How to Choose a Jewelry Cleaner

If you love to wear jewelry or collect it, you want each piece to shine and look new. But daily wear and environmental factors—like lotions, sunscreen and washing dishes—can dull even the most lustrous metals and stones.

A good jewelry cleaner helps to remove dirt and tarnish, keeping your jewels looking their best and lasting longer. Jewelry cleaners are available in a wide range of formulations, from gel to liquid, foam, and even ultrasonic cleansers or cloths. They also vary by the kind of jewelry they’re designed to clean, with some cleaners being better suited for specific types of metal or gemstones than others.

The most versatile jewelry cleaners are those that work on a variety of metals and stones, such as this solution that’s suitable for most gems, silver, and plated metals (not gold). It has an easy-to-use formula, including a dip basket for dunking, a brush for extra grime removal, and a wipe for polishing. Plus, it’s free of phosphates, butyls, ammonia and bleach—making it safe for porous stones like pearls as well.

This product is a great choice for cleaning a large collection of jewelry because it’s quick, safe, and affordable. It has a special formula that’s specially formulated to work on a variety of materials, including precious metals and gemstones. Plus, it’s fast-drying and smells fresh—unlike the foul ammonia smell of traditional glass cleaner.

Another budget-friendly option is hydrogen peroxide, which is also safe for most kinds of jewelry, although it’s not recommended for pearls or opals because it can weaken the enamel and stones. Mix a small amount in a bowl, let the jewelry soak for one to two minutes, and then rinse and dry with a lint-free cloth.

For a more hands-on approach, a simple mixture of water and vinegar is another effective way to clean jewelry. Cover your jewelry with witch hazel or vinegar and allow it to soak overnight, then scrub with an old toothbrush before rinsing. This method may scratch or pit softer stones, and the toothbrush’s bristles could cause scratches to some metals.

The most expensive and effective jewelry cleaners are those that come in a kit with a brush, cloth, and cleaner solution. This set from JASON DEWEL is a great value, with a deep cleaner, a gentle cleanser, and a polishing cream all in a handy storage box. JASON DEWEL also makes a more basic kit with a smaller pouch, cloth, and a bottle of cleaner for the budget-conscious. All of these kits make it easy to keep your jewelry collection sparkling bright. Just be sure to double-check that the jewelry cleaner you choose is safe for your pieces’ metals and gemstones, and read all care instructions carefully. And don’t stuff your jewelry into the same container; each piece should be treated individually, as it’s easier to damage delicate items by rubbing against other jewelry that may have sharp edges or hard-to-reach places. Be particularly careful when using jewelry cleaner with an ultrasonic cleaner or other machine, as they can affect some materials in unexpected ways.