How to Clean Jewelry at Home: Homemade Jewelry Cleaner

Learn how to clean all different types of jewelry at home without the use of harsh chemicals and expensive store-bought jewelry cleaners. Read more on homemade jewelry cleaner below:

Homemade Jewelry Cleaner
Homemade Jewelry Cleaner. Close-up of woman’s hands with many rings – wundervisuals/iStock

How to Clean Fine Jewelry at Home

Scroll through this slideshow to learn how to clean any kind of fine jewelry at home:

  • Gold Jewelry
  • Diamond Jewelry
  • Fragile Jewelry
  • Gemstone Jewelry
  • Silver Jewelry

How to Clean Gold Jewelry

How to Clean Gold Jewelry
5 DIY Recipes to Clean Your Fine Jewelry at Home. Photo Credit: Richard I’Anson/Getty Images.

Clean Your Gold Jewelry

Most people don’t realize that gold jewelry can tarnish. Well, gold doesn’t tarnish, but the alloys used in gold jewelry do. A significant portion of all solid gold jewelry on the market contains some type of alloy with the exception of 24k (pure gold). Not only that, gold jewelry collects dirt and grime and loses its luster over time. Even though it might not tarnish as readily as silver jewelry, if you have ever taken a polishing cloth to a piece of dingy gold jewelry, you would likely find a ton of black tarnish left behind as well as a piece of jewelry that shines a lot brighter than it did before.

Another thing people often don’t realize is that gold is a very soft metal! One thing you will have to take great care of is not to scratch your gold jewelry when you are cleaning it. Many people on the internet are now suggesting the use of baking soda and toothpaste on gold jewelry, but to me, this is just asking for trouble.

The method described below should only be used on solid gold jewelry (not plated) with NO stones. Using this method on any jewelry that has stones can cause the stones to become loose or damaged.

What You’ll Need:

  • Boiling Water
  • Colander
  • Pot
  • Soft cloth/old cotton tee shirt/microfiber cloth

What to Do:

Boil a pot of water. Meanwhile, place your jewelry inside a soft surfaced colander that fits inside another pot or pan. The reason you won’t want to use a metal colander is because you risk scratching your jewelry. Pour the boiling water over your gold jewelry and let it sit until the water cools down enough to handle. Lift the colander out of the container and carefully place your jewelry on a soft cloth.

Grab another soft cloth or cotton tee shirt to gently rub and polish your jewelry dry by applying small circular motions, being cautious not to tug chains too tight. Also, make certain the jewelry is completely dry before you put it away.

How to Clean Diamond Jewelry

How to Clean Diamond Jewelry
How to Clean Diamond Jewelry. Photo Credit: Image Source/Getty Images.

Clean Your Diamond Jewelry

Diamonds look great when you put them on for the first time! I can’t be the only one that has been mesmerized by a diamond ring at a traffic light, moving my hand around in just the right way to catch all the sunlight beaming through my car window. Well especially in the case of engagement rings, everyday wear turns these once blingy eye catchers into dull, lifeless rocks.

Yuck. It’s really quite simple though to keep your expensive heirloom clean and in tip-top shape. Diamonds are durable so that they can be scrubbed and buffed with a little less caution than other gemstones. Here’s how:

What You’ll Need:

  • Club Soda
  • Mild Dish Detergent (avoid bleach & other harsh additives)
  • Soft Bristled Toothbrush
  • Soft cloth/old cotton tee shirt/microfiber cloth

What to Do:

Add several drops of warm dish detergent to some club soda in a plastic cup or bowl. Mix it around to create a soapy solution. The bubbles in the club soda will act as a gentle loosening agent to help get all that built up grime freed up from behind your diamonds. Let the jewelry soak for 20 minutes. Remove the jewelry and take a soft-bristled toothbrush to the back of the stones to scrub off the dirt. Be careful not to scratch the setting. At this point, you can let the jewelry dry one last time for an about 15 to 20 minutes. Now rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry with a soft cloth.

How to Clean Fragile Jewelry

How to Clean Fragile Jewelry
5 DIY Recipes to Clean Your Fine Jewelry at Home. Homemade Jewelry Cleaner. Photo Credit: @opaldreaming / Instagram

Clean Your Fragile Jewelry

The fragile jewelry I refer to here includes any of the following: cameos, pearls, emeralds, opals, glass and/or any other soft or glued in stone. You must treat this type of jewelry with the most care. If you’re looking to clean a different kind of gemstone, skip ahead to the next slide.

What You’ll Need:

  • Lukewarm water
  • Mild Hand Soap (avoid antibacterial varieties & other harsh additives)
  • Soft cloth/old cotton tee shirt/microfiber cloth
  • Soft bristled toothbrush (only if necessary)

What to Do:

Mix lukewarm water (not hot or cold) with one drop of mild hand soap in a plastic cup or dish – make sure you create some suds here. Drop the jewelry into the solution gently and only let it sit for two minutes. If there are dirt and grime, VERY gently use a soft-bristled toothbrush, focusing mostly on the underside of the stones. Make sure to rinse the solution off entirely with just lukewarm water as any soap residue can damage the stone. Pat dry gently with a soft cloth.

If you’re cleaning cameos or emeralds, you may want to follow with a baby oil application.

The best action you can take in cleaning your jewelry is prevention! Don’t wear your jewelry while gardening, washing dishes, putting on lotion, or doing anything that might be involved with dirt, grime, and chemicals.

How to Clean Gemstone Jewelry

How to Clean Gemstone Jewelry
Homemade Jewelry Cleaner. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Clean Your Gemstone Jewelry

Ah, gemstones. They are not all created equal, but most of them can be cleaned the same way. Sapphires, rubies, garnets, peridot, and aquamarine are only a few of the many gemstones that can withstand the following cleaning ritual. This cleaning process is similar to the diamond cleaning one, but it’s a little bit more conservative because gemstones are not quite as durable as diamonds, and I think it’s really important to take special care not to be overly aggressive with your jewelry.

You will pay for it in the long run with extended trips to your jeweler to get your lost stone replaced, your loose stone tightened, or you’ll be really unhappy with a scratched up stone.

What You’ll Need:

  • Club Soda
  • Soft Bristled Toothbrush
  • Soft cloth/old cotton tee shirt/microfiber cloth

What to Do:

Fill a plastic cup or bowl with club soda. Drop in your gemstone jewelry, swish it around gently, and let sit for one hour. Remove the jewelry and brush the backs of the stones with a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove any built-up grime. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.

Don’t wear your jewelry while gardening, washing dishes, putting on lotion, or doing anything that might involved dirt, grime, and chemicals.

How to Clean Silver Jewelry

How to Clean Silver Jewelry
Homemade Jewelry Cleaner. Photo Credit: Michael Czosnek/Getty Images

Clean Your Silver Jewelry

So here’s the fun cleaning DIY recipe where we can all feel like we are in high school Chemistry lab again. Silver is awesome because it’s affordable and pretty, but it is also a pain because it tarnishes so easily. Polishing silver for me can at times feel therapeutic and at other times feel like a complete nuisance. I wouldn’t use this cleaning method on silver jewelry with stones in it, but I am sure you can create a paste using just baking soda and water and use that to polish around the silver sections of the jewelry with stones.

Baking soda is an abrasive that you won’t want to use on gold, but since silver is less expensive and a harder metal, you are much less likely to scratch it, and if you do, oh well, at least it will be shiny.

What You’ll Need:

  • Aluminum Foil
  • Aluminum or glass dish/pan with a rimmed edge
  • 1 cup Boiling Water
  • 1/2 cup Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Baking Soda
  • 1 tablespoon Salt
  • Soft cloth/old cotton tee shirt/microfiber cloth
  • Tongs/tweezers

What to Do:

Line the bottom of your dish or pan with aluminum foil. I suggest picking up one of those disposable thick rimmed aluminum pans they have at the dollar store. Mix baking soda and salt in a pan.

Here’s the fun part! Gradually pour the vinegar into the pan. You will see a reaction here between the vinegar and baking soda, so use with caution. Next slowly add the boiling water into the mixture. Drop the jewelry into the solution, but make sure all jewelry is touching the aluminum foil. Also, make sure it isn’t overlapping each other. Let the jewelry sit for 1 to 3 minutes depending on how tarnished your jewelry is.

The tarnish removal should be somewhat instantaneous. Remove the jewelry with tongs. Pat dry with a soft cloth.

Tip: If your dish is really large or you have a lot of jewelry, you may need to double or triple the recipe. You want it so that all of your jewelry is completely submerged in the solution.

Jewelry Cleaning Disclaimer: All fine jewelry is different and therefore should be handled differently. This guide will walk you through some at home ways to clean different types of jewelry. However, if your jewelry is very valuable, very old, or you just aren’t sure if it fits within any of the criteria mentioned in this article, seek the advice of a professional on the exact cleaning techniques you should use. The best action you can take in cleaning your jewelry is prevention! Don’t wear your jewelry while gardening, washing dishes, putting on lotion, or doing anything that might involved dirt, grime, and chemicals.

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Homemade Jewelry Cleaner

Homemade Jewelry Cleaner
Jewelry Hacks Using Household Items: Homemade Jewelry Cleaner.

Clean dirty gold jewels at home by mixing several drops of soft dish detergent with a club soda. Allow the jewelry sit in the solution for ten to twenty minutes. If its necessary, you can scrub away grime with a soft-bristled toothbrush. When finished, pat dry with a lint-free cloth.

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