Caring for your cufflinks
(notes for your butler)
The best place to start is with a soft dry cloth. Wiping your cufflinks before they are put away will help to remove any oils or chemicals that might cause tarnishing. A little warm water and washing-up liquid followed by a buff with a soft dry cloth is usually sufficient to remove any residual dirt and bring up a high shine. A soft toothbrush can also be very helpful for cleaning tricky areas. Any further cleaning is dependent on the material that the cufflinks are made of.
Brass is a wonderful material and has a lot of character. However, to get the most out of it it will need some care and attention. Ideally, give it a buff with a soft cloth on a regular basis and the surfaces should maintain a high shine whilst the recesses will dull slightly, giving each one a unique and subtle contrast that builds a sense of depth and age into the cufflink. A little warm water and washing-up liquid also works a treat. If they are allowed to tarnish more heavily – don't fret, just give them a wipe with some brass polish to bring back the shine and then clean off thoroughly with a fresh cloth. Alternatively, just drop them into a glass of cola for a few minutes while you ponder whether it has the same 'cleansing' effect on your insides. Incidentally, Brasso is highly effective; but comes with a number of warning labels which (judging by the smell) are there for a reason. We can thoroughly recommend "Town Talk - Anti-tarnish brass & copper polish" which seems a lot closer to the assorted lemon, salt, vinegar and flour recipes that were popular a few generations ago.
Titanium is very corrosion resistant and should only need a quick buff with a soft cloth. Warm water and a little washing-up liquid also works well. If it gets heavily tarnished, most brass polishes will do the trick.
Gold is highly corrosion resistant and will need little maintenance. It is usually sufficient to give it a buff with a soft cloth to bring out the shine. However, there are any number of speciallist gold cleaning dips if you need a little more than elbow grease.
Silver is very corrosion resistant; but will darken a little over time. As with gold, a soft cloth usually works; but proprietary silver cleaning dips are available.