Our spring collection focuses on copper and hammered metal jewellery. We all want our things to last a long time, and whether you already own copper jewellery or are considering buying your first piece, you want to keep it in mint condition for as long as possible.
Copper is incredibly simple to care for, using natural ingredients you have around your house! I'm here to take you through the care and cleaning of your new jewellery, step by step.
Here's a few key points to keep your jewellery in good condition. Copper does tarnish and can develop a patina (that green build-up you see on old statues, jewellery and artefacts), but with a couple simple habits, maintaining your jewellery can be a breeze.
Store your jewellery in a dry space – make sure it's dry before you put it away, and if you're worried about humidity, keep it in a sealed plastic bag.
Copper doesn't like water, or chlorine. Don't take it swimming, into the shower or leave it on while washing dishes.
Investing in a good jewellery cleaning cloth allows you to quickly and safely polish your jewellery to that perfect shine!
Lacquered Copper Jewellery
If your jewellery is lacquered, it is much more resistant to tarnishing – rather it will just become duller over time. This can be easily remedied with a polishing cloth. If you find your lacquered jewellery is getting dirty, wash it gently with a bit of dish soap and warm water, rub dry and store as usual.
Don't use the following cleaning methods on lacquered jewellery.
Cleaning Non-Lacquered Copper Jewellery
Even with perfect storage and good jewellery care habits, there's going to come a day when you want to clean and polish your jewellery to the same shine it had when you first bought it. I know that you care about what goes onto your skin, and thus what is used to clean your jewellery. Here are three ways to naturally clean your copper jewellery with items you can easily find in your kitchen.
The Lemon Method
What You Need:
Glass or Ceramic Bowl (metal is not recommended)
How You Do It:
This method actually can work in two ways.
For a quick clean, simply rub a slice of lemon (or cloth dipped in lemon juice) over the piece of jewellery. Rinse with cold water and rub dry with a cloth – just not the one with lemon juice on it!
For a deeper clean, fill a bowl with lemon juice, add a pinch of salt and let the piece soak for up to 10 minutes. You can also gently scrub the piece gently with a cloth or toothbrush. When the time is up, remove it from the liquid, rinse and wipe dry.
Alternatively, if you don't want to soak your jewellery, you can make a cleaning paste with baking soda and lemon juice. Use equal parts of each baking soda and lemon juice, rub the paste over your jewellery with your fingers, a toothbrush or a cloth. Once you're happy with how clean it is, rinse off the cleaning paste and dry.
Note that you will not want to soak copper jewellery set with gemstones, especially those that are pearl set. Wipe the jewellery clean with a cloth instead, paying special care to the gemstones.
The Vinegar Method
What You Need:
Glass or plastic bowl (once again, metal is not recommended)
How You Do It:
Much like the lemon method, simply fill a bowl with enough vinegar to submerge your jewellery. Add a bit of salt for a deeper clean, and let your jewellery soak for about 15 minutes. Rinse with water after removing the jewellery from the vinegar, and rub dry with a soft cloth.
A note on commercial copper cleaners: If you opt for a commercial cleaner, make sure before you buy it and apply it to your jewellery that it is jewellery safe! Some cleaners are stronger, meant for industrial applications, and aren't necessarily safe for delicate pieces or to be applied to anything coming into contact with your skin.
Sealing Copper Jewellery
If you want to seal your copper jewellery against oxidisation, or that green stain on your skin, there are a couple options. Clear nail polish can be applied to jewellery and it will form a protective coating while acting as a lacquer. This is the quickest and easiest, though it will likely need to be reapplied periodically. Alternatively, commercial copper sealants can be found on the market and used as a more permanent solution.
So, there you have it! Simple ways to keep your copper jewellery as good as new. With proper care, these pieces will last you a lifetime – and far beyond, if the pieces discovered from the ancient world are anything to go by!
If you're feeling a lack of copper in your jewellery box, be sure to check out our spring collection here, and my previous blog about some of the inspiration behind my three personal favourites!