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How to Clean Your Earrings So They Sparkle Like New

Some people are okay with letting their rings, watches, and bracelets build character and patina over time. They don’t mind if these pieces collect some dust, and that’s pretty much fine.

Earrings, however, should be sleek and clean inside and out, meaning you should take extra time out of your schedule to give them the scrub-down they deserve.

If you don’t already know the best way to clean your earrings, or you’re tired of having the pros handle it for you, we’re here to help. Pay close attention, and you’ll never have to deal with less-than-pristine earrings ever again.

Best Practices For Earring Maintenance

Before we dive in, let’s set the record straight for why we need to clean our earrings.

Beyond the visuals, there are health and hygiene reasons for keeping clean earrings, not to be overlooked. A chain hangs from our neck, a bracelet dangles from our wrist, but earrings sit pretty in our ears – you better keep them clean. Yeah, we’ve all heard about the infamous “earring back” smell. 

With grimy earrings, you can run into problems that are hard to fix. Infections, bacterial buildup, and other issues may turn up over time and prevent you from ever wearing earrings again.Make a habit of cleaning them regularly because it’s non-negotiable.

We’ll get into cleaning methods soon, but follow this brief checklist for storage and maintenance before doing any washing and scrubbing:

  • Keep ALL earrings sealed in airtight bags when they aren’t being worn. For metals like silver and brass, the air is the enemy and can quickly tarnish or discolor the surface.
  •  Remove your earrings before working out, especially if you choose to swim in a pool or the ocean for your gains.
    Sweat is salty, mixes with your skin and hair products, and can ruin the exterior of your favorite jewelry in just one or two sessions.
    Saltwater is even more damaging, as is chlorine found in pools. If you want to go for a dip or swim some laps for exercise, leave the hoops and studs behind.
  • Do not keep your earrings in for more than a couple of days in a row. If you notice any swelling, redness, pain, or irritation, take them out and wash everything.

Diamonds And Gemstone Earrings

With the boring stuff out of the way, let’s kick things off with how to clean diamond earrings – as well as some other favorite precious gems.

If you’re expecting a long, detailed description of how to clean your gorgeousRound Cut orPrincess Cut Diamond Earrings, that’s not what’s coming. It’s easy to clean diamonds at home, and you can do it fast once you know the secret.

You can use a baby toothbrush and earring solution to scrub away at any fine dust particles or buildup. From there, let the diamonds air dry out in the open or pat them gently with a cloth. Be cautious with this technique if your stones are glued in place since the solution can loosen the setting – no good.

CAUTION: gemstones should never be submerged in water due to their porous nature. They have little tiny holes in the exterior, and water can destroy them from the inside out. 

You can always polish your gemstones with vegetable oil and pat them down with a cloth to get a similar effect and not do any damage. This is the technique to use with pearl earrings.

You also want to keep some soft wooden toothpicks nearby to get into those tough-to-reach spots and clean your gemstones safely.

Removing Silver Oxidation

If you’ve got a classic pair of925 Sterling Silver earrings that you wear every day, you’re going to see some clear changes on the surface of the material.

Oxidation is enemy No. 1 for silver of all kinds, especially the good stuff. It’s the natural process that we see when atmospheric oxygen interacts with silver, creating that worn and tarnished look on this signature metal. Some people even like the rugged style, but it’s just surface level, meaning you can scrub it out withthe right techniques and tools.

Using a solution meant for sterling silver, start scrubbing away at those earrings with a soft toothbrush or paintbrush. You don’t need to work hard, just make sure to hit every angle. Repeat the process a few times until the earrings look like new.

Wipe them down and use a soft cloth to pat the earrings dry. It’s an easy way to clean your silver earrings or any type of sleek silver jewelry.

There are also solutions, wipes, and other kits you can find online with the express purpose of cleaning silver, so if you have some super-valuable pieces in your cabinet, that may be the smarter route to take in the long term. 6 Ice has a cleaning kit that will allow you to care for your jewelry in just the right way, without risk of damage. 

Make Gold Earrings Glimmer Again

When it comes to gold jewelry in general, you may not notice as much visible grime, but it’s still important tokeep those earrings squeaky clean if they’re in your rotation.

Gold is one of the world’s most resilient metals, but it has some weaknesses to keep in mind. Ammonia, for example, should not be a part of your gold earring cleaning routine since it can do serious damage.

A bit of extra scrubbing and polishing will be super effective, so long as you’re gentle. 6 Ice has a kit for polishing and cleaning gold plated items, as well, so be sure that you’re following our instructions when it comes to your jewelry. 

Some people think that rubbing alcohol offers a quick fix for cleaning gold earrings, but we don’t recommend using harsh chemicals like that. If your jewelry is made with any type of glue to set the components together, they may come undone and need repair.

Have A Jeweler You Rely On For Cleanings and Repairs

With these techniques, you are ahead of the curve in terms of earring maintenance, no matter what your collection may have in store. Sometimes, though, you’re going to need professional help, whether that’s because you literally can’t get your jewelry as clean as you want it or because something is broken. 

Plus, you can stop a lot of these problems by buying top-quality products in the first place. Better materials and manufacturing will keep your earrings looking great for much longer and limit problems like oxidation.

Plus, when you’ve got a reliable jeweler on your side, you’ll be able to chill knowing that you’re covered if a worst-case scenario strikes. We’re all prone to mishaps now and then, and it’s a great feeling to know you have a warranty on your favorite piece.

At the very least, you should be able to email or call your go-to jeweler if you come up with any questions or concerns about your earrings, which will definitely happen at some point.

It’s a lot like the old days when your local jeweler was a family friend you could trust with anything. They’ll have your back if anything goes wrong or you need help in a pinch. Don’t neglect the power of a close connection with your jeweler.

They will be the ones to hook you up with the best earrings for your style, then help you keep them sparkling clean for years to come.


Earringsmust be kept clean always – it’s a matter of health, looks, and longevity for you and your favorite jewelry. Follow the rules we’ve established here, and you’ve got a rock-solid foundation, then follow up with your preferred jeweler for additional guidance.

You can make your earrings last a lifetime if you take our lead, so commit to a cleaning routine today and stick with the game plan.