As soon as you start wearing it, new jewelry starts to collect dirt, dust, bits of dead skin, and other elements that take away from that slick initial shine. But without that sparkle, what’s the point?
Many jewelry owners take their rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets to a professional cleaner to make them sparkle like new. But you can do quite a lot with some simple tools at home, many of which you probably already have.
Once you give each piece a deep clean with the following tips, it will be a new lease on life for all your favorite jewels and accessories. You’ll want to show them off once again like the day you first bought them.
Without further delay, let’s get into the best ways to clean jewelry like a pro.
Guidelines Before Getting Started
It’s tempting to just reach for the dish soap, run the hot water and just start scrubbing the hell out of your precious jewelry in hopes of making them squeaky clean. But trust us when we say that is not the best way to handle it.
Every material on planet earth reacts uniquely to different techniques and solutions based on their distinct chemical compositions. Even though they might not look different to the human eye, the microscopic makeup of these compounds leads to various reactions, some of which can do more harm than good.
So before we get into the details, be sure you double-check your methods and materials prior to a cleaning session. With the wrong approach, you might learn the hard way that some things just aren’t meant to mix.
Here are some jewelry cleaning rules you should download to your brain and keep forever:
- Some stones are porous and should NEVER touch water, including turquoise, amber, and opals. Polish them gently with a delicate oil to clean them safely.
- Pearls should not be exposed to water either. Use a bit of vegetable oil to lightly coat your pearls, let them dry overnight, then buff out the dust extracted by the oil with a soft cloth the next morning.
- When using a tiny toothbrush to scrub your jewelry clean, use small and gentle strokes rather than applying a ton of pressure. You don’t want to dismantle any gems.
- When dealing with cheap costume jewelry or play gems for kids, you can always count on a quick mix of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to remove the dirt and oil from each piece. This will also work for some of your more basic jewelry.
You will learn the intricacies of each piece in your collection over time, so follow our guidelines and streamline the processes with the various tips and tricks you pick up along the way. Ask friends and family members for their advice, keep reading articles, get insights from jewelers, and never stop learning.
Make Gold Look Way Less Old
Let’s talk specifics, starting with gold – everyone’s favorite malleable metal. It is one of the least reactive chemical elements on the entire periodic table, meaning it’s tough to screw up with basic household items. There is a lot you can do to real gold – with few repercussions.
Having said all that, there’s a chance that the gold in your collection is plated or flaked with gold or a synthetic material made to resemble it. In this case, be more cautious with the way you clean your items, and refer to your jeweler’s advice to make sure you don’t mess with these more sensitive materials.
A bit of baking soda can serve as a light scrub for your gold pieces, and they’ll shed the grease and grit. Some scrubbing and polishing will be in order once you’re done, so just be sure to be gentle.
6 Ice offers a cleaning kit that’s perfect for your gold plated jewelry that’s gentle enough that you never have to worry about damage. Since we created these designs, we’re the best place to look for easy cleaning solutions.
Just keep the ammonia away from your gold most of the time – that’s one solution that will cause some serious problems when it comes in contact too often, so beware.
Bring Silver Back To Life
Next up, we’ve got silver, which is also rather resilient but needs a bit of extra care. You’ve probably got some silver jewelry in your collection, whether it’s 925 Sterling or something even more pure. This material is beloved for a reason – it makes the perfect base for a Baguette Diamond Clustered Ring or a shimmering solid custom letter pendant.
Silver will begin to look a little less reflective and dull down after a few weeks of wear, so some extra polishing can go a long way. There are products created specifically for removing tarnish from silver so it shines like the day you purchased it, so you just need to be on the lookout. Gently scrub your jewelry with a soft cloth, and you’ll find that all the grit and grime is gone.
You can also find professional polishing cloths specifically created to clean silver, and there are also soaps and solutions available to help speed up the process. If you want to make your silver investment last a lifetime, you may want to go with these proven tools.
6 Ice also offers a sterling silver cleaning kit to bring the shine back to your chains and bracelets.
Bring Gemstones To Former Glory
With silver and gold taken care of, it’s time to talk about gems, which often find themselves in need of a serious scrub. Those larger surface areas tend to attract dirt and grime like nothing else, and you should be giving them a complete clean pretty often.
To clean your gemstones effectively, you may want to purchase specific solutions that are made for each individual type of stone. This can cut out the guesswork in the cleaning process and streamline things on cleaning day.
You might spend a little bit more on a cleaning kit than you would otherwise spend on household supplies, but the longevity of your favorite pieces is worth the extra dough. Keep everything in one place, and don’t run the risk of mixing up the wrong materials ever again.
When it comes to your jewelry, it’s best to avoid water. You want to be as careful as possible so that you don’t lose or damage stone during the cleaning process—that’s basically the opposite of your goal.
Never submerge stones in water. This can crack and damage the gems permanently. Also, if you have handset stones in a Diamond Prong Cuban Chain, for example, water can loosen the settings and ruin your piece.
A small toothbrush can also come in handy for hitting every angle of your gemstones, and you can see instant results with some focused scrubbing. Just these simple tools can take you a long way in your cleaning routine, so get creative with what you’ve got on hand.
Get Yourself A Jewelry Company That Really Cares
It doesn’t take long to master the art and science of cleaning jewelry, and with our guidance as a foundation, you’ll be on the right track in no time. That said, sometimes you’re not going to be able to get your diamonds to sparkle the way they did when they were new, or you might have a bit of damage on a piece that you want addressed.
It’s important to find a jeweler that actually looks out for you, provides you with quality products, and answers your questions, whether it’s about returns, warranties, replacements, maintenance, or simple advice.
Back in the days before the web, people literally used to be friends with their local jewelers – trust was key, and it should still be the central core of every relationship. Now with the internet, you need to be a little more cautious, but you can still find good people.
Have a jeweler in your corner who will answer any and all questions FAST and make sure you’re never left hanging. This is key to creating a cool collection of jewelry that isn’t going to break or fade when you wear it.
There’s lots of jewelry out there with complicated cleaning instructions, like a Round Cut Diamond Tennis Chain with 18k Gold (over stainless steel). You want to be in contact with the manufacturer so you can safely clean these one-of-a-kind items with ease.
Cleaning jewelry at home is way more simple than you ever thought. Once you figure out the right combinations and learn how to do it, you can shine up your entire collection in less than an hour – the same can’t be said for a trip to the pros.
You’ll save time, you’ll save cash, and you’ll even extend the lifespan of your jewelry by following these tips, so keep them in mind as you develop your jewelry collection and care for it well into the future.