So, you’ve recently purchased an awesome ethical piece of jewelry from Black Buddha Jewelry. Congrats, you have a good heart and great taste!
Now you just need to know how to take care of your new flashy friend.
Prevention is key
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". Maybe you’ve heard this saying from your grandma, but it bears repeating. Preventing your jewelry from getting damaged is the easiest way to take care of it in the long run.
Last on, first off
First rule of thumb for any kind of jewelry is that it should be the last thing you put on in the morning, and the first thing you take off at night. When unworn, store your jewelry in an airtight bag or container.
Take it off before you get in
As with pretty much all kinds of jewelry (and my aunt's "fashionable" Saturday hair updo, inspired by her undying idol Nanny Fine), avoid contact with water. And fire.
Also, remember to take off your jewelry before using any household chemicals, like when scrubbing the kitchen sink or cleaning the windows (which, let’s be real, happens like once every second year, but it’s worth keeping in mind when you do eventually get around to it).
Know your materials
For more material-specific care instructions, consult the list below and follow our tried and tested tips to keep your jewelry in mint condition, so it will always look as good as you do.
Sterling silver is a soft metal that easily scratches, so treat it with love. Silver also naturally tarnishes over time, although storing it in an airtight container will slow down the process.
If your jewelry starts to look a little dull, wipe it down with a damp cloth - or buy a special silver polishing cloth online or from a jeweller. If your item is really dirty, you can use a soft toothbrush dipped in a mixture of mild detergent and warm water. Be careful not to scratch it by scrubbing too hard.
Lava stone is typically matte and porous, although it can be polished to a smooth sheen. If it's smooth and shiny, you can keep it that way by occasionally wiping it down with a soft damp cloth.
With porous lava stone jewelry, you should avoid having it come into contact with chlorine, household chemicals, the ocean and "smelly" liquids, since it will retain the scent of the liquid for several days. Some people use this ability to their advantage by dropping essential aromatherapy oils onto their lava stone beads. Bear in mind that stronger oils like citrus can damage any metal parts.
First, check if your stones are porous or non-porous.
Non-porous stones include aquamarine, garnet, cubic zirconia, and topaz. Non-porous stones can safely be soaked in a mixture of warm water and mild detergent, then rinsed off under a running tap.
Porous stones include lapis lazuli, onyx, jasper, and tiger's eye. Porous stones absorb any liquid they come into contact with, so never soak them in water, and avoid household chemicals. Simply wipe them with a clean damp cloth when they need it, then dry them off thoroughly with a lint-free cloth.
Bodhi wood beads
Bodhi wood beads naturally darken over time, giving them a cool patina.
Only wash your beads if strictly necessary. Wash them by hand with just warm water or a small amount of detergent. Pat dry with a lint-free cloth and hang.
If you live in a dry climate, you may need to re-oil your bodhi seed beads every few months (otherwise once a year should be sufficient).
Re-oil your bodhi seed beads by hand with e.g. organic walnut oil, beeswax, or mineral oil. Optionally, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil before rubbing the mixture in.
Every monk and nun must restring their mala from time to time. It's part of their practice.
Eventually and depending on how often you wear your mala, the soaps, oils, lotions, and salt from your skin may rot the cord. This is especially true if the cord is made of natural fibre. However, synthetic cords can wear quickly, too, when exposed to frequent moistures and residues from skin. This may require restringing sooner, so keep an eye on the cord for any signs of breakage.
With that being said, if you feel your mala broke prematurely, please do let us know and we would be happy to repair or replace whenever possible. If you're interested in practicing the stringing process yourself, let us know and we may be able to supply cord and replacement beads.
Last but not least; enjoy!
So there you have it; preventing damage, cleaning and proper storage are all keys to success when it comes to keeping your jewelry in peak condition. But in between all that storage and cleaning, don't forget to flaunt your flashy friend!