How to Use a Jewelry Cleaner

Jewelry cleaner

The best Jewelry cleaner can revive dull, tarnished pieces and make them sparkle like new. They’re available in liquid, wipes, cloths, and machines, and are designed to be gentle and effective on a variety of metals and non-porous gemstones. However, before you dive in, be sure to check your jewelry’s care instructions or the manufacturer’s list of suitable materials. Many different gemstones (and even plated jewelry) require special care and can’t stand up to the harsher cleaning methods some cleaners offer.

In addition to regular cleanings, proper storage is essential for preventing your precious pieces from becoming dirty in the first place. Keeping your jewelry in the right environment will help protect it from scratches, pitting, and oxidation. Read our article on How to Store Jewelry for more tips on keeping your jewelry looking its best!

A few drops of mild dish soap can remove a layer of dirt, dust, and skin oils that’s been building up on your jewelry. Soak it in a bowl of warm water and scrub gently with an old toothbrush before rinsing and drying. This isn’t a strong enough solution for serious stains or heavy buildup, but it’s a great way to freshen up a piece that only needs a little TLC.

Another option is to soak your jewelry in vinegar or witch hazel, but be careful: both these substances are slightly acidic and can damage softer stones and plated metals. They also may etch the surface of gemstones, especially emeralds and sapphires. To avoid this, use distilled white vinegar or lemon juice instead.

You can also use window cleaner to spruce up a piece that’s all-metal or has crystalline gems, but be careful with porous gemstones (like coral and pearl) as well as opals, turquoise, and jade. The ammonia in the cleaner can discolor these organic gemstones.

If your jewelry doesn’t require a deep clean but you’re looking for a quick and easy solution, try a gentle silver polish. These are specially formulated to remove tarnishing from silver jewelry and prevent future tarnishing. Just dip your jewelry in a solution for about 30 seconds, then rinse and dry it with a soft, lint-free cloth. You can find silver polishes in the jewelry care section of your local drugstore, or online retailers that specialize in fine jewelry.