For me, jewelry and accessorizing is just as important as my outfit. The extra finishing touches I add feel like frosting on a cake – smile. I don’t know about you but I love frosting. One thing I’ve noticed is that my jewelry needs a little extra care in Mérida. Not unlike the beach due to the tropical climate and weather. However, a little more maintenance is required because I do wear it more often. After living here, I wanted to share Jewelry Care in Mérida: 8 Easy Tips.
The weather in Mérida is warm year-round with moderate to high humidity. This means with a little extra care your jewelry will last longer and maintain its luster.
With a bit of planning and the right tips, you’ll know exactly how to care for your jewelry, products that will help protect it, and what can and can’t be worn seasonally.
- 1 5 Guidelines for jewelry care in Mérida
- 2 Jewelry Care in Mérida: 8 Easy Tips
- 2.1 1. Cleaning – The Simple Wipe-Down Clean
- 2.2 2. Cleaning – The Heavier Clean
- 2.3 3. Cleaning – The Professional Clean
- 2.4 4. Preventing Damage – Keep jewelry out of chlorine
- 2.5 5. Preventing Damage – Take off rings before entering or using cold water
- 2.6 6. Storing – Keep jewelry in a cool, dark place year-round
- 2.7 7. Storing – Use anti-tarnish strips for silver
- 2.8 8. Storing – Store jewelry separately for jewelry care in Mérida
- 3 Final thoughts on Jewelry Care in Mérida: 8 Easy Tips
5 Guidelines for jewelry care in Mérida
Be aware of sun exposure and sunscreen
While sun exposure is inevitable, Mérida has a particularly strong sun that can fade metal or cause gems to dull. Due to combating sun exposure, sunscreen is necessary. The greasy film of sunscreen on jewelry will both tarnish and damage the finish.
Be cautious of environmental hazards
Because Mérida is within a close distance of the beach, sea-water is in the air. This water contains chemical compounds that damage jewelry faster. Along with sea-water comes sand as well as the annual Sahara Dust. Both sand and dust contain millions of tiny rough grains that can scratch gems and damage metals.
Be conscientious of your investment
Would you be upset if a piece of your jewelry was lost or damaged? Is it properly insured? If you prefer wearing it and enjoying it that is one thing. It is completely another if it will cause undue stress and anxiety in the event a piece you love and cherish is damaged or even lost.
Be safe at all times
Many times thieves scope out their victims based on the jewelry they are wearing. One way to alleviate this is to only wear one or, at the most, two pieces of fine jewelry at a time. You’ll see a variety of people wearing a variety of jewelry in Mérida.
Even though Mérida is Mexico’s safest city, crime does occur. The best advice: less is better.
Be cognizant of the fit
Heat can cause our bodies to swell, especially if we don’t stay hydrated. The tropical air also can cause us to perspire more especially on our hands. If you have a tendency for sweaty palms, be cognizant of how your jewelry fits. Is it too loose? Is it too tight? Pay attention to loose rings and make a decision to wear them or not wear them knowing they may slip off.
Jewelry Care in Mérida: 8 Easy Tips
Your jewelry takes a beating in tropical climates so it’s vital to take special care of your jewelry. Sun, sand, dust, lotion, sunscreen, hand-sanitizer, sea-air, and other factors affect the sparkle-ability of your jewelry.
8 easy tips for jewelry care in Mérida is broken down into 3 parts:
- Preventing Damage
1. Cleaning – The Simple Wipe-Down Clean
When you return home every day, take a soft, damp cleaning cloth and gently wipe off the surfaces of your jewelry. Try to get into the small crevices if you can. This will help remove products or contaminants that have adhered to the surface. It will also prevent corrosion. This technique is good for every day or when you are in a rush until you have time to do a deeper clean.
2. Cleaning – The Heavier Clean
For the best results, jewelry should be thoroughly washed after wearing it. Notably, the longer products or contaminants sit on the metal, the more harm they can cause. Keep in mind certain stones such as opals and pearls require different cleaning techniques that harder stones such as diamonds, rubies, and sapphires.
To clean diamond or hard stone rings, make a solution with very warm water and dishwashing soap. Soak the ring for at least 20 but not longer than 40 minutes. You can gently brush the ring with a very soft toothbrush while rinsing under warm, running water. Buff with a soft cloth with a tight weave (not a beach or bath towel).
To clean silver, line a small glass dish with aluminum foil. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda into a quart of hot water then pour over the jewelry you’ve place in the dish. Soak for up to 1/2 hour then remove and buff with a soft cloth.
For both of these techniques, I only do a few pieces at a time so it’s more manageable.
Let the jewelry sit out on a countertop or other safe location to dry. Avoid putting the jewelry away while it’s still damp to avoid rust or further damage.
3. Cleaning – The Professional Clean
Just because you can’t see products or contaminants on your jewelry, they are still there. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. You may want to invest in a professional cleaning at the end of the summer season. Highly specialized cleaning processes remove tiny sand particles and other contaminants. Additionally, a jeweler will check the settings to make sure no gemstones are loose.
4. Preventing Damage – Keep jewelry out of chlorine
Taking a dip in the pool is sometimes a daily necessity especially during the hot summers in Mérida. However, take a few extra minutes to remove your jewelry before you get in the pool. Chlorine is horribly corrosive for jewelry. Prolonged exposure can actually lead to discoloration or dulling of stones and metals or even cracking.
5. Preventing Damage – Take off rings before entering or using cold water
Fingers and even toes shrink in cold water. Take rings off before washing dishes, getting into cenotes, or even your swimming pool. This may seem like a no brainer but even I have washed dishes with my ring on and invariably it slipped off. Fortunately, I caught it before it was lost down the drain.
6. Storing – Keep jewelry in a cool, dark place year-round
While it’s easier to keep jewelry out where you can see it, this can cause more damage. A sunny and warm spot isn’t too bad for a little while but jewelry needs to be out of bright light and heat. Too much sunlight can fade gemstones while heat can warp or bend metal.
7. Storing – Use anti-tarnish strips for silver
Find small plastic baggies online made specifically for jewelry and for silver. I found some on Amazon and on Etsy. Include an anti-tarnish strip for protection, also found on Amazon. It’s hard if not impossible to control humidity in Mérida. This is a tried and true tip from a jewelry lover . . . ME!
8. Storing – Store jewelry separately for jewelry care in Mérida
No matter where you are, it is always recommended to store jewelry separately. Loose pieces can rub up against each other causing scratches or damage. That’s why I love storing my pieces in individual baggies as described above. Not only can I readily see each piece, I know they are protected from damage.
Final thoughts on Jewelry Care in Mérida: 8 Easy Tips
Jewelry brings a lot of joy, memories, and special meaning to our lives. It can be a sign of love, sentimentality, reward, and even accomplishment.
But one thing is true . . .
Once you know how to care for your jewelry in Mérida, you will feel more secure with your investment from costume jewelry to fine jewelry.
Here are a few final tips after living here:
- I keep a sandwich bag in my purse in case I need to take off a piece of jewelry while I’m out of the house. Mosquitos are prevalent during certain times of the year and I don’t want repellent on my bracelets and rings.
- I don’t use an ultrasonic cleaner here (even though I loved the one I had in Dallas). I don’t want to transport or store it. I’ve also found the tips included here are the best for me.
- I’ve also noticed I need to give special attention to leather products. As you can probably guess, I love simple techniques. For leather, I use clove oil that I mix with a little water. I spray it on to my purses and shoes, give it a wipe down with a soft cloth and Voila . . . like new!
- I store each piece of my jewelry in a small plastic bag specifically made for jewelry with an anti-tarnish strip, I have a small cabinet where I keep all of these baggies which is in a dark corner of my bedroom. The doors remain closed all the time. I’ve noticed my jewelry has stayed clean and tarnish free by adhering to these few simple steps.
I love living in Mérida and in this tropical climate. It’s been a learning process getting used to doing things differently than I am accustomed to. At the end of the day, I look around and think to myself, there’s nowhere on earth I’d rather be than here.
To connect with other expats, visitors and locals, check out my Facebook Group – Life in Mérida: Visitor & Resident Hangout