Caring for your Art
You did it! You’ve purchased a piece of Zeloutis Wearable Art. Now you’ll want to maintain it so you’ll be able to enjoy it for years to come. Caring for your art is easy. First, we’ll discuss some things you’ll want to avoid while wearing your art. Next, I’ll go over storing your art. Then I’ll discuss how to easily clean your art.
Caring for your Art – Things to Avoid
You want to avoid anything that is going to speed up the tarnish process on your art piece. For more information about tarnish see my article Tarnish. Patina. Oxidation. Oh My!
Do not wear your Zeloutis Wearable Art while you:
Don’t wear your art while you apply hairspray, make-up, lotions, creams or other products
Avoid exposing your art to chemicals such as those found in swimming pools, hot tubs, salons or household cleansers, including chlorinated tap water.
Do not clean your piece with an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner, abrasive fabrics, polishes or dips.
Limit contact with wool, stainless steel, rubber and latex.
Avoid intense and/or prolonged exposure to direct sunlight or tanning beds. Some stones are heat and/or light sensitive and colors may become washed out if exposed to sunlight or extreme heat for any length of time.
Do not use dips, solvents, polishes or have your art piece cleaned ultrasonically.
Storing your Art
How you store your art when it is not being displayed is an important step in caring for your art. Proper storage of your art will mean less time cleaning it and more time wearing it! There are several different options when it comes to how you choose to store your art. Ultimately, you’ll have to choose a method that works best for you and your environment.
You will want to store your Zeloutis Wearable Art in a cool, dry place, preferably away from air if possible, as air will cause your silver to tarnish, moist air doubly so. The easiest way to store your art is to keep your art in a jewelry box wrapped in a soft cloth. This is how I currently store my pieces. I give all of my pieces a nice polish every week or two so storing them this way is sufficient.
If you would rather not have to polish your art that often you can purchase anti-tarnish baggies and pouches or anti-tarnish strips to put in your jewelry box. Some regular baggies can release chemicals that can cause your art to tarnish. You can even buy an anti-tarnish jewelry box. I’ve never used any of these things so I am unable to pass along any first hand experience. That’s a great idea for a future article though! Watch for that.
Cleaning your Art
You have 2 options for cleaning your Zeloutis Wearable Art. Both options are easy and you should have most the items you need already on hand.
The first way to clean your piece is with warm bottled water and a drop of Dawn dish soap. Warm your bottled water however you’d like and put it in 2 separate bowls, or any small containers you have handy. In one bowl, add 1 drop of Dawn and mix with your finger. The other bowl will be your rinse water. Dip your piece into the soapy water and gently swish it around. Take it out and put it in the rinse water and swish it around. Remove it and, with your soft cloth, gently blot dry. Leave out to air dry completely. Polish with your polishing cloth and store as normal. This method of cleaning is good for after wearing your art piece and for pieces that are oxidized.
The second way is electro-chemically and works really good. Before we go on I have one final warning:
**WARNING** DO NOT USE THIS ON OXIDIZED PIECES. IT WILL STRIP THE OXIDATION.
For this you’re going to need 2 shallow glass bowls, aluminum foil, baking soda and warm bottled water.
Line one of your bowls with the foil. First, heat your bottled water however you’d like and split into 2 bowls. Next, in the bowl with the foil mix 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of baking soda until it’s dissolved. Finally, drop your piece in the dip and let sit for about 5 minutes. Remove and immediately immerse into the clean water and swish around. Dry with a soft cloth, polish and store as usual.
If you get in the habit of caring for your art after you’ve been displaying it, along with proper storage, you can reduce the time you spend cleaning.