Do you need jewelry repair services for your rusty-looking chain? If your necklace, bracelet, or anklet is tarnished, take a look at the dos and don'ts of maintenance, cleaning, and repair.
Do Understand the Problem
Why does jewelry rust or tarnish? Some metals, such as brass, copper, silver, and bronze oxidize. While this may look like rust, it's more likely the item is tarnished or corroded. Rust is iron oxide — a reddish-brown coating that forms when iron or iron alloys (such as steel) meet oxygen. Unless your chains are main from iron/steel, you aren't likely to see true rust.
Oxidization is a chemical reaction that can happen after repeated exposure to chemicals. Even though this is the process responsible for rust formation on iron, it can also tarnish and corrode other metals. If you think your chain is safe from all chemical exposure, think about how and when you wear it. Some chemical ingredients in body lotions, soaps, or even in the air can start this process.
Don't Wear Your Chain in Water
Now that you know what causes jewelry to tarnish or corrode, you can take steps to prevent it. The first step is to keep the metal away from water. Moisture can speed the process along — especially when combined with chemical/air pollution exposure. Take your chain off before showering, swimming (in a pool or natural body of water), or using a sauna.
Do Wipe Your Chain Often
Again, chemicals from body lotion or anything else that is on or near your skin can accelerate the tarnishing or corrosion process. While you don't have to go lotion or beauty product-free, you should make sure to maintain your chain. Gently wipe the metal with a soft cloth after you wear it.
If you don't use lotions, scented soaps, or other body products, you still need to wipe your chain after you wear it. Chemicals in the air, from freshly washed clothing, or other sources can also result in metal discoloration and corrosion.
Don't Deep-Clean Your Chain
While a daily or post-wear wipe-down is an easy way to keep your chain in top shape, a deep clean with chemical products may do more harm than good. Instead of a DIY deep-clean, bring your tarnished or corroded chain to a jewelry repair service provider. The expert has the experience and equipment to clean your chain correctly.
Whether you wear your chain daily or reserve it for special occasions, chemicals, moisture, and the air can cause oxidation issues. If the tarnish and rusty-looking buildup bothers you, bring your chain to a trained technician for a professional clean. Not only will this help you to maintain your prized piece's looks, but it can also extend the life of your chain.