Whether they’re the crowning jewel of your outfit or an eye-catching accent, jewelry deserves to be treated with care. Keeping your jewelry clean isn’t as difficult as you might think, and there are plenty of cleaners available in liquid, wipe, cloth, machine, or cream form. Some options are specialized to work best with specific metals or stones, and others can be used on most types of jewelry. You can even use homemade cleaners made with ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
Using jewelry cleaners at home is the easiest way to keep your favorite accessories looking fresh and sparkly. Most people choose to use a mix of baking soda and vinegar or witch hazel and water to soak their jewelry overnight. The combination works well to remove tarnish and grime from most metals, but it may not be safe for porous gems like pearls and coral or plated jewelry, as both vinegar and witch hazel can be acidic. Adding a drop of tea tree oil can help reduce the risk of damage to these delicate materials. Alternatively, you can polish your jewelry with toothpaste or an old toothbrush that’s been scrubbed with dish soap and water. Just be sure to use a soft-bristle toothbrush and don’t scratch the metal or stones.
If you’re worried about damaging your jewelry or prefer to get a professional job done, many jewelers offer jewelry cleaning services. The service can usually be completed in a matter of minutes and is often cheaper than purchasing a jewelry cleaner. However, before you go to a jeweler, be sure that you understand what type of jewelry you own and what the service includes. Some jewelers only offer the service for rings, while others do a more thorough cleaning, including stones and chains.
A more advanced option for at-home jewelry cleaning is an ultrasonic cleaner. This machine uses a high-frequency vibration to create bubbles that penetrate into crevices and corners of the piece, loosening dirt and grime. The bubbles then fall away from the piece, leaving it shiny and free of any dirt or tarnish. The jewelry can then be rinsed off, and any remaining tarnish can be buffed with a cloth.
While this is the most effective method for most jewelry, it’s important to read all instructions carefully before using an ultrasonic cleaner. Some may require soaking overnight, and some use ammonia-based cleaners that can damage certain metals or stones. You’ll also need a bowl or container to hold the jewelry during the process. Those with a lot of jewelry may want to invest in an ultrasonic cleaner with a larger capacity, which will allow them to clean their entire collection more quickly. For a fast and efficient way to clean your jewelry, consider investing in a dry disposable wipe such as this set from Connoisseurs. Each pack contains 30 dry wipes that are perfect for gold and silver, and can also be used on a variety of other precious metals and stones.