How to Clean Your Jewelry at Home

Whether it’s an inexpensive ring from the dollar store or a multi-piece fine jewelry collection, most jewelry can benefit from periodic cleaning to remove buildup of oil and grime, which can dull the finish. The good news is that you don’t need to go to a professional jeweler for this job; there are several at-home solutions that can breathe new life into your jewelry. While some of these methods can damage certain types of jewelry, most can safely clean precious and semi-precious gemstones as well as gold, silver and platinum.

One of the most common ways to clean jewelry is to put it in a solution of water and baking soda. This is the same technique that many jewelers use when they are scrubbing jewelry for customers. When mixed together, these ingredients cause a chemical reaction that eagerly attacks the buildup. The mixture should be placed in a small bowl, then the jewelry is added and allowed to soak for a few minutes. Once the time is up, the jewelry should be removed from the bowl and wiped down with a soft cloth.

Another popular method to clean jewelry is to soak it in a hot pot of water with some lemon juice. While this may sound a bit crazy, it’s actually one of the best ways to remove tarnish and grime from most metals, including platinum and gold. The acidity of the lemon juice helps to eat away at the oxidation that causes tarnishing. However, pearls and other soft gemstones should never be soaked in this manner; the acid could crack them and even disintegrate them.

While ultrasonic cleaners are very effective for most metals, they are a risky choice for any type of gemstone jewelry, especially those that have inclusions. For example, emeralds and other soft gemstones can crack when exposed to the pressure waves of an ultrasonic cleaner. Also, opals and moonstones have a very low hardness rating of only 4 on the Mohs scale, making them susceptible to cracking as well.

If you have a favorite piece of jewelry that needs a little extra attention, try using an Effy Jewelry cleaner. This product is specifically formulated to clean diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones without damaging them or their settings. This product is safe and easy to use, and it can help restore jewelry’s shine and luster. For the most delicate gems, a gentle mixture of soap and water may be used, and if your jewelry is extremely dirty or damaged, it is best to take it to a professional for proper care and cleaning.