The Simple Cleaning Process
Both metals I use to make The Woven Dream jewels are silver and copper these are easily cleaned using this process. I use recycled copper and keep it raw (un-varnished) it's natural so it will change with the elements and oxidize over time creating a vintage effect, I love witnessing this process but its entirely up to you if you choose to clean it off or not. I also use 925 silver chains from a silver specialist to ensure best possible quality.
- 1 tube of activated charcoal toothpaste or powder
- 1 old toothbrush (the closer together and harder the bristles the better)
- 1 cloth good for drying or a piece of paper towel
- Line toothbrush with toothpaste
- Scrub in small circles ensuring to get cracks and detail
- Rinse off
- Ensure to thoroughly dry with a cloth
Cleaning Ingredients + Preparation
- 1 old saucepan (Pot 1)
- 1 saucepan (Pot 2)
- 1/4 cup bi carbonated soda / baking soda
- 1 30 x 30cm (roughly measured) square of aluminium foil folded into a smaller square to fit in the bottom of old saucepan (pot 1)
- 1 pair of tongs
- a soft cloth or paper towel
- Read through method and tips to remember noted below
- Take the old saucepan (pot 1) and boil about 3 cups of water - turn down to simmer/slow boil, leave simmering.
- Take the 2nd saucepan (pot 2) and boil about 3 cups of water - turn down to simmer/slow boil, leave simmering.
- Using the old pan (pot 1) with simmering water add 1/4 a cup of baking soda and the folded square of aluminium foil. Place in water horizontally, ensure it is submerged in the simmering water and add more water if needed and use tongs to protect your hands. Leave simmering.
- Place jewel and chain gently in the simmering foil and baking soda solution (Pot 1) and to sit on top of foil (fully submerged), leave for 20-30 seconds then remove gently with tongs, dip jewel and chain straight into saucepan (pot 2) with plain boiling water (this is to remove any sediment from Pot 1), then remove.
- Sit the piece on a cloth and wipe dry - no rubbing or scrubbing necessary.
Woo hoo - as new clean and sparkly jewels!
Tips to remember
If you are using this method on products that are not made by The Woven Dream they may contain resin over metals or they may not be pure silver or copper, if so this process may damage them.
Don't leave any jewels in the boiling solution for longer than the recommended 20-30 seconds. If they sit on the bottom of the pan and get overheated metals can become weak, however the jewels would need to sit directly on the bottom of the pan for this to happen. To ensure this doesn't happen mold the foil a little so its under water and covered by the solution but is not sitting directly on the bottom of the pan where the element or fire comes in contact with the pan.
If the baking soda and aluminium foil solution stops working after repeat cleans (this is normal) replace the solution or add more baking soda and aluminium foil.
Get to know your jewels, if they contain crystal or exposed natural materials be sure to check first if this process is safe to use on your piece. Crystals need your love and care they may change, break, crack or chip if they are not cared for, be gentle.
Some crystals or natural elements have different compounds that react to copper differently therefore speed up or slow oxidization.
Both silver and copper will oxidize over time especially after being handled frequently, displayed near salt water or food service areas from salt, cooking oils and residue in the air. Natural copper will oxidize a lot quicker than silver. If you wear your jewels or store them in anti-tarnish bags oxidization will be a slower process. For example I wore my first piece a stunning copper and quartz necklace for almost 2 years without ever taking it off and only needed to clean it twice. I also have a display in a busy cafe that is near salt water so oxidization is quite quick from salt, foods and residue here cleaning happens about once every 2 months to refresh.
This is all fascinating to me so if you own, are looking to grab some of these magical beauties or have a collection in store please keep me posted. I always love hearing thoughts, answering questions and knowing where these beauties end up, how they are going, if you love them or not, if you want further information, a refresh, clean or even want a fresh new thick round of copper or totally new transformation I'm here to help. All heart filled natural beauties are all made to last so let me know if you need anything at all <3
With Wild Love,