Even doing your best to keep your jewellery clean, dirt and grime will accumulate over time, dull its shine and hurt its overall value. Whether it’s your engagement ring or other precious jewellery, we recommend that customers seek a professional cleaning at least once a year, and you may want to look at a cleaning every few months if you wear it often. This leads to the question, ‘How Do Jewellers Clean Jewellery’?

Cleaning the Jewellery Starts with an Ultrasonic Cleaner

First, the jeweller soaks the jewellery in an ultrasonic cleaner, which uses ultrasound waves and chemicals (ammonium hydroxide, sodium metasilicate, surfactants, etc.) to create bubbles that will cling to dirt, oil and grime. The high-frequency waves dislodge the contaminants from your ring even in hard-to-clean places. DIY cleanings would miss those spots because of the lack of specialised tools, and in some cases, a DIY cleaning can even damage your jewellery

Polishing the Jewellery

After the jeweller soaks the jewellery in an ultrasonic cleaner, they polish the jewellery. Jewellers may polish your jewellery with a variety of instruments including various machines and handheld tools to remove scratches and abrasions. Ultimately, a successful cleaning restores the jewellery to its original brilliance. 

Most often, they use a wheel to shape and contour the surface. After they complete the first polishing, they follow it up with a light polish for a brilliant shine. Every jeweller has special techniques to unlock the magical beauty of each piece. 

The jeweller usually finishes polishing the piece with a high-speed wheel that they charged with less invasive compounds to bring out the best shine. This is at the point where the jeweller has now reached the desired polish to move on to the next step. 

Finishes on the Jewellery

Once the jeweller has polished the jewellery to the desired shine, they will apply various textures and finishes to the surface to add character. What finish they use will vary since jewellers have a variety of finishes that include:

  • Polished
  • Satin
  • Brushed
  • Bead blasted
  • Sandblasted 
  • Wire brushed
  • Stone 
  • Hammered
  • Florentine

You encounter the polished finish most often because customers tend to love that one the most. This is due to the shiny appearance given to the metal, and many see this choice as a classic. Florentine, on the other side of the spectrum, is considered the most elegant choice because of the criss-cross patterns that the jeweller achieves by hand. Most customers choose this one when they want to put a spark of romance into the piece. 

Steam Cleaning

After the jeweller finishes the previous steps, they will wash it under a strong blast of steam. Steam cleaning uses no harsh chemicals or solutions that might damage your jewellery. You can steam clean most jewellery, but never let a jeweller steam clean opals, semi-precious stones or pearls. You can safely steam clean diamonds, sapphires and rubies without a problem. The steam blasts away the remaining dirt, oil or grime to leave the piece sparkling like new. 

Final Thoughts

Provided you bought the jewellery from that shop, most will offer to clean your jewellery for free as a complimentary service. If you didn’t buy it from that shop, they will usually charge anywhere from £16 to £41, depending on the jeweller. It takes about 20 to 45 minutes to clean. Think of professional cleaning as an investment. 

Who you choose to clean your jewellery matters because some can do it better than others. Martin’s of Glasgow has been in operation since 1987, and has a reputation that is second to none. Get in touch via our contact page or call us on 0141 946 6333.