Care Instructions

Cactus Jewellery

Care instructions

Although the dried cactus fiber goes through a several-step process to make it sturdy and durable, yet due to the delicate structure of the cactus fiber this jewellery is required to be treated with care. If you do so, you will be able to enjoy wearing your unique natural jewellery for long-long time.

We recommend not to wear them in the bath, shower, rain, or during swimming, sleeping, and exercise.

Also, due to the intricate woven structure, if your purchased cactus jewellery is a pair of dangle earrings, and if you have long hair, we experienced that it is better to wear them with tied up hair styles to prevent entanglement.

Please store them in a dry place. If the humidity level in your home is high, we recommend storing them in a closed jewellery box, or the packaging box we provide with each purchase.

If your cactus jewellery is made with raw brass or copper metal parts (indicated on the product tag), then please read these care guides for raw copper and brass here below.

For any kind of transportation – like when travelling for a holiday – we also recommend you use the original box of the jewellery, as it offers a safe protection for them.

To some earrings we provide a pair of rubber earring backs (put either on the earring hooks or under the black foam in its box). We recommend using these to prevent loss of earrings (in the very unlikely case of falling out due to their light weight).

We hope you will enjoy your unique cactus jewellery for a long time!

Sea glass jewellery

Care instructions

Each of our sea glass jewellery pieces are created with different type of metals. In most cases we use raw copper or brass, but we also have non-tarnish copper and brass, as well as sterling silver. Care principles depend on the type of metal, as well as the finish of the metal.

Some basic care principles of sea glass jewellery:

Although sea glass itself is obviously waterproof, but the metal parts can be prone to tarnish if exposed to humidity or chemicals.

We recommend not to wear them in the bath or shower, or during swimming, sleeping, and exercise. Also avoid contact with perfumes or lotions and other chemicals as they can accelerate tarnishing of the metal parts.

Please handle them with care, avoiding hitting the glass to hard objects of falling to hard floor, as it can cause the glass to break.

The metal hooks are hardened to retain their shape. However, since it is a relatively thin wire, it can be bended or deformed if too much force is applied, so please avoid stretching it or bending it.

Please store them in a dry place. If the humidity level in your home is high, we recommend storing them in a closed jewellery box, or the packaging box or bag we provide with each purchase.

We leave all the sea glass pieces unaltered, the way how the waves created them. It means that while they were in the water, they looked shiny, but after they are dried out, the surface becomes matte, and look “frosted”. If you wish to give it a shinier look, you can apply a tiny drop of baby oil or coconut oil to the glass (not to the metal) and rub it on the surface of the sea glass. This way it will look as if it is just out of the sea.

Cleaning of sea glass:

Sea glass can be cleaned with a dry soft cloth, or a slightly damp soft cloth. If needed, you can use a mild soap (like dishwashing liquid) and lukewarm water, and a toothbrush or other similar soft bristle brush to clean the glass parts. Then rinse it in clean water and pat dry with a soft cloth or paper towel. Do not worry if the metal parts get wet or soapy during the cleaning, just make sure to rinse the whole piece well, and then pat dry as thoroughly as you can. Put it back in the storage only when it is 100% dry.

Sea glass jewelry cannot be cleaned in ultrasonic jewelry cleaners.

Cleaning of metal parts:

With your purchased jewellery you can find a product card in the packaging, on which we specified the materials used in that product and if it has any special finishes.

If the metal parts are waxed to protect the patina (we indicate it on the product card) than you can gently wipe the patinated parts with a dry soft cloth. To give back the shine of the wax you can polish the surface with a dry soft cloth just like you would do when polishing leather shoes.
If the metal has a varnish finish (please see product card), then you can wipe the surface with a dry or a slightly damp soft cloth, then no other treatment is required.

If the metal has a patina on it but no protective finishes (please see product card), then it’s better not to clean the surface of it at all, unless absolutely needed. In this case you can gently wipe any dirt off the surface with a soft dry cloth or a very soft brush.

If the metal is raw not (please see product card), then you can clean the metal parts with lukewarm soapy water and a toothbrush, then pat dry with a soft cloth. Raw copper, brass and silver naturally changes its colour over time when exposed to humidity in the air. If you want to give back the original shine of the metal, there are different ways you can do that. For these tips and other care guides for copper and brass jewellery, please read our full care guide for copper and brass below.

Copper or Brass jewellery

HOW TO CARE FOR HANDMADE COPPER OR BRASS JEWELLERY

Copper is the oldest natural metal used by humankind. It was the first metal that was used by humans to make utensils, tools – and jewellery. Copper and brass jewellery has a unique charm, maybe that is why copper and brass has still been a popular metal in jewellery making.

Copper and brass are very versatile and durable metals, so with good care you can enjoy your metalsmith jewellery for long years.

BASIC CARE TIPS

You can follow these basic care tips with any kind of copper/brass jewellery (either if it is raw copper/brass or have a patina on it).

    • Keep your copper/brass jewellery in a dry closed box/container or a closable plastic bag to prevent oxidation, or at least to delay it. You can store it in the jewellery box we provided with your purchased jewellery. After each wear, make sure your copper jewellery is clean and dry (free of any kind of moisture or cosmetics) before putting it back to its storage box.
    • To prevent tarnishing, do not wear your copper/brass jewellery while: swimming, doing exercise or hard work that causes excess sweating, in bed, sunbathing, gardening, having a bath or a shower.
    • Do not expose your copper/brass jewellery to chemicals – including detergents, any kinds of solvents, and cosmetics (e.g., lotions and perfumes).
    • Do not expose your copper jewellery to excess heat, it can cause damage to the copper’s structure. Copper loses its hardness when exposed to high temperature, (e.g., fire flames from a gas torch or gas cooker). Such extreme heat also can cause discolorations on the copper.
    • If you feel it’s needed to give it a cleaning, clean it with a damp microfibre cloth, or a cotton cloth (e.g., T-shirt fabric) and warm soapy water, then rinse it with clean water, and pat dry it with a dry cloth or paper towel thoroughly.
    • Do not use any abrasive materials on your copper/brass jewellery, that could cause scratches on the copper surface.

ABOUT THE COLOUR VARIATIONS OF COPPER AND BRASS

In its natural form copper has a warm reddish colour, and brass has a shiny gold-like warm yellow colour. When we use copper and brass in our jewellery making, sometimes we decide to keep their original colours, other times we choose to create a patina on the surface that changes their original colour. The created patina can have different colours and looks, from an iridescent effect through blues and greens, to a dark almost black patina.

Some of the created patinas need a protective layer like varnish or wax, to extend the lifetime of patina. Normally, if the surface is not protected, the patina keeps changing its colour and structure in time. If your jewellery has a patina with a protective layer (you can find this info on the product page or on the written product tag attached to the jewellery), then you still can follow the above-mentioned basic care tips.

THE NATURAL AGING PROCESS OF COPPER AND BRASS

Over time, raw copper and brass naturally changes colour, to a deeper, darker shade. It also can develop a greenish patina, but that usually takes years, and depends on the environment. If you want to keep your copper/brass jewellery bright and shiny, clean it after wearing, as mentioned above, and store it as advised above.

If you experience some darkening in time, here are some easy ways to polish your copper/brass with the polishing cloth we provided or with some readily available simple household products:

  • Polishing clothes: we provided a small jewellery polishing cloth to your purchased jewellery. These are the easiest and most convenient way to use to clean raw copper and brass, to remove any tarnish from their surface and make it shiny again. You can use this cloth a lot of times, until it fully loses its polishing capacity. PLEASE DO NOT WASH THESE CLOTHES BECAUSE THEN THEY WILL LOSE THEIR POLISHING CAPACITY.
  • Lemon juice and salt: apply some lemon juice to the copper/brass surface. After a few minutes take some salt between your 2 fingers and rub the metal between your fingers with the salt and maybe some additional few drops of lemon juice and rub it until it is shiny again.
  • Ketchup: apply ketchup on the copper/brass parts, leave it soaking for 10-15 minutes, then wipe or rinse off the ketchup and clean the copper with some water or a damp cloth. If the surface still needs some more polishing, you can apply some coarse salt with a drop of lemon juice and rub the copper part between your fingers as indicated above. Then rinse it again and pat dry completely before storing.
  • Vinegar and salt: make a liquid solution from vinegar and salt, use about 50ml vinegar and half teaspoon of salt. Mix it well until salt is dissolved. Put your copper/brass jewellery in the solution and leave it soaking for a few minutes. This is a very quick and effective way of removing tarnish from copper and brass, so you can see as the metal gets shinier within seconds. If you warm up the solution a little bit (just lukewarm) that the reaction will be even quicker. After removing the piece from the solution, rinse it thoroughly with clean water, then pat dry. To make the final cleaning more effective (to make sure there is no acid remaining on the surface or crevices), you can prepare a simple baking soda and water solution: mix 100ml of water with half teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, mix well, and after picking the metal out of the vinegar-salt solution drop it into this baking soda solution just for a minute. This will perfectly neutralize any remaining acid on the metal. After a minute take it out and pat dry the whole piece. After it’s completely dry you can put it back to its box or sealable plastic bag.

PLEASE NOTE: If you apply these above-mentioned polishing methods on a copper/brass which has an artificially made patina, you need to know that this cleaning procedure will remove the patina as well and make the copper bright and shiny. If you wish to keep the patina, do not use these polishing methods, only keep it clean by the simple cleaning procedure mentioned at the beginning of this instruction.

SKIN DISCOLOURATION CAUSED BY COPPER AND BRASS

Sometimes copper and brass cause greenish stains on the skin. This is caused by the oxidation of the copper/brass when they are exposed to sweat or chemicals (like cosmetics). So, the greenish discolouration of the skin does not necessarily happen, it depends on the person’s own metabolism and actual health condition as well as on the applied cosmetics on the skin that is in contact with the jewellery.

Good to know that the green discolouration of the skin is not harmful at all for your health. On the contrary, in case of copper it can even be healthy, because through this reaction the body is able to absorb some of the copper molecules which is a naturally needed element of the human body. At the end of the day just simply wash it off with soap and water.

But if you feel this discoloration absolutely unwanted, then what you can do is not to wear raw copper or brass jewellery on the hottest days of summer, or when doing exercise, gardening, sunbathing, or other kind of activity that causes excessive sweating. You also can make sure that when wearing your copper or brass jewellery, you do not apply cosmetics or perfume on that particular area of the skin which is in contact with the copper/brass. This way the skin discoloration can be avoided or at least delayed.

We hope this detailed information and tips will help you to take a good care of your handmade copper or brass jewellery, so that you can enjoy the charm and beauty of it for a long time.