Since most people are very careful with charm bracelets and collections of charms there is often very little needed to clean these pieces. However, as with any type of metal, the better the quality or the more pure the metal is in the charm bracelets the less cleaning will be needed in general. This is because purer metals have less reaction to chemicals the environment, but skin oils and other substances can cause a film to develop on the jewelry, cutting down on its brilliance.
Gold bracelets in any karat from 10 to 18 typically require very little in the way of cleaning. If they are slightly dull in appearance they can be easily cleaned with a soft rub with a lint free cotton cloth. Jeweler’s cloths are also perfect for this light type of cleaning and are available at most jewelry stores.
When skin oil, residue from lotions or any type of debris is on the bracelet warm, soapy water will often remove any material and allow the bracelet to gleam again. Use warm water and mild dish washing soap, allowing the bracelet to soak for about five minutes. Remove from the soapy water and rinse, then dry with a soft cloth. Never use household cleaning solutions or bleach on gold charm bracelets or charms.
Just as you clean gold bracelets, silver bracelets are just as easy to care for in most cases. Jeweler’s cloths for silver are a perfect way to gently polish the silver if it does tarnish or discolor at all. In some situations the tarnish may be more significant, calling for a bit more intensive type of cleaning.
Cleaning these heavily tarnished silver bracelets or collections of silver charms can be done at home or by a professional. Home treatments can include a jewelry cleaning liquid specifically designed for silver items. Be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the cleaner as soaking too long can cause more problems and not end up with the result you want.
Never use any type of jewelry cleaning liquid or commercial cleaners on any charms or bracelets that have gems, accent metals or those that have painted surfaces. Often these cleaners will remove both the glue as well as the paint, significantly damaging the charms or bracelets.
Since bracelets are very delicate, never use any type of aggressive cleaning methods at home. This includes scrubbing at the links or using any type of twisting motion as it can break or damage the links themselves as well as the rings holding the charms.
If your charms or bracelet are significantly stained or tarnished, the best option is to take the set to a jeweler for professional cleaning. This is also true for charm bracelets with gems or painted charms or surfaces. Keeping charm bracelets out of chemicals and away from anything that may stain the bracelets is really key in keeping them clean and beautiful all the time.