Jewelry cleaners are a necessity to keep your fine jewelry clean and beautiful. Dirt, lotions and oils from daily wear can tarnish or discolor precious metals and gemstones. And some materials, such as pearls and opals, are delicate enough that you can’t use ordinary soap and water on them.
Luckily, there are several effective ways to remove dirt from your jewelry and make it sparkle again. But before you start grabbing your favorite cleaning solution, consider which type of jewelry you have and what kind of cleaning you want to do.
The best jewelry cleaners come in various forms, from a simple bottle to an ultrasonic machine. Some are specifically formulated for silver jewelry, while others are safe for pearls, opals and other soft gems.
Baking soda or effervescent heartburn tablets can also be an effective jewelry cleaner when combined with water. They react to the water and produce bubbles that attack grime and stains. But be sure to only use these methods on gold and diamond rings, because the reaction could cause damage to pearls and other soft gemstones.
If you’re on the go or you just need to wipe down your jewelry quick, these plant-based, non-toxic and fragrance-free towelettes are easy to stash in your travel bag. They instantly remove dirt, makeup and surface oils from metals and stones to leave your jewelry looking and smelling fresh.
A clean, soft-bristled toothbrush can help scrub away light buildup and scuffs from hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. But be aware that this technique isn’t as effective as a more aggressive scrubbing method.
Another good way to get into those hard-to-reach places is with a steam cleaner. These devices are often available at hardware stores and can remove built-up dirt, rust and oxidation from hard metals, such as silver and gold.
These machines vibrate at an ultrasonic frequency of 37,000 cycles per second or 37 kHz to generate billions of microscopic vacuum bubbles that break up and blast away contaminants. The process also loosens and removes any stubborn deposits on metals and stones, preventing tarnish from returning.
An ultrasonic jewelry cleaner can be a great option for cleaning multiple pieces at once, but they can be pricey. But the cost is worth it when you know you’re scrubbing down your jewelry with gentle yet efficient power that will leave them looking and smelling like new.
Brilliant offers a jewelry cleaning kit that includes a tray for your items to sit in and a small brush to help you scrub out the toughest scuffs and marks. You can use the same technique you’d do with soap and water, but instead of soaking your jewelry in this solution for a few minutes, you can leave them in for up to three.
The kit also comes with a polishing cloth, measuring cup and tweezers for easier handling. And the LED lighting makes it easy to see the results.
Soap and water are a classic cleaning duo, but they aren’t strong enough to remove stubborn spots and tarnish. That said, they are still an excellent choice for cleaning everyday pieces with minor smudges and stains.