How Household Cleaners Damage Jewelry

Jul 14, 2022 | Jewelry Repair

How Cleaning Products Damage Jewelry

How Household Cleaners Damage Jewelry

One of our dear clients brought in a ring, shown above, for repair. They thought it was damaged from being sized. To their surprise, chemical corrosion was the culprit!

You may think cleaning your counters while wearing your wedding ring is no big deal, but household cleaners can cause severe damage to your jewelry!

Chlorine, bleach, and other cleaning products damage silver and gold jewelry, sometimes beyond repair. And while these chemicals don’t affect pure gold, they corrode the metals like nickel, copper, and zinc mixed in the gold, which causes cracks and breakage.

The household cleaners that cause the most damage to jewelry are bleach, detergents, solvents, and chlorine.

We all know chlorine is in swimming pools and hot tubs, but it’s also in laundry detergent and tap water. Some tap water has just as much chlorine as a pool!

White gold is particularly susceptible to this damage because of the metals used in making it. Prongs and other “stressed” areas (areas that are bent) are also more likely to be damaged.

Best Practices

  • Remove jewelry before bathing or getting in the pool or hot tub
  • Wear gloves while cleaning with harsh chemicals
  • Buy platinum! While the upfront cost may be slightly higher, platinum is impervious to cleaning products and doesn’t get damaged like gold or silver.

Worst Practices

  • Never removing jewelry
  • Telling your spouse you can’t help clean the bathroom anymore (this is the kind of damage that even we can’t repair)

Even cosmetics like makeup, hairspray, and lotion can soil, stain, or damage jewelry, so we live by the adage that jewelry should be “the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off.”

At Les Olson Jewelers, we do our best to repair any damage chemicals have caused, but the best medicine is prevention!

If your jewelry is already damaged, bring it in for repair today! We can breathe new life into jewelry you thought was ruined for good.

Call us now at 727-785-9624!

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