Welcome to Ask Shop LC, a series created for you, the shopper! Our team is answering questions that real Shop LC customers are asking, ranging from the common to the obscure. This week, we are addressing a great customer question about how to clean opal jewelry.

What’s the best way to clean opal jewelry

Terese asks, “What’s the best way to clean opal jewelry set in 925 sterling silver? Thanks!”*

This question is a little more complex than it sounds. But let’s get down to it!

Blue opal ring in sterling silver.

Miami Blue Opal ring.

How to Clean Opals

Some opals can be very porous. These are known as hydrophane opals. Welo Opal is one example. As they can absorb water, do not leave these gems immersed for long periods of time. In addition, avoid exposure to household chemicals, excessive heat, and intense light. These could potentially do lasting harm.

White opal pendant in sterling silver.

Ethiopian Welo Opal pendant.

The best way to clean these gems is by wiping them clean with a soft cloth. If they look especially dirty, you can clean them with a solution of lukewarm water and a mild dishwashing soap. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, scrub the gem gently. Rinse the stone with cool, clean water. Dry it with a lint-free cloth. Place loose stones in a lined jewelry box for storage. Or, wrap them in a soft cloth.

How to Clean Opal Jewelry

Wearing opal jewelry is a lot like caring for pearl jewelry. The age-old adage of “last on, first off” also applies. Make opal jewelry the last thing you put on, and the first thing you take off. Really, it’s a great habit to develop with all of your jewelry!

Peach opal earrings in sterling silver.

Oregon Peach Opal earrings.

When cleaning opal jewelry, you can follow all the steps above for opals. Metals like silver and gold can be cleaned the same way. However, if you want to go the extra mile, you can use a product like a specialty cleaning cloth. Just be sure to avoid using the cloth on any gems.

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*Shop LC may edit customer comments for grammar and clarity.