How to Choose a Jewelry Cleaner

Whether you have gold, sterling silver or diamonds, jewelry cleaning is an important step in keeping your accessories sparkling and looking like new. There are many different jewelry cleaner products on the market, but choosing one is about more than just a brand name or a specific ingredient list. Consider if you prefer a ready-to-use solution or if you want a DIY cleaner and what bonus features are available in each product. For instance, some cleaners come with a tray and brush for an easy hands-free experience while others can only be used in a machine.

A quick and simple home jewelry cleaner can be made with ingredients you already have in your kitchen. This solution is safe for most metals and stones, including pearls (though it’s not recommended for costume pieces that are glued in place because prolonged exposure to water could weaken the glue). Pour a cup of warm water into a small glass container and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Stir to dissolve the soap, then let your jewelry soak for a few minutes before rinsing and drying.

Some commercial jewelry cleaners are ready to use while others require mixing before use. Some of these include abrasives, which are effective but can scratch softer gemstones like opal and pearls. Some also contain ammonia or alcohol, which aren’t safe for certain types of metals and can cause damage over time if used too frequently or on delicate jewelry.

This jewelry cleaner from Connoisseurs is easy to use, as it comes in a ready-to-use 8-ounce bottle with a dipping tray and brush included. The chemical-free formula can be diluted and re-used, so you can get your accessories back to their original shine while protecting your investment. The cleaner has a mild fragrance and is safe for most metals, although it’s not safe for certain precious stones.

If you have a little more time and want a hands-free experience, consider purchasing an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner like this option from iUltrasonic. The generator powered ultrasonic transducers in the stainless steel tank create vibrations at a frequency higher than human hearing and can dislodge dust, grime and buildup on your jewelry. The cleaner also works well for removing tarnish, and the tray and brush are a great bonus to have on hand for hard-to-reach places in your jewelry.

While a jewelry cleaner is an important tool to keep in your arsenal, it’s best to clean your items regularly with warm water and gentle, colorless and fragrance-free soap to avoid abrasion or chemical damage. A clean, soft-bristled toothbrush can also help you get to those tricky corners and crevices in your jewelry, though it’s not recommended for soaking delicate gems such as opals or pearls in water for too long. If you do decide to soak your jewelry, be sure to let it dry completely afterward in order to prevent water spots. The more frequently you clean your jewelry, the less effort and time it will take to maintain its sparkle.