While diamonds and pearls – if you're lucky enough to have some – may be swapped out for hand sanitiser and gloves these days, valuable jewellery is still worth caring for even when it's not on your body. 

And since we're all learning to deep clean our fridge and Marie Kondo our wardrobes, you might as well become an expert in cleaning something else. 

Matthew Weldon, the owner of Courtville Antique and Vintage jewellers, comes from a long line of jewellers, as his family took up the trade in the 1890s. We caught up with him to hear his tips of keeping those rings, bracelets and more perfectly polished. 

Cleaning your jewellery, he says, depends on the kind of jewellery you have, as some materials stand up better to washing than others. "If you've got anything that's gold or platinum or silver, they don’t really react with any chemicals, especially gold and platinum. You could wash them a thousand times if you want and nothing would happen to them.

"Diamonds, rubies, sapphires, they don't react with anything and they’re very hard and very durable, so you can wash them. Emeralds, you’re pretty safe with as well. Morganite’s okay."

What you want to be careful with, he says, are pearls, coral and opal pieces as they're softer and more porous, so can be more easily damaged. 

"I’d be looking at the settings too. If it’s got a closed back setting, that means that behind the stone you can’t get to it. I wouldn’t clean that because if you submerge that in water, water can get stuck behind the stone, but if you’ve got an open setting that’s got claws you can clean it."

With this kind of durable jewellery, cleaning doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, you need only three things. 

"The best way to do it is you get two cups of water, one cup with lukewarm water – you don’t want it hot, you don’t want it cold. Put washing up liquid in that. 

"Have another cup that’s just lukewarm plain water. Get a jeweller’s toothbrush because they’ve got softer bristles. Put the jewellery into the first cup of washing up liquid briefly. There’s no need to soak it, that doesn’t really do anything.

"Use the jeweller’s toothbrush to get into all the gaps in the jewellery. Get a good lather going and wash the top and bottom. When you’re finished cleaning it, rinse it off in the clean water to get rid of the suds." 

Dry it off with some kitchen paper towel or by air drying and store them someplace safe that you will remember – you don't want to be getting dolled up in a few weeks' time and forget where you left your grandmother's prized ring!

With concerns about bacteria and keeping hands clean more prevalent than ever now, Weldon also says that you can clean gold or platinum pieces with an antibacterial wipe if you can't get to a sink. 

But for a more intensive deep clean, you can go to certain jewellers once they open again. Courtville, like many jewellers, offer a steam cleaning service that's free for customers and leaves jewellery "immaculate".

You can watch Matthew's tips on Instagram, too, but he recommends always asking your jeweller first before cleaning an important piece of jewellery.