We love our jewelry and want it to shine for us, but everyday activities like scrubbing dishes or applying lotions leave behind fingerprints that dull the sparkle of diamonds and other gems. Hands and other surfaces also transfer oils to precious metals, causing them to look dull or tarnished. To help your jewelry shine its best, it’s important to regularly clean it with a gentle, effective cleaner or machine. There are many options available, from liquid cleaners to wipes to machines that use sound waves or steam. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites, from store-bought to homemade.
This natural steam cleaner uses heated water to create powerful steam that gently removes dirt and grime, revitalizing your jewelry to look as shiny as it did when you first got it. It’s also safe for gold, sterling silver, and most gemstones (although we do recommend avoiding pearls and other porous gems). The machine is simple to use: turn on the tank, add water, and insert your jewelry into the basket. You can choose from continuous or burst mode, and the LED lights let you know when it’s ready to start cleaning. It takes about four minutes for the steam to heat up, which is indicated by a ready light on the unit.
Most jewelry cleaners are gentle enough to be used on most materials, but always read the product’s instructions carefully and follow recommended cleaning methods for specific metals and gemstones. Some cleaners require submerging the piece in a liquid solution, while others can be used by simply wiping or brushing it. You can also purchase a jewelry cleaner brush that helps to reach into all the nooks and crannies of intricate pieces.
If you’d rather not deal with the mess of a traditional cleaner, try a jewelry polishing cloth. They’re usually made from silk and come in various sizes, allowing you to efficiently polish most of your collection at once. These cloths also won’t leave your pieces with an odor, and they can be reused over and over again.
Whether you have a little tarnish or a lot of built-up grime, there’s an option out there for you. The key is to remember that routine cleaning can keep your jewelry looking its best, and storing it properly will prevent the need for more serious treatments in the future.
When you’re done, make sure your jewelry is dry before putting it back on and enjoying its newly-sparkling appearance. For a touch of extra shine, try buffing it with a soft, lint-free cloth. We suggest getting a few of these so that you have one at the ready when your jewelry needs a quick refresher between wears. You might even want to consider purchasing a jewelry cleaner bag to keep your treasured pieces safe and secure while they’re not in use. A great option is this one from BagBuddy, which comes in an array of vibrant colors and has multiple pockets to keep your jewels organized.