Chainmaille Care Tips

The beauty of chainmaille jewelry lies in it's delicate looking design of interwoven metal rings. Although the look is delicate and sinuous, the result is a durable piece that will stand up to regular wear. Chainmaille can be made of any type of jewelry metal, including silver, gold, aluminum or stainless steel. It may also have glass or stone beads interwoven with it. The following tips can help you care for any type of chainmaille.

Tip #1: Don't Wear It Everywhere

To avoid damage or unnecessary dirt buildup, there are a few places that you shouldn't wear chainmaille. Remove the jewelry before showering to avoid soap residue from dulling the metal. You should also take it off before swimming or getting into a hot tub, since chlorine and other chemicals may damage the metal. Finally, remove your jewelry before turning in for the night. It can snag on linens while you sleep, leading to damage.

Tip #2: Use the Right Cleaner

Jewelry cleaners are formulated for the type of metal you will be cleaning. This means you will want a silver cleaner for silver, gold cleaner for gold, or a steel polish for stainless steel. If your chainmaille doesn't have any beads, you can simply dunk the piece in the cleaner for a few minutes. After removing it, use a jewelry brush or an old soft-bristle tooth brush to scrub the piece so all the dirt is removed from between the links. If the piece has beads, make sure the cleaner is safe for the types of stone the beads are made from. This information is typically on the label. If it isn't safe, you can clean the piece by hand with a brush or rag dipped in the cleaner – just take care not to get it on the beads.

Tip #3: Avoid Snug Fits

Chainmaille does relax a bit as you wear it, which means it may take a little while after donning a ring or a bracelet for it to be comfortable. With that said, a proper snug initial fit means that it is a little tight without constricting your wrist or finger. If the piece feels constricting or it doesn't relax sufficiently after a little while, it is too snug. Not only is this uncomfortable, it also puts unnecessary stress on the links in the chainmaille, which can lead to damage. You may be able to have a piece resized by a chainmaille jeweler, who can add in extra links.

For chainmaille jewelry, contact a business such as Bead Me a Story.