Jewelry cleaner removes the natural oils and smudges from your jewelry to keep it looking shiny. It also helps catch any loose stones, loose prongs, or other structural problems that might make your piece unwearable.
Regardless of how often you wear your jewelry, you’ll need to clean it from time to time. Dirt, body oils, lotion, soap, shampoo, food, hairspray, and more will accumulate between every stone and metal in your collection. As the accumulated schmutz builds up, it can cause your jewelry to become dull or even discolored.
There are a variety of ways to clean your jewelry at home, from simple to complex methods. Some cleaning methods are safe to use on a wide range of jewelry, while others are more abrasive and will damage softer gemstones or plated metals.
The easiest way to clean your jewelry is with soap and water. Simply pour a small amount of dish detergent into a bowl and add a little warm water. Scrub your jewelry gently with the solution and rinse it thoroughly. This method works for both silver and gold pieces, and will help restore their shine.
Another common home cleaning trick is to soak your jewelry in a bowl of vinegar or lemon juice. This may be convenient, but it can ruin your jewelry’s finish. Vinegar is too acidic to properly clean delicate soft gemstones and plated metals, and can scratch these types of jewelry.
A better alternative is to mix equal parts of salt and baking soda with hot water. Sprinkle both ingredients onto a pan lined with aluminum foil, then place your jewelry on top of the solution. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
This method is great for removing tarnish, but it’s not as effective as a more thorough method like using an ultrasonic or steam machine. The baking soda and salt will create a chemical reaction with the water, which can remove any tarnish.
Baking soda and salt are abrasive, so they’ll likely scratch your jewelry’s finish. Be sure to rinse your jewelry completely before storing it or wearing it, as you’ll want to avoid staining or rusting it.
For a more thorough approach, consider using a cleaning solution designed specifically for your jewelry. These solutions usually come with a microfiber cloth to wipe the surface of your jewelry. These cleaners are safer to use than abrasive materials and can be applied repeatedly without risking damage.
You can also try a jewelry brush that’s designed for this job, but be sure to check the label. Some are made of soft, flexible bristles that can get into recessed areas and crevices. This type of brush can also be used to clean delicate gemstones.
Pearls are a delicate gemstone, and they can be damaged by harsh chemicals. It’s a good idea to have them checked by a professional about once a year to ensure their prongs are still strong enough to hold the stone in place.