Why Routine Maintenance Is Beneficial to Your Gold Chains
We love our gold chains as much as the next baller, which is why we pay special attention to the way that we care for each piece in our collection. Gold chains for men are not cheap and, while the price tag may be worth it for how swaggy we look on the streets and in the club, we want to make sure that we can be rockin’ our favorite chains for years to come.
If you’re not regularly maintaining your collection of hip hop jewelry, you’ll find yourself constantly looking to buy new replacement pieces as the old ones become worn out and grimy. Use that money to expand your jewelry collection instead of replacing pieces that you already have when you follow these detailed instructions on how to care for your gold chains.
BENEFITS OF REGULAR MAINTENANCE
Even if you don’t wear your gold chains every day, it’s important to have a regular maintenance routine. In fact, if your gold chains are hanging or sitting unused for long periods of time, they may become more tarnished or worn out than the pieces you are using every day. Try cleaning each of your jewelry pieces at least one time per week or once every two weeks.
Keeps Your Chains Looking Fresh
When you regularly clean and care for your jewelry, your gold chains are going to be looking as shiny as the day you purchased them. No one wants a busted looking gold chain that has become tarnished and old.
If you keep up with cleaning your chains at least once a week, it should only take a few minutes to wipe off any grease or dirt and bring that flossy glimmer back to your gold chains. Invest in a jewelry cloth to make cleaning easy and quick. You can even do this in the evenings while you’re relaxing on the couch.
Addresses Any Problems Early
Regular maintenance to your gold chains and other hip hop jewelry will help you to more quickly identify if something is wrong with your piece. When you’re carefully examining and cleaning the same pieces of jewelry each week, you’ll be surprised how quickly you can notice even the slightly new scratch.
Staying on top of your jewelry’s condition will help in case something happens like if a link breaks or a clasp snaps. Once you’ve recognized there is an issue, you can bring it to your jeweler for a repair so it’s ready to be worn the next time you’re stepping out to the club.
Prevents Dirt and Gunk from Building Up
If you’re only cleaning your jewelry once a year, you will definitely notice a gross amount of dirt, grease, and other gunk built up in the crevices of your pieces. It’s easy for our jewelry to get dirty, especially if you wear many of your pieces on the daily. Think about it: We get sweaty during the day and we touch all kinds of objects and then touch our jewelry. Of course some of the dirt and sweat from the day is going to cling to your gold chains and eventually cause buildup.
If you wear your pieces in the shower or put them on after using products like hair gel or lotion, these products will also get on the jewelry and start to create a film over the top. But, if you’re diligent about cleaning and maintaining your pieces, you can prevent this grime from sticking to your chains and keep them looking fresh to death.
Increases the Jewelry’s Lifespan
After your jewelry has reached a certain point of dirtiness, it’s going to be impossible to remove all of the grime, meaning that you’ll never be able to get your gold chains back to their original condition. This means that, over time, your piece isn’t going to last as long as another piece that was regularly cared for. The more use your jewelry gets, the more worn out it’s going to be and, if you’re not trying to keep it in its best condition possible, it’s going to break or tarnish, and you’ll find yourself dishing out more money for the same chain.
HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR GOLD CHAINS
Depending on how often you wear your jewelry, you should be washing it at the very least once per month but more likely once every week or two. If you’re washing your jewelry once per month, you should also be wiping it down with a jewelry cloth in between.
Washing your jewelry is fairly easy. The most common way to clean gold chains is by putting them in warm, soapy water and letting them soak for a few hours. If you noticed spots with dirt that might need a little scrubbing, you can use a toothbrush to reach areas your finger may not be able to get. After a few hours, you can gently rinse the soap water off of your jewelry and dry each piece with a soft towel. Do not use paper towels, as they may scratch the delicate surface of the gold.
Clean with Soft Materials
Gold is a very pliable metal, which is why pure gold jewelry does not exist. All gold chains have real gold mixed with a metal alloy to ensure their strength and durability. The karat system was designed to inform buyers on how pure a piece of gold jewelry is. The system goes up to 24K, which is pure gold and very rare to find in jewelry, but the most common levels you’ll see in jewelry are 10K, 14K, and 16K. Each of these numbers tells the amount of gold in one piece of jewelry.
For example, 14K gold means that your gold chain is 14 parts gold, 10 parts metal alloy (the total always adds to 24—the amount representing pure gold). Because gold is so susceptible to scratches and damage, it is imperative that you use only soft materials to clean, dry, and wipe off your gold chains.
Avoid Chemical Cleaners
Because we’re so used to grabbing our household cleaners for anything that gets dirty around the house, you may be tempted to use the same cleaner to remove dirt from your jewelry. While these sprays and chemicals can greatly improve things around the house, these chemicals may react with the gold in your jewelry and damage the piece beyond repair.
Another chemical you should definitely avoid is chlorine, so be sure to remove all of your gold jewelry before hopping in the pool or hot tub. We get it. You want to look like the player you are by chillin’ in the hot tub with your dopest chain on, but chlorine can break down gold and eventually cause it to break. You won’t be looking very fly if you’re chillin’ in the hot tub and your favorite gold chain snaps off.
Store Jewelry in a Box or Case
It’s always best to have a specific, safe place to store all of your jewelry. This will keep it away from elements like dust and dirt that can settle on the surface and cause buildup. It also lessens the chance that your jewelry will become damaged or scratched accidently.
When you leave your expensive gold chains lying out on your dresser, there are many different things that could happen to damage the piece, which is why we recommend a jewelry box for storage. Gold chains tend to be expensive—another incentive for keeping them in a safe place to avoid keeping your most valuable items out in the open.
Do Not Wear Jewelry in the Shower
Although gold jewelry is able to withstand warm water and some shower products, it’s not a good idea to regularly wear your pieces in the shower because the soap and other products can start to build up and wear out your piece. For the same reason that you put lotion on after your jewelry, you should put your jewelry on after your shower to avoid that unnecessary contact with skin and hair products.
Bring Jewelry to a Professional for Repairs
If something should happen to your gold chain, do not try to fix it yourself. Even if your little cousin tells you that she makes jewelry and has all the right tools, don’t let her mess with your piece either. When you own an expensive gold chain, you don’t want to risk breaking it permanently.
It’s best to bring it into a jewelry with any broken pieces that you may have and let a professional look at it. They will be able to replace links and clasps and get it back to its original condition. If the chain is beyond repair, the jeweler will also be able to give you a sense of how much it might cost to replace.
WAYS TO WASH JEWELRY
There are several different ways that you can wash your gold jewelry. You may have seen professional jewelry wash at the store before, but we recommend shying away from these harsh chemicals unless it’s absolutely necessary. Washing your jewelry with one of these three methods on a regular basis should prevent the need to use the harsher chemical cleaners.
Use Soapy Water
Soapy water is the best way to clean your gold chains. You can use a gentle dishwashing soap that is free from any additional fragrances or added ingredients. Put a small amount of this soap into a bowl of warm water and let your jewelry sit for several hours. You can use a toothbrush with a soft head to gently scrub any areas that still have dirt. After a few hours, rinse the pieces off in warm water and use a soft towel to dry.
Vinegar Jewelry Bath
Another popular way to clean your gold chains is with a vinegar bath—though, as you can imagine, this method has more of a potent smell. This method is quicker than the soap bath, so, if you don’t have a few hours to wait for your jewelry to be cleaned, you can place your pieces into a bowl of vinegar for 10 to 15 minutes, turning the pieces every few minutes. Use a soft toothbrush or cloth to wipe away any remaining dirt and rinse with water to get rid of the smell.
Polish with Baking Soda
Finally, a second alternative to the traditional soap bath is to use baking soda. You can gently sprinkle baking soda over your jewelry, and then pour in a small amount of vinegar. You can use a soft brush again to remove excess dirt, and then rinse the mixture off with water. Do not use this technique if you have a piece with diamonds or any other precious gemstone or pearls, as the mixture will damage the stone’s finish.
OTHER WAYS TO CARE FOR YOUR JEWELRY
Get Your Pieces Appraised
When you first purchase your new gold chain, it’s a good idea to take it to a professional jewelry appraiser to get a real sense of its actual worth. The most common reason to get an appraisal is for insurance purposes if you’re planning to insure your jewelry. However, some people may be suspicious of the quality, as well, so having an appraiser inspect your jewelry can help you understand if the place you purchased from was legit.
Insure Your Jewelry
Anyone purchasing expensive jewelry should consider taking out insurance on the piece. Although it’s unlikely, there is a chance that someone will break into your house and steal your valuables. With jewelry insurance, you’ll be able to get back some of the money lost. Some insurance plans will also cover damages to your pieces. Consider what kind of insurance coverage you need for your jewelry, and then do some research into different plans.
FIND YOUR FAVORITE PIECES AT GOLD URBAN
If you’re looking for a new gold chain to keep for years to come, look no further than Gold Urban. We’ve got chains for every kind of dude, from classic yellow gold Cuban Miami link styles to iced-out emoji pendants you can rock from the streets to the club. Each of our pieces has been handcrafted from the best-quality materials to guarantee that you’ll be rockin’ our pieces for years.