How to care for your Alpaca silver jewellery.
CLEANING your Alpaca Silver jewellery is not a difficult task and with a little time and practice you will be confident about how to handle this sometimes delicate jewellery and keep it looking its best for many years to come.
Alpaca Silver requires similar care to Sterling silver.
Alpaca Silver jewellery comes in two main types Plain unplated and Nickel plated.
The nickel plated type is finished with a hard wearing nickel coat that gives the Alpaca metal a brighter more silver like lusture that does not tarnish and dull as quickly as the unplated alpaca will.
All Alpaca Silver will over time lose its "silver lusture" depending how often it is worn, how well it has been stored and how old it is.
If possible keep each piece of alpaca silver jewellery separate from one another.
Do not throw all your necklaces and earrings into the same jewellery box/drawer as the stones can be scratched or marked plus you can end up with a bit of a tangle.
Some glassy type stones like such as Obsidian can chip on the edges very easily. Best is to keep each piece in a velvet pouch or in separate little compartments of your jewellery box.
Good Tip...........Do not spray perfume on your neck once you are wearing your necklace and earrings. ( Thanks to Amber for passing that one on to us)
WASHING: The recommended method
This takes a little bit of time to set up but you end up with a great result, also this is the prefered method for those who have a large collection of jewellery ( as we all should).
First mix several drops of dishwashing detergent with a couple of drops of fresh lemon juice with about 1 cup ( 250ml) of warm water in a bowl. Then you will need to soak your jewellery for 1-2 minutes NO LONGER. I usually find that 1 minute is all that is needed. There is no need to rinse. Lay flat on a clean tea towel to dry.
This method will work great for all types of Alpaca jewellery ( Note just be careful... if you think your item could be damaged from immersion in water dont do it! if this is the case use the method below) .
SILVER CLEANING CLOTH:
Modern technolgy is wonderful you can now purchase silver cleaning cloths. I have used many different brands and they all seem to do the job well. I also some times use the cleaning creme and have good success to remove real tough stains on old metal.
Use the cleaning cloth to polish all the alpaca silver wire, beads and tubes, BUT be careful not to rub or touch the stones too much with the cloth as the chemicals in the cloth can harm some finishes. I find it easiest to put the necklace or earrings on my left palm and using my right hand to do the cleaning. Do not rub the cloth too strongly on the small dangling bits, they may break if you use too much force. Works great on Nickel plated Alpaca jewellery and still gives good results on unplated alpaca also.
STONE CARE TIP: Have your stones lost their glossy lusture. Try this trick, rub a drop of cooking oil onto your fingers and rub your fingers against the stones, the stone will gain its beautiful shine again. Wipe and bring to a nice shine with a soft clean cloth or tissue this will also help remove any excess of oil.
Remember always clean hooks with an alcohol swab before wearing any new earrings!
I Hope you find my guide useful so if you have please vote for it..... many thanks.