Hold Up: Could This Mistake Be Ruining Your Jewelry?

Aemilia Madden
PHOTO:

Collage Vintage

Every woman has a different way of storing her jewelry. For some, it's packed away in a shoebox. For others, there's an entire drawer devoted to it. But we can all admit that there's been a time when we our prized pieces turn into a jumbled, knotted mess. Learning how to clean and care for your costume jewelry is an important lesson for those of us who rely on it to complete our outfits every day.

"I recommend storing pieces in a clear ziplock bag once you're done wearing them for the day," suggests jewelry designer Aurélie Bidermann. "It's best to avoid overexposing costume jewelry to the air and environment because it causes oxidization." Since the metals used in costume and fashion jewelry vary greatly, it's important to keep an eye out for tarnishing or signs of wear. "If you notice oxidization marks, you can clean the pieces with a silverware duster—[that's my] secret trick!" she notes.

Bidermann also notes that when it comes to jewelry, there are certain caretaking myths that could actually ruin your favorite pieces. "I do not recommend brushing your jewelry with toothpaste," she notes. "Also, don't put your jewelry in a saucepan with soap and water at 180° or in a cup of Coca-Cola." Any of these processes can end up causing more damage to your jewelry than anything else, Bidermann tells us—instead, she suggests gently brushing items with a toothbrush and soap under hot water.

Now that you have the tips for taking care of your costume jewelry, shop a few of our favorite styles!

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