Fordite comes in different varieties that have somewhat different tolerances and strengths. It is inherently rather fragile to begin with, so it should be treated with care. You might compare it in that regard to a pearl. Fordite has a soft to medium surface hardness, and it will take a nice glassy polish.
General cleaning can be accomplished with warm soapy water. However, like other softer materials used in jewelry, fordite may pick up tiny, light scratches with frequent wear. The quick solution? Using a fine car polishing compound like Turtle Wax, and buffing to a high shine with a soft, 100% cotton cloth, or just green jewelers rouge. This will revive the luster in a well worn piece without damaging the pattern.
Fordite jewelry set in silver should be cleaned with a silver polishing cloth. Use of silver dips are not recommended, as they may interact with the enamel and discolor the metal.
All of the fordite cabochons and beads that we use in our finished jewelry have been put through a preliminary ultrasonic stress test to ensure good surface tension and adhesion of enamel layers. If any of the finished cabs or beads show structural weakness, or delamination, they do not pass our test and are rejected for use in our jewelry.
However, please note that using an utrasonic jewelry cleaner to clean fordite jewelry is not recommended. Arbitrary time spent in an ultrasonic cleaner could be damaging to even the most hearty pieces. You opal and pearl fans know what I mean...
The fordite cabochons and focal beads that we use in our finished jewelry are formed from vintage enamel products. Each piece has a unique combination of different enamels and layers.
Like many other enamels and paints, these pieces may contain traces of materials that could be toxic or harmful if ingested, absorbed, or inhaled as dust.
When this material is shaped, sanded or polished, one should always utilize proper health and safety precautions such as using an OSHA approved, fitted dust mask and adequate eye protection. Pregnant or nursing mothers should avoid contact. Keep out of the reach of children. Keep away from heat or flame.