Non-precious metals also known as base metals are widely used and available in the jewelry market. This includes the use of stainless steel, copper, brass and bronze. These materials tend to oxidize, tarnish or corrode easily when they are exposed to air, moisture or any reacting agent. Its greatest advantage compare to over precious metals: they are often significantly harder, making it more durable and sturdy. Since, they are less rare, they are also more affordable, so they can be alloyed with precious metals such as gold to make the resulting blend more durable and affordable.
Stainless steel jewelry is made of a steel alloy that contains chromium. The good thing about stainless steel is that it does not corrode or rust. Although it is very durable, this type of steel can get scratched and stained.
Pour some warm water in a small bowl, and add some mild dishwashing soap. Dip a soft, lint-free cloth in the soapy water, and then gently wipe the stainless steel jewelry with the damp cloth until the piece is clean. When cleaning it, rub the item along its polish lines. Wipe the remaining soap off your jewelry using a moist cloth dipped in clean water. Dry the jewelry well with a clean towel, and then leave your pieces to air dry.
After your stainless steel jewelry is clean, you can use a jewelry polish or a polishing cloth to shine it.
Some people use toothpaste to clean the especially dirty spots of their stainless steel pieces. Keep in mind, however, that toothpaste is abrasive. If you decide to use it for cleaning, make sure it is a non-whitening brand that does not contain silica, and use a soft cloth to rub the paste onto your pieces. Don't forget to rinse the jewelry thoroughly after you are done.
Wear and store your pieces in a way that minimizes any contact with other items that can damage your stainless steel jewelry. If your jewelry does get scratched, you can always have it professionally polished by a jeweler.
Anything plated will eventually turn with time and wear. Do not sleep with plated jewelry - night sweat and the extra rubbing against the skin will cause the plating to wear off faster. Some people might be allergic to the base metal and having an item on 24 hours might cause an unwanted reaction. Remove at night to avoid skin reactions and extend the life cycle of your items.
Do not put away gold plating and silver plating together. The different metals will cause each other to tarnish, fade and/or turn colors. Have different storage places for different colors of metals. Best to store in a dry area. Restroom is not an ideal place as the humidity thins the plating.
The plating is much more delicate than pure metals. Clean often to keep shine and remove sweat and dirt that will cause items to fade. Use a damp cloth (not dripping wet) - a hand towel works well. Wipe down gently; use a clean towel to dry.
White Gold Plated
Contact with household chemicals, perspiration, rubber, chlorinated water, or any substances that contain sulfur (e.g. mayonnaise, eggs, mustard, onions, latex, wool), will cause corrosion and tarnish - so it's a good idea to remove silver jewelry when doing household chores. Direct sunlight also causes silver to tarnish, so be sure to take off your silver jewelry before you go swimming and sunbathing.
Silver is soft and can become scratched easily. You can use a special silver cloth to polish your items, but a lint-free flannel, microfiber, or other soft nonabrasive cloth will do as well. Do not use paper towels or tissues to polish your jewelry as they contain fibers that can scratch the silver.