.
Ultrasonic cleaners are useful for jewellery cleaning and removing tarnish. They use ultrasound waves and chemicals combined to create bubbles that "cling" to the foreign particles such as dirt, oil, and unknown substances. The high frequency waves are sent out and pull the contaminants off of the object. the bubbles collapse after they attach to the contaminants and move to the surface of the chemical solution creating what appears to be a boiling solution.
You can use a variety of different cleaning products in an ultrasonic cleaner, from regular jewellery cleaner to diluted pine sol (for diamonds ONLY) please remember to rinse your jewellery to remove excess cleaning product, it will eliminate any soap build up left on your jewellery.
Certain types of cleaning can damage some jewellery. For example, some class rings are coated with a dark pigment, called antiquing, to darken their appearance. Some gemstones, such as white topaz, have an overlay to produce certain colours. Ultrasonic cleaning can remove this coating, if it is not a quality piece. Ultrasonic cleaning is also contraindicated for opals, pearls and amber, and any other gemstone that is porous. Gemstones that are glued in (a common practice with semiprecious stones in non-precious methods and in class rings) should not be placed into an ultrasonic cleaner. An ultrasonic cleaner can cause stones that are loose in their settings to come out. Jewellery should always be examined for overlays and loose stones prior to cleaning with an ultrasonic cleaner or a steam cleaner. .