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Every now and then, jewellery needs a good clean. Whether it's silver jewellery that has tarnished a bit, or gold jewellery that's just looking a bit dull thanks to contact with skin and dirt, a polishing cloth can bring back the sparkle and pizzazz to your favourite pieces.

Do I need to buy polish too?

It's worth carefully reading the description on any polishing cloths. Some are impregnated with polish already; others aren't. Some come with both, so that you can clean with one cloth and then polish up your jewellery with the other.

Is it suitable for all metals?

Polishing cloths are made from various fabrics and can use different active ingredients. Generally speaking, ensure that the metal you want to clean is included in the description. As silver is both common and prone to tarnishing, you might find it most economical to buy a specific silver jewellery cleaner.

Is it safe for gemstones?

Any treated cloth – one with polish already embedded in it – could damage the stones in your jewellery. A lot of gemstones are porous enough to be damaged by chemicals. Either avoid contact with any stones in your item, or use an untreated cloth that hasn't been exposed to any polish.

What fabrics are better?

Microfibre is a popular choice for polishing cloths, as the fibres are so small that they deliver a better, more sparkly buff with less effort. Realistically speaking, though, pretty much any soft fibre will work just fine.

Can I polish all types of jewellery?

Generally, yes – but if your piece of jewellery has a lot of complicated engraving, you might find it difficult to get into all the crevices with a jewellery polishing cloth – an ultrasonic jewellery cleaner unit might be a better and more effective choice.