One of the most frequently asked questions is how to clean their Beachball bracelets. These are the items that many people leave on for a long time. So naturally, they get dirty and need to be cleaned.
Sterling silver and 14k gold are considered to be precious metals, but that doesn’t mean that they stay exactly the same no matter the use. And while 14k yellow gold doesn’t change its color much, 925 sterling silver tends to turn a bit darker with time. However, silver is really easy to clean. In this article, we’re going to share some silver and gold cleaning tips that will help you keep your Cape Cod-made Beachball bracelets beautiful for years to come.
Silver tarnish types
Some of the darkening can happen due to the normal wear. Typically, it can be removed with minimal effort (the detailed instructions are posted below). However, other types of tarnish have a more permanent nature. For example, if your Beachball bracelet or any silver jewelry has been in prolonged contact with chlorine in a swimming pool or a hot tub, it may be damaged on a chemical level. Cleaning supplies such as bleach can also create a similar permanent effect. And while it’s possible to remove the tarnish, the texture of the bracelet will remain somewhat scratched and damaged. This is why we recommend taking off any jewelry before using a chlorine-based pool or a hot tub.
Beachball Bracelet Cleaning Instructions
Use a polishing cloth over your bracelet to shine it up. The polishing cloth that is included with your purchase is meant specifically for sterling silver and should restore the shine of any sterling silver jewelry, including the Cape Cod-made Beachball bracelets.
If your bracelet is made of 925 sterling silver, you can use the silver liquid cleaner that can be found in most supermarkets. Make sure to follow the instructions on the box, but typically you hold the bracelet there for no longer than 10 seconds. Once the time has passed, rinse it out under the running water. The Beachball bracelet has moving parts, so make sure that none of the polishing solution is stuck inside the ball itself. After rinsing, wipe it with a dry paper towel or a cloth and let it sit to air dry any remaining moisture.
925 sterling silver + 14k gold
14k gold bracelets are not meant to be cleaned with chemical cleaners, so you can’t just submerge your piece into the solution. However, since the gold ball is the only part of the Beachball bracelet that isn’t silver, you can hold onto it in your fingers and submerge the bracelet partially, leaving the ball and your fingers out of the liquid. Follow the instructions on the box, and then rinse the bracelet out and dry it as described above.
925 sterling silver + rhodium gold overlay
But if your bracelet has any plating or overlay on it, using harsh chemical polish will remove some of that top layer that’s sitting on top of sterling silver. For best results and the least amount of damage, stick to manual cleaning with a polishing cloth while trying to avoid the plated and overlay parts of your jewelry.
What do you do if the Beachball won’t turn?
Occasionally, after an active weekend at the beach, some sand may get into the clasp of the bracelet, and the Beachball won’t turn anymore. Some people try to move it with pliers. However, that should be your last resort. Stainless steel pliers will leave a scratch mark on both silver and gold because these precious metals are much softer than stainless steel. And if you’re not extremely careful, the ball may end up getting permanently squished in. At that point, nothing can fix it and restore its original shape. So even if you managed to get the bracelet off, you wouldn’t be able to wear it again.
The same applies to cutting the bracelet. Technically, the pieces of wire could be soldered back together by a silversmith. However, the wire will lose its flexibility and will become much more fragile. Additionally, you will lose some of the wire since the broken edges will need to get cut and sanded to match exactly and be flashed once the wire is put back together. Besides, the silversmith’s fee may cost you more than the bracelet did. At this point, it’s much easier t purchase a new Beachball bracelet that is made on Cape Cod.
So what do you do if the clasp won’t turn? Try submerging the bracelet into warm soapy water for 10-30 minutes. You could take a bath with the bracelet on. Try loosening the gunk around the ball with a soft, non-abrasive wet brush. Once the grime is loosened, try squeezing in the sides of the bracelet wire. One side, the one to which the ball is attached, is supposed to have some give that allows the ball to rotate. Sometimes repositioning the Beachball’s placement on the wire can help you with the rotation.
These are our recommendations on how to clean your Cape Cod-made Beachball bracelets. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or stop by our Provincetown store during business hours, and we’ll be happy to assist you to the best of our abilities!