Cleaning and Caring for Charm Bracelets

charm braceletA charm bracelet is a very unique piece of jewelry, because each wearer can customize the piece as she sees fit. It’s possible to tell a lot about a woman based solely upon the charms found on her bracelet so it’s important to keep them clean. Cleaning a charm bracelet is more difficult than cleaning other types of jewelry, because the bracelets contain so many different charms composed from a number of different materials.

Different Cleaners for Different Materials

There are charmed bracelets composed from gold and diamonds and these are the most expensive variety. However, there are also charmed bracelets composed of copper and even stainless steel. Some women can even make the charm bracelets at home. Obviously, a stainless steel bracelet is easier to clan, because harsh chemicals hardly bear a negative effect upon the bracelet. However, it’s important to always remove the charms prior to cleaning the bracelet. One charm may be made from resilient stainless steel while another is composed from more delicate gold. Bleach, ammonia and even sink cleanser can be used to clean stainless steel, but other materials require a more delicate touch.

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Cleaning Gold and Brass

A gold bracelet has to be cleaned with something delicate to prevent damaging the metal’s color. There are expensive solutions that can do this, but it’s more cost effective to simply use household dish detergent. You should make a solution with a few cups of water and a few drops of detergent. It’s important to soak the gold for at least fifteen minutes, before gently brushing it with a spare tooth brush.

A lot of less expensive charm bracelets are made of brass and it can also be cleaned with dish washing detergent. The concentration of detergent should be higher, and there’s no need to soak the brass. Toothpaste is a great way to polish brass, but it may damage the piece if it’s only brass plated. Brass isn’t a ferrous metal so it won’t attract a magnet. Anything that attracts a magnet is brass plated and polishing it with toothpaste can wear away the thin coating.

Cleaning Silver

Charm braceletSilver is another common material from which charm bracelets are composed. This is a rather easy material to clean even when it’s heavily tarnished. Any aluminum bowl or cooking tray can be used make a solution of water and baking soda. Soak the silver bracelet in one teaspoon of baking soda for every cup of water for ten minutes. There’s really no need to scrub the silver, but it needs to dry for about five minutes. It’s alright to gently wipe the silver with a soft cloth, but it isn’t necessary.

Once the bracelet is clean, the same steps can be used to clan the charms. It really depends what materials were used to make each charm. Some may be fade from silver and others from gold or brass. Clean each charm with a method that’s safe for its particular type of material. Never attempt to wash an entire charm bracelet without removing the charms first. Stones like diamonds and rubies aren’t really susceptible to damage from harsh cleaners but costume jewelry stones may fade if exposed to certain chemicals.

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