Normal everyday wear of jewelry can dirty, dull, and tarnish your precious pieces. Fortunately, you can avoid the expense of going to a professional if you learn how to safely clean your jewelry at home.
If your silver, gold, or gemstones are in need of a pick-me-up, then follow these simple cleaning steps. A gentle scrub and polish will have them back to sparkling in no time.
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How to Clean Silver
Remove silver tarnish with this simple cleaning method that lets the magic of ion exchange do the work for you.
Things You'll Need
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
Step 1: Line a bowl with aluminum foil.
Gather all of your silver pieces that need cleaning. You can use this method with any piece of jewelry, like rings, bracelets, necklaces, or earrings.
Then find a bowl big enough to hold all of the jewelry and line it with aluminum foil.
Step 2: Add salt and baking soda.
Before you add the jewelry, first combine the salt and baking soda and add it to the bowl.
Step 3: Add jewelry and cover with water.
Now add the jewelry to the bowl in a single layer. Then pour in enough water to cover the items and let them sit in the bowl for a couple of hours.
Step 4: Rinse and wipe dry.
Rinse the silver with hot water. If food or dirt bits are stuck on the jewelry you can give them a gentle scrub with a toothbrush. Then wipe dry with a soft rag.
How to Clean Gold and Gemstones
Bring back the luster of gold jewelry with a gentle washing to remove marks and residue. You can also use this gentle cleaning method on most gemstones, like diamonds, rubies, sapphires, or amethysts.
Do not use this method on porous gemstones like pearls or turquoise because they shouldn't be immersed in water. Simply polish them with a soft rag.
You can research how to care for your specific stone here. If you're unsure what type of stone you have, check with a professional jeweler who can help you identify it and how to care for it.
Things You'll Need
1 teaspoon mild dish soap
1 cup warm water
Step 1: Soak in soapy water.
Mix together a gentle cleaning solution of mild dish soap and warm water in a small bowl. Add the jewelry pieces to the bowl and let them soak for a few moments.
Step 2: Scrub with a soft toothbrush.
Use a soft brush to gently scrub your jewelry. Emphasis on gentle here! You don't want to scratch the surface.
Step 3: Clean with a toothpick.
For stubborn gunk, use a toothpick to pick out debris from grooves or settings. Again, be gentle. Don't go overboard prying or you could damage the prongs of the setting.
Then dip the jewelry piece back into the cleaning solution solution and rinse in warm water.
Finish with a gentle polish with a soft cloth or rag. Make sure all jewelry is completely dry before putting the pieces away.
To keep jewelry shiny and bright, store your pieces an inch or so apart in a container that's lined with soft fabric. A jewelry box is perfect for keeping jewelry out of direct sunlight and humidity as well as organized and tangle-free.
For jewelry that you wear often, remember to remove them when doing kitchen tasks like cooking or washing dishes. Apply makeup, lotion, perfume, and hairspray before putting on jewelry to avoid residue buildup.