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Maintenance, Storage, and Protection


Jewelry Basics

Keep your jewelry looking as good as new with our cleaning and care advice.

How to Store and Care for Your Jewelry

Your jewelry is valuable to you for many reasons. Because of who gave it to you, from whom you inherited it, or from the memory of buying it. 

Jewelry holds monetary value, too, which can increase or decrease depending on how you care for it. Maybe you plan to trade in a piece eventually, have a stone reset, or pass something down to the next generation. It’s always important to care for your jewelry so it can retain its value and stay beautiful through the years.
Jumbling jewelry together in a box can result in scratched stones and nicked metals. Storing jewelry in containers made from the wrong materials or leaving it exposed to air can also affect its quality. Not cleaning it regularly, or cleaning it improperly, can damage it as well. Below are some tips for making sure your jewelry stays as beautiful as the day you first wore it. 

When Not to Wear 
It’s tempting to always wear your favorite jewelry, even when washing dishes, bathing, or sleeping. But this kind of wear can shorten its life or make it easy to lose. 

  • Remove your jewelry when playing sports or at the gym. Similarly, don’t wear your jewelry in the pool, spa, or sauna. 

  • Don’t wear jewelry when doing household chores. The cleaning solutions could damage it. 

  • Put your jewelry on after finishing your hair and makeup to avoid spraying or getting product on it. 

  • Don’t sleep in your jewelry. Small metal studs can be an exception to this, but you may lose the earring backs while sleeping. 

Store Safely 

  • When you take your jewelry off, store it the right way to extend its life and beauty. A good-quality jewelry box will make your jewelry safer and more organized. 

  • Choose a jewelry box large enough to hold all of your pieces. You don’t want your jewelry touching. 

  • Craft stores have tiny zip-lock bags that are great for pairs of earrings or necklaces. They keep earrings together and necklaces tangle-free. If a piece is prone to tarnishing, you can even add anti-tarnish paper to one of these bags. 

  • Make sure the box is lined with soft fabric. Many plastics and wood can contain acid, which will tarnish many metals. 

  • When travelling, consider a fabric travel roll or these DIY storage methods. If you’re flying, keep jewelry in your carry-on instead of checked luggage. 

  • Consider a jewelry safe if you keep a lot of valuable pieces at home. 

Keep it Clean  
The best way to make sure your jewelry stays beautiful is to keep it clean. KAY offers free jewelry cleaning and can advise on safe cleaners for specific pieces and materials. But if you’re cleaning your jewelry at home, be sure to use a polishing cloth that is specifically for jewelry. Visit our gemstone cleaning and care article for more information!

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