Cellulose acetate is a plant product, but you won't find it in a flower pot. Couture companies synthesize the compound into something a bit more stylish, typically molding it into plastic used in bracelets, watchbands and eyeglasses. Acetate bracelets have become increasingly rare, but they were all the rage from the 1840s through the 1940s -- you can tell a vintage acetate bracelet by its slightly vinegary smell. While you can't reverse cracks and yellowing -- just consider those elements a chic patina -- you can gently tidy up your acetate jewels, no matter the color.

Step 1

Gently rub the surface of the bracelet with a soft and dry acid-free tissue to remove dirt and grime. Work in small circles over the inside and outside of the bracelet, as though waxing a car. This removal of surface debris may reveal some of the bracelet's former brightness.

Step 2

Brush the entire surface of the bracelet in short, controlled strokes, using a soft-bristled brush with non-metallic, non-abrasive bristles. A good brushing rids the bracelet of any excess debris freed by the tissue rubdown.

Step 3

Dampen a cotton swab with warm water. “Dampen” is the key word here -- you don't want a soaked swab, just a lightly moistened one. Rub the surface of the bracelet with the swab just as you did with the tissue, this time applying a tiny bit more pressure. This process gently buffs the bracelet, letting its white hue shine through.

Step 4

Dry the bracelet thoroughly -- but gently -- with a clean acid-free tissue and allow it to air-dry completely before storage.