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Jewelry cleaning - profi

Each piece of jewelry which has been worn needs to be cleaned after some time. It's necessary to clean silver jewelry for one simple reason – due to the lower price of silver jewelry, people value it less and therefore it is often worn for activities for which it should be taken off – house work, activities which involve a lot of effort (construction, agriculture, working with chemicals, etc.). Silver jewelry can become dirty either from ordinary impurities or it can become tarnished, usually caused by a reaction with sulfur oxides. Sulfur oxides can be found in polluted air, some chemicals used at home (e.g. toilet cleaners) and also in some hand creams.


People usually take better care of gold or diamond jewelry, but of course it is natural that over time all jewelry needs cleaning.


Fortunately, there are many ways to restore jewels to their original beauty and luster. Here, we will deal with the professional methods of cleaning jewelry. It is likely that these are cleaning methods which you cannot do at home as the machines needed are too expensive or large, and many of the chemicals are controlled and access to them is permitted only to registered companies. Nevertheless, it is interesting to look behind the scenes of working with jewelry.



1. Cleaning in semiprofessional, strong, acid-based chemicals:


This method can be used at home, providing that the chemicals, which are only available at specialized stores, can be bought. There are many chemicals of different brands with different effects. There are also special ones according to the type of metal being cleaned (gold, silver, platinum). Be careful when cleaning pearls. It must be explicitly stated on the bottle that the chemical is suitable for cleaning pearls, otherwise it may lead to them dissolving or losing their shine. Also be careful while cleaning colored gemstones (emeralds are especially sensitive) and diamonds.


Cleaning process:


Immerse the purified jewel in the solution, after the stipulated time (usually several minutes), take it out and neutralize the chemical in pure water. Then polish the item jewelry using a soft piece of cloth.


Semi professional cleaning fluid to clean silver 


2. Cleaning with acid:


Cleaning with acids is the oldest, most reliable method of cleaning. In some cases goldsmiths heat the acid or bring it to the boil to enhance its effect. This method uses concentrated acids and only registered companies can work with them. When working with these acids, protective equipment is needed.


Cleaning process:


Immerse the purified jewel in the solution, after the stipulated time (usually several minutes), take it out and neutralize the chemical in pure water. Then polish the item jewelry using a soft piece of cloth.


Cleaning jewelry by heating in strong acid


3. Cleaning in an ultrasonic cleaning device:


In some cases (with heavily tarnished jewelry) the modern methods of cleaning may not be reliable. You may have a simpler, less-effective ultrasonic cleaner at home (glass can also be cleaned with it). Strong professional cleaners perform significantly better and have a built-in method of heating of the cleaning medium. Pure water can be used as the cleaning medium or to increase the effect, special detergents or other chemical solutions are used.


Cleaning process:


Immerse the purified jewel in the solution and turn on the cleaning device (for 15 to 30 minutes). Then take out jewelry, dry and polish it using a soft cloth.


Cleaning the jewelry in professional ultrasonic cleaner with heating 


4. Vibrating cleaning/polishing + cleaning/polishing through buffing:


The is a modern method of cleaning and polishing. The necessary machine is filled with different thicknesses of nutshells and their effect is enhanced by a special abrasive paste.


Cleaning process:


Insert the purified jewel into the nutshells, add the paste if necessary, turn on the cleaning machine (usually for 30 to 60 minutes). Then take the item out (other polishing is not necessary).


Cleaning and polishing jewelry in the tumbling machine (walnut shells are used as a media) 


5. Cleaning with magnetic rotating machine:


This modern method of cleaning is suitable for very dirty surfaces. Inside a heavy machine (approx. 80 kilos) many tiny ferromagnetic needles and a cleaning solution are placed. Once the machine is set in motion, the needles are magnetized and rotate at a high speed inside the container. As the needles move in the solution, the jewelry is cleaned. The jewelry moves slower than the super-fast needles and as a result, they constantly bump into the item of jewelry (millions of bumps per minute) and actually "beat" the dirt off. This machine is extremely efficient and expensive.


Cleaning process:


Insert the purified item of jewelry into the cleaning solution with the ferromagnetic needles and turn it on (usually for 15 to 30 minutes). Then take the jewelry out, dry and polish with a cloth.


Gross cleaning of jewelry with magnetic high-speed rotary machine


6. Cleaning/polishing in a horizontal drum cleaning machine:


This is an older, proven method of cleaning with a modern design. A very heavy machine (approx. 250 kilos) has a container (a drum) filled with stainless steel "balls" of various shapes (total weight is approx. 30 kilos). The effectiveness of the stainless steel balls is improved with a cleaning solution. The drum rotates and through contact with the stainless steel balls the dirt is removed and jewelry is polished (it is the same principle as a washing machine).


Cleaning process:


Insert the purified jewelry into the cleaning solution with the stainless steel balls, turn on the cleaning machine (usually for 8 to 12 hours). Then take the jewel out and dry (other polishing is not necessary).


Cleaning and polishing of jewelery in a horizontal drum machine


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