Jewelry Care

The best way to have your jewelry cleaned is to visit your local jewelry store, as they know the best ways to clean with care. Plus, they can check for problems like loose gemstones, broken prongs, and necessary adjustments to clasps, etc. We recommend a professional jewelry clean/check every 6 months for jewelry that is worn everyday.  

 Fine Jewelry Care Instructions 

All Fine Jewelry should be considered delicate and should be cared for accordingly. To extend the life of your jewelry, please follow these care instructions:

  • Follow the "last on/first off" rule:
    • After getting ready with your daily rituals such as showering, lotion, make-up, perfume, then put your jewelry on last
    • Before changing at the end of the night, take your jewelry off first. This will preserve the life of all your pieces
  • We recommend when wearing jewelry, avoid contact with any and all chemicals including: perfume, hairspray and deodorant.  (Tip: say to yourself “jewelry is the last thing I put on, and the first thing I take off” when dressing/undressing)
  • Don’t wear jewelry to do anything that would cause excessive abrasions. Yard work, lifting weights, moving furniture, some house cleaning.  If you are in any situation where you will be ‘banging around’ things, you could scratch or damage your jewelry, particularly rings and bracelets.  If you know you will be doing wash all day, dishes, cleaning, it is best to take them off.
  • Avoid contact with any and all chemicals. This includes chlorine and salt water (hot tubs, pools, ocean, cleaning solutions – especially those containing bleach). These things can break down precious metals over time making them brittle and can also cause reactions with sterling silver (see Sterling Silver Care Instructions page for more on this).
  • For necklaces, clasp the necklace after removing it to assure the chain does not tangle or knot. 
    • To avoid tangling and/or scratching, ideal storage: stored flat in trays or boxes with fabric or velvet liners, in a baggie with the tail out, or hung on a jewelry stand or the corner of your favorite picture frame.
  • You can expect to see fine scratches on your rings and bracelets after the first time wearing them; precious metals are soft. No need to panic, this is normal ‘wear and tear’.
Susan Bella Jewelry also offers complimentary jewelry cleaning & checking services! We recommend having your fine jewelry checked every 6 months.
In most cases, cleaning your fine jewelry is simple. However, some gemstones are more delicate than others and can’t risk exposure to chemicals.
The below instructions are for gold or platinum jewelry with diamonds:
  • If you get into something greasy (usually food), you can soak your items in a dish with Dawn liquid dish soap to help lift away the debris. You can swish them around to help loosen dirt, then rinse with warm tap water. Our foaming jewelry cleaner is also to great to keep on hand!
  • If you have stubborn ‘gook’ and you are unable to bring them to us to clean, you can use diluted Windex or diluted citrus Mr. Clean (dilute by half with warm water and soak for a MAXIMUM of 5 to 10 minutes). Then, with a clean, small, very SOFT, (broken-in, used are best) toothbrush to GENTLY clean. ALWAYS brush in an upward motion toward the center of a ring with just the tips of the bristles touching the piece, or in one direction (left to right for example), if cleaning a bracelet. NEVER brush back and forth. NEVER brush pave (small prong set) jewelry. Rinse with warm tap water.
  • NEVER ‘scrub’ any piece of jewelry and NEVER EVER use toothpaste except in your mouth!
  • Yellow and rose gold surfaces can be touched up with a polish cloth. Because white gold is rhodium plated, you really shouldn’t use a polish cloth on it, as friction wears off plating.

Pearl Jewelry Care Instructions

Pearls love to be worn! We recommend you care for them in the following ways:

  • Avoid contact with perfume, make-up and creams (remember, last on/first off!).
  • Do not expose to excessive heat as this can dry out the pearls.
  • Wipe with a clean, soft cloth only (eyeglass cloths are the best!).
  • Do not immerse strung pearls in water as they will discolor, damage and weaken the silk and could also hurt the luster of the pearls. The natural oils and moisture in your skin help maintain their luster.
  • Restring when knotting becomes loose/frayed or when the string begins to discolor or stretch. This can be 2x a year or every 2 years depending on frequency of wear and storage.
  • Always place them in a soft pouch or laid flat on fabric and away from other items of jewelry to prevent scratching or stretching. Never hang your pearls for storage

Sterling Silver Jewelry Care Instructions


 To keep your sterling silver looking beautiful, we recommend you care for it in the following ways:

  • Always remove jewelry before bathing or swimming (oceans, pools, and hot tubs).  All contain chemicals (chlorine & salt) that will react to silver and turn the metal black & splotchy. Cleaning chemicals, especially bleach, will have the same effect.
  • Wipe and/or polish after wearing to remove oils & perspiration, which can speed up oxidation and tarnishing.
    • Use a plain, soft cloth (eyeglass cloth or shirt remnant works!) or a polish cloth to keep jewelry looking like new! Polish cloths can be purchased here. They are also great for Yellow and Rose Gold!
      • Note: only use silver polish cloths on unplated jewelry.
  • To bring back the sparkle to faceted gemstones, use warm soapy water (we love Dawn!) and a soft, broken-in (used are best!), clean toothbrush. Brush gently in an inward/upward motion, and rinse with warm, tap water. Allow to dry completely before storing.
    • Note: not recommended for small, prong-set stones as they can come loose if brushed too hard.
  • Clean textured, unplated finishes with a polish cloth first. Then use warm soapy water and a soft, clean toothbrush to gently brush away debris. Rinse in warm, tap water.  
  • When wearing silver jewelry, avoid contact with perfume, hairspray and all toiletries in general. (Tip: say to yourself, "jewelry is the last thing I put on and the first thing I take off" when dressing/undressing).
  • Store silver jewelry in a cool, dry place and in a sealed ziplock bag with a silica pack or anti-tarnish strip.
  • Limit layering pieces that are planted and/or textured. The finish on jewelry that is plated with rhodium, yellow or rose gold will wear off faster with friction, therefore stripping the detail of your special piece.
    • Plated jewelry, such as gold and rhodium, continues looking beautiful when you: keep away from toiletries and chemicals, clean gently with warm, soapy water (we love Dawn!) and wipe with plain, soft cloth (eyeglass or shirt remnant).

Diamond Jewelry Care Instructions

The best way to have your diamond and fine jewelry cleaned is by visiting a jewelry store (shop local!) as they know the best ways to clean delicately and with care. Plus, they can check for problems, loose stones, broken prongs, etc. 

We recommend cleaning and checking your fine jewelry every 6 months, which we provide to all of our customers as a complimentary service. 

However, in a jewelry cleaning emergency like an event or you forgot to take off your ring before you started baking, follow these instructions:

  • Soak in mild, warm, soapy dish detergent
  • Gently (think brushing a baby's teeth for the first time) use an old toothbrush to brush inwards (never brush back and forth!)

Note: It is never a good idea to brush pavé stones unless you are a professional.