Modern Silver Ring Adorned with Sparkling Sapphire Gemstone

How To Use (and Choose) The Perfect Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine

No matter how meticulously you care for your beloved diamond earrings, it's inevitable that they'll accumulate dirt over time. The once-dazzling sparkle may fade, and you might notice tiny, unsightly particles nestled in even the tiniest crevices of your pave setting (not a pleasant sight).

This is your cue to bring out the trusty ultrasonic machine.

While an ultrasonic machine excels at banishing dirt from the smallest intricacies of your jewellery, it's crucial to understand that it won't address the tarnish or oxidation your precious pieces may have. Keep this in mind.

I've personally found ultrasonic machines to be incredibly convenient. If you have a substantial jewellery collection (or even other items like glasses, watches, coins, makeup brushes, or various plastic or metallic parts that can be submerged in water), it's a budget-friendly gadget worth having.

Here's how to use one: fill the machine's tank with water and a specific detergent (read on for details), ensure your pieces are fully submerged in water, and start the cycle. In just a few minutes, using high-frequency vibrations, the machine generates bubbles that dislodge dirt from every nook and cranny of your jewellery (especially handy for pave jewellery). Once you're satisfied with the result (it may take more than one cycle), let the pieces rest in the tank for about 10 minutes to allow any remaining dirt to settle. Then, carefully remove your items, rinse them with water, and pat them dry.

I must mention that it emits a somewhat amusing, albeit slightly annoying noise. Don't fret, though; the cycles are mercifully short.

Now, when shopping for an ultrasonic cleaner, consider the water tank's volume (500-600 ml should suffice for domestic use), the machine's temperature range (aim for 30-80 degrees Celsius), ultrasonic frequency (ideally between 37 and 40kHz), and ultrasonic power (around 50 watts).

As for the detergent, you can opt for a specialized ultrasonic cleaner solution, or you can make your own by adding a drop of ammonia and a dab of mild detergent (this works wonders, especially for jewellery).

A word of caution: If your jewellery features stones set with glue (very common in costume jewellery), be aware that the ultrasonic machine may dissolve the glue, causing stones to come loose!

Now, is it safe for all types of stones or pearls? Not quite. The ultrasonic machine is a safe bet for "hard" stones like diamonds, cubic zirconia, garnets, and sapphires. However, exercise caution with "soft" stones like lapis lazuli, pearls, mother of pearl, amber, and opal.

Hope this helps!

Alice x