Before I knew I was going to be a photographer,
I loved making jewelry, and I have learned so much from that time about how to fix, clean, and make jewelry. This knowledge is very helpful when it comes to making sure all the jewelry on a wedding day is sparkly clean not only for detail shots, but for my bride. If you have ever taken a detail shot of a ring that has been all gunked up, it's not fun, and it looks very dull.. well I am here to tell you, it doesn't have to be that way.
Here is what I do whether I am in a pinch or come prepared!
Here are just a few things that can gunk up your jewelry, so always take of your jewelry before you apply these things to ensure you keep it nice and squeaky clean. Hairspray, lotion, bar soap, perfume, and greasy food. Below are my three rings. I got them dirty with the above products. See how dull and gross they look up close : /
Ok, now that we have established the problem, here are some options to clean them! If you have an old toothbrush and dish soap, you can get just about anything sparkling again! For metal (gold and silver especially) you can get the tarnish off by using a clean cloth and a small bit of whitening toothpaste, I kid you not!
You may also notice that red stick in the above photo, that little baby is my Diamond Dazzle Stik. It is awesome for me to carry on a wedding day. All you have to do is pop the lid off, twist the silver end (it dispenses cleaner into the brush) then dip in water and brush your ring and rinse! To clean with soap, just drop a small dot of soap on a wet toothbrush and scrub.
Make sure whatever you are using, you scrub the underside of your ring! As you can see on the right, my gems collect dust and dirt through those little cut outs. Also, for photo purposes, I used this small cup of water, but a sink, or a bigger bowl is better for rinsing.
NOW, if you are cleaning the metal, I would do that before cleaning the gems. Like I said before, just apply a small dot of toothpaste to your clean, dry cloth and then rub the tarnished metal. Apply a decent amount of pressure and make sure to move to different spots on the cloth so you are always wiping with a clean section. After you get the desired cleanliness, rinse with warm water (and a toothbrush if there is a lot of detail on your piece.
This also polishes your metal, pretty cool, right? And much cheaper than the professional alternative.
AWESOME right?! The after photo above was not touched up or enhanced on the computer, in case you thought I might cheat ;) Hope this was helpful and that you enjoy your sparkly new jewelry! If you have any questions or thoughts, just leave me a comment below!
Here is where you can get a Dazzle Stik, if you'd like (thanks to my friend Anna Kerns for suggesting this tool to me!)