Jewelry gets dirty over time and needs a thorough cleaning routine to stay looking its best. Oil and dander from your skin, dust from the air and buildup from hand soap all contribute to dull-looking jewelry.
The best way to clean your jewelry depends on the type of metal it is made from and the gemstones in it. For example, silver baubles require different cleaning solutions than gold ones. Similarly, softer metals and stones such as pearls need extra care and attention.
How to Clean Your Jewelry
There are many ways to keep your jewelry clean, from traditional hand washing and scrubbing with a toothbrush or soft-bristled brush to more high-tech methods like ultrasonic cleaners or steam machine cleaners. However, choosing the right solution can be tricky because it’s important to know how each piece reacts to exposure to certain chemicals or heat.
For instance, you should never use baking soda on your gemstones or other gems with soft or delicate surfaces because it can scratch them, says Patrick O’Connell, a GIA-certified jewelry expert at Signet Jewelers in New York City. And be aware that any solution with ammonia, chemicals or abrasive ingredients can also damage sensitive stones.
Another simple method is to soak jewelry in a solution of 1 part dishwashing liquid and 2 parts warm water for a few minutes. The solution will help remove built-up grime from the metal and stones and bring out their natural shine.
To get a really good clean, you should leave your jewelry items in the solution for at least 30 minutes. During this time, the ultrasonic vibrations in the liquid whip up agitated bubbles that will break down the dirt. Once the cycle is finished, it’s important to gently rinse your jewelry items with clean water and pat them dry with a lint-free cloth.
Connoisseurs Dazzle Drops Advanced
The latest iteration of this line from Connoisseurs features ammonia-free formulas that are safe to use on your skin and won’t wear on your jewelry over time. This kit is inexpensive and comes with a dip tray to put your jewelry in and a small brush for scrubbing the jewelry’s intricate designs.
Alternatively, you can buy a special polishing pen for your jewelry pieces with thousands of five-star reviews on Amazon. This stone shining tool has a little brush on the side and fits into a slot in the dip tray for easy storage after you’re done scrubbing your bling.
How to Clean Your Necklaces, Bracelets and Rings
If your rings are looking dull or have tarnish, try soaking them in a mixture of one part dishwashing detergent and two parts warm water for a few minutes. After rinsing, gently pat them dry with a lint-free towel and admire the dazzling results.
How to Clean Your Costume Jewelry
If you have some costume jewelry that is starting to look dull and drab, try soaking it in a solution of a cup of hot water with a teaspoon of baking soda for ten minutes. Then, use a soft toothbrush or a small brisketel brush to scrub around the diamonds and other stones.