For me, jewelry and accessorizing is just as important as my outfit. The extra finishing touches I add feel like frosting on a cake. After all, what is a cake without the frosting? 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 due to the tropical climate and weather. Therefore, a little more maintenance is required. This article shows you about 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.
This article was updated in March of 2023.
How to care for jewelry in Mérida
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Safety 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.
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.
What affects the sparkle-ability of your jewelry:
8 easy tips for jewelry care in Mérida is broken down into 3 parts:
- Preventing Damage
Jewelry Care in Mérida: Cleaning
- Fast Wipe-Down: 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 helps remove products or contaminants that have adhered to the surface. It also prevents corrosion. This technique is good for every day or when you are in a rush until you have time to do a deeper clean.
- Deeper 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.
- Diamond or Hard Stone Jewelry: make a solution with very warm water and dishwashing soap. Soak the jewelry for at least 20 but not longer than 40 minutes. You can gently brush the piece 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).
- 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 in the dish. Soak for up to 1/2 hour then remove and buff with a soft cloth.
Additional Self Cleaning Tips for Jewelry in Tropical Climates:
- Only do a few pieces at a time so it’s more manageable.
- Place jewelry 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.
- Professional Cleaning: 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.
Jewelry Care in Mérida: 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.
- 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.
Jewelry Care in Mérida: Storing
- Store 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.
- 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!
- Store jewelry separately: 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.
My Favorite Jewelry Stores in Mérida
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. Mosquitoes are prevalent during certain times of the year and I don’t want repellent on my bracelets and rings.
- I use an ultrasonic cleaner that I purchased on Amazon. While the tips included here are great, sometimes I still need heavier cleaning.
- 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 some of my jewelry in small plastic bags specifically made for jewelry with an anti-tarnish strip. Also, I purchased a translucent plastic craft box where I also store rings and necklaces. Each section has an anti-tarnish strip. I keep all my jewelry in a drawer in my bathroom. I have a separate dressing area from my shower area. 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