Your jewelries are your precious investments, and they deserve the best care. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a silver necklace your grandmother handed to you, or your diamond engagement ring of 20 years – all your pieces gets dirty over time. Dust from the air, soap buildup, as well as oil and dander from your skin can accumulate on your jewelry (especially if you wear them all the time), leaving your jewelry dull and without luster.
All your beautiful pieces must be kept clean and shining, so here’s a guide that can help you keep your precious pieces shiny and looking like brand-new.
This guide covers how you can clean your jewelry through homemade solutions, jewelry-specific cleaners and ultrasonic cleaners.
Jewelry cleaning doesn’t need to be expensive. You don’t have to invest in some cleaners – chemicals or gadgets – just so you can keep your precious stones and metals beautiful. If you don’t own a lot of jewelry, relying on homemade cleaners can be just fine. Here are some DIY methods you can try for your pieces.
1. Remove tarnish from silver using dish soap and baking soda
If your silver pieces are looking dull and filmy, or if it’s starting to discolor, use some mild dish soap. Mix a few drops of the dish soap with warm water. Dip in a soft, lint-free cloth and rub it on the jewelry. Once you’re done, rinse it in cool water, then buff with a cloth until it’s dry.
If this doesn’t work, or if your silver piece has a heavier tarnish, use baking soda. Mix three parts of baking soda to one part water. Wet the silver, dip a lint-free cloth in the solution, and work the paste into the jewelry. Buff the jewelry as you turn the cloth as it turns gray. Rinse, then use another cloth to buff dry. Don’t rub silver-plated items too much as it can remove the finish.
2. Shine your gold using dish soap and seltzer water or club soda
To make your gold jewelry shiny again, mix a few drops of dish soap in a small bowl of club soda or sodium-free seltzer water. This works as the carbonation can help loosen up debris and soil. Place the jewelry in a small strainer, then place it in the bowl to soak for 5 minutes. Remove the strainer then go over the crevices of each piece with a soft toothbrush. Bring the jewelries back to the strainer then rinse them under running water. Dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
3. Remove dirt in costume jewelry using dish soap
Costume jewelries often have stones glued on, so you have to be careful when cleaning them so the glue won’t loosen up. Soaking them in any solution could loosen the glue and make stones op off. Mix dish soap with water, then dab a cloth in it. Use it to gently wipe away any smudges or grime. Then, wipe it off again with a cloth dipped in plain water. Pat dry using a dry cloth, then lay the pieces upside down to prevent moisture from soaking in.
4. Cleanse dull pearls using shampoo
Pearls could easily lose their luster over time, whether it’s real, fake or cultured. All you need is a mixture of warm water and little shampoo. Lay the strand of pearls on a soft cloth, then dip a clean, small makeup brush into the mixture. Use the brush to go over each of your pearls. Rinse it by wiping with a clean, damp cloth. Let the pearls air dry naturally.
With everyday wear, fine jewelry can eventually wear out. Constant wear without cleaning your jewelry can make them lose their luster, and can cause skin irritation and infection for you. Using a good jewelry cleaner that best suits your jewelry pieces can help preserve the life of your precious jewels, making it glowing and pristine so you pass them on to the next generation. Also, jewelry-specific cleaners does a better job in keeping your jewelry shiny and preventing tarnish, as compared to using cleaners you can find at home.
There are special solutions that can clean your silver, gold, pearl, colored stones and costume pieces. When it comes to stones, make sure you’re using the right solution for the right type of stone, since many stones don’t react well to some jewelry cleaners. Always read the label before you decide to clean your pieces with the cleaning solution you choose.
Here are some of the best jewelry cleaning solutions you can find on Amazon:
Weiman Jewelry Cleaner Liquid is your go-to jewelry cleaner that works well every time. It’s a gentle, detergent-based formula that contains ammonia, a mixture of surfactants and chelating agents that removes dirt and restores shine without harming your jewelry. It also works to remove tarnish, soap residue, gunk and grime for your pieces that are worn often, like bracelets, rings, earrings, necklaces, watch bands, cuff links and more. All you needs is a clean, soft cloth to buff your jewelry pieces with it. It works for gold, silver, platinum, diamonds and other precious stones. However, this shouldn’t be used with pearls, opals, jade, turquoise, ivory, coral, amber and malachite.
If you want a more natural cleaner and polisher, the Caribbean Gem Ultra Jewelry Cleaner Kit is the product for you. It’s ammonia-free and is made from non-toxic chemicals, such as a special blend of all-natural banana and coconut oils for a safe and effective cleaning of your jewelry. The kit includes and 8 oz. jar of cleaning solution with a dipping basket and soft bristle brush, 16 oz. bottle of refill solution, and 2 oz. jewelry polishing cream. Simply soak your jewelry in this cleaning solution, rinse with water and dry. Use the brush to remove buildup of gunk, dirt and grime. It’s appropriate for metal chains and bracelets made of gold, silver or platinum; jewelries with soft gemstones, precious and semi-precious stones; costume jewelry and fine jewelry; watches; glasses and sunglasses; as well as screens of your smart gadgets.
If you’re looking for a cleaner that will give your jewelries a professional shine, Quick N Brite 20002 Premium Jewelry Cleaner is what you may be looking for. This is ideal for cleaning your gold, silver, platinum, diamond, pearl and other precious gems and jewels. This cleaner also contains no ammonia or any harsh chemicals, making it environmentally safe. This kit includes free cleaning cloth and different brushes, so you don’t need to grab an old toothpaste anymore. Besides jewelries, this cleaner can also be used for mirrors, windows, computers, gadgets, stainless steel, chrome and glass.
Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaners
Ultrasonic cleaners are your best cleaners for jewelry. These are electronic devices that use high frequency sound waves and chemicals to create vacuum bubbles that “cling” to particles such as dirt, oil and other unknown substances. This process is called cavitation. The waves pull the contaminants off the objects. Then, the bubbles collapse after they attach to the contaminants, causing the surrounding liquid to fill the space they once occupied. This creates a scrubbing action at the microscopic level, making ultrasonic cleaners highly effective.
How does an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner work?
As implied above, jewelry cleaning is easier with the use of an ultrasonic cleaner. In the simplest terms, an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner is a device that has a tank where you can fill in with a jewelry cleaning solution, a motor that produces ultrasonic vibrations, and some buttons and/or display that allows you to control the device. Instructions on how to use one may vary from model to model, but generally, here’s how you can make it work:
- Prepare the cleaning solution. You may create one by filling the tank with water, then add a tablespoon of ammonia and drops of dishwashing liquid. However, if the model suggests a jewelry cleaning solution that works well with the device, then it’s best to go for it. Or simply use a trusted jewelry cleaning solution.
- Before you put your jewelry to the solution, turn on the ultrasonic cleaner. Let it run for at least 5 to 10 minutes before you begin to put the item you want to clean. This is to allow the system to mix very well and heat. Some models already have built-in heaters. It’s important to prevent bringing the water to boil. Just set it to the proper temperature level.
- Put the jewelry to the tank, one item after the other. Avoid putting pieces of jewelry all at once as it may scratch the jewelry. Let the device run for the number of minutes you have set.
- Switch the cleaner off when cleaning is done. Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before removing your jewelries from the tank. If there are remaining dirt in the jewelry, use a brush to remove it.
- Finally, rinse the jewelries with water to get rid of the traces of the cleaner. Then, dry the pieces with a soft, lint-free cloth.
Now that you have an idea on how to use an ultrasonic cleaner, here are some of the best ones from Amazon:
Vivreal Ultrasonic Cleaner can clean even your dirtiest, long-forgotten jewelry items and make them look new again in just a few minutes. This cleaner creates 43 kHz vibration frequency, which helps the cleaner give your pieces the deep cleaning it needs. It also has 5 timer setting modes for different degrees of dirt. It features a LED digital display with waterproof buttons and an auto shut-off feature. It’s also very easy to operate. You can get the bang from your buck with this cleaner as it can clean other items too, such as dental instruments, fountain pens, fishing reels, CD disks and more.
If you prefer an ultrasonic cleaner for your delicate chains and jewelries, Magnasonic Professional Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner is the one for you. It creates 42,000 Hz ultrasonic waves that generate tiny vacuum bubbles to reach intricate corners of jewelry. It comes with a removable plastic cleaning basket. Its stainless steel tank has 20 oz. capacity, which is spacious enough to hold various items. It’s easy to operate with its 5 pre0defined cleanse cycles and an auto-shut off feature to prevent overheating.
The Branson B200 Jewelry Cleaner is the type of unit that you would buy your mom for its easy operation. You just need to put the jewelry inside the basket, hit the on/off button, then wait for it to clean jewelries for 5 minutes. It has enough room for multiple pieces of jewelry, with its 15 oz. stainless steel tank. This device also comes with some bonus: a clamshell removable basket and a sample pack of jewelry cleaning powder, which makes up to 1 gallon of cleaning solution.