Cleaning jewelry at home can seem to be overwhelming if you don't know what products are safe to use on your precious stones and fine fashion jewelry. With a passion to always provide our clients the most up to date jewelry information and jewelry tips, here are a few of our tricks to do-it-yourself jewelry cleaning.
When cleaning jewelry always use common sense. If you have a piece of jewelry with loose stones, do not attempt to clean it on your own! Additionally, your jewelry will last longer if you don't soak it in water for extended periods of time. With this helpful jewelry cleaning information, you won’t have to be afraid to clean your own jewelry!
Homemade Jewelry Cleaner
Works best for jewelry made from the following materials: gold-fill, brass, German (nickel) silver, Sterling silver
NOTE: Never use this solution for jewelry with stones
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon dish soap
- 1 cup water
- 1 piece aluminum foil
- 1 soft cloth
- Microwave water for 1 or 2 minutes.
- Cut aluminum foil to roughly cover the bottom of a small bowl (cereal size bowls work well).
- Remove water from microwave and pour into bowl.
- Now add salt, baking soda, and dish soap into bowl, too.
- Place jewelry on top of foil and let it stand for 5-10 minutes.
- Rinse jewelry in cool water and dry completely with soft cloth.
- Discard solution after use.
Cleaning Gold Jewelry
- Combine one teaspoon ammonia, one teaspoon of liquid dish soap and one cup warm water.
Note: Never use this solution on jewelry with stones, only gold jewelry.
- Soak jewelry in solution, using a soft brush if necessary to clean the pieces.
- Rinse well and dry with a soft cloth.
Cleaning Diamonds and Other Hard Stones
For hard stones, like diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires, a quick wash with an inexpensive vodka will have them sparkling like new. If your stones are heavily soiled, you may use a toothbrush to gently brush them.
Pearls may be the easiest stone to clean, as the best way to clean them is to simply wear them. The oil from your skin will keep them soft and lustrous. However, if you don't wear your pearl jewelry often, you may also buff them with a dab of olive oil on a microfiber or other soft cloth.
Cleaning Soft Gems
Cleaning soft gems like turquoise, opal, pearl, lapis or coral is simple, provided you use the right tools. To clean your soft stones, wipe them with a non-treated, soft leather cloth called a chamois or chamois. This can be found in the automotive sections of any hardware store.
These softer stones can be damaged by abrasion, heat or chemicals, as well as absorb perfume oils. It is better to apply your jewelry after spraying perfume to prevent your stones from being stained by any perfume oils.
Cleaning Tarnished Jewelry
Gold, white gold and Sterling or tarnished solid silver jewelry may be cleaned with toothpaste. Yes, you read that correctly - we said toothpaste! Avoid gels and the tartar-control, anti-plaque toothpaste and look for the original brands like Crest or Colgate. Simple, white toothpastes with no added silica that could scratch your jewelry are your best options. Add toothpaste to an old brush and rub it on the jewelry, making sure to get in all the crevices. When finished, rinse with tap water and dry with a soft cloth.
For rings, be sure to do the underside of the ring as well as the outer surface. Necklaces and earrings often require gentle treatment, as they are often made of delicate wire or chains that are easily broken by rough handling.