Don't waste money on jewelry cleaners

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Jewelry stores around the country will do the majority of their annual business between now and Valentine's Day. If you're buying bling for your special someone this year, good for you. Surely you've researched all the four C's, you know all about gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, and you know exactly what you want to buy and how much you're going to spend on it.

Once you've got the perfect piece picked out, ask your salesperson to ring it up and just say no to add-on sales, especially jewelry cleaners. Retailers will charge anywhere from $5-$25 for a small bottle of purple liquid that's supposed to be just for gems. I'm not certain what's in those bottles, but I'll tell you what they're using in the store to clean their merchandise: Windex. Really.

A little watered-down Windex will safely clean most any jewelry, and you can just about buy a lifetime supply of Windex for the cost of one ounce of that purple stuff, whatever it is. There are some gemstones that you don't want to clean with any chemicals, though, because the stones are too delicate. For opals, pearls, apatite, and other soft or sensitive stones, simply use an old toothbrush and some warm, soapy water.

You're already spending a lot of money buying jewelry. Save yourself the extra $5 and go for Windex (or an equivalent store brand) instead of the expensive purple stuff.
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