How to Clean Your Jewelry at Home

Jewelry cleaner

You’ve got a gorgeous ring, necklace or bracelet that needs some sprucing up. Fortunately, there’s no need to visit a jeweler or spend a fortune to get it sparkling clean again. Many home items are just as effective (and much cheaper) at getting jewelry looking like new. We consulted jewelry experts and found all sorts of easy-to-use at-home cleaners that aren’t just safe for gold, but work on sterling silver and even gemstones. Whether you need a quick fix or a complete makeover, one of these jewelry cleaners will have your pieces shining like new.

Depending on the type of jewelry you have, different cleaners will work best for them. Look for a product that will work on your specific metals or stones and can be used repeatedly without risking damage. Liquid cleaners are the most versatile but ultrasonic machines provide the fastest results. When shopping for an ultrasonic cleaner, look for one with several settings and a timer to adjust according to your needs.

A simple mix of vinegar, lemon juice or distilled water with baking soda can do wonders for your tarnished jewelry. Pour a tablespoon of either solution over the jewelry and let it sit overnight. Then, coat with a little baking soda and scrub with an old toothbrush before rinsing clean. This method works best on silver, but can also be used on copper and brass.

If your gems are a little dirtier, you can use Kiehls Coriander Soap, which is gentle enough for most stone jewelry but still strong enough to remove tarnish. The natural ingredients in this liquid foaming soap will leave your jewelry shiny and soft. This method is safe for most gemstones, but you should avoid using it on delicate pearls and any glued or porous stones.

Another way to make your jewelry sparkle is by dipping it in some fizzing Alka-Seltzer for a few minutes. The carbonate in the tablet reacts with tarnished metal, leaving it bright and shiny again. This is a great last-minute trick for jewelry you have on before going out, as it takes only a few minutes to soak and can work wonders. Be aware that the abrasive cleaning particles can scratch some softer metals or stones, so if you’re using it on a delicate piece, rinse it immediately afterward. The same goes for other abrasive household products, such as toothpaste. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a dull-looking ring full of tiny scratches.