5 Home Remedies for Cleaning Jewelry

Learn these clever hacks for how to clean jewelry and restore shine to your gems. We'll show you how to clean rings, earrings, necklaces, and more, using familiar items found around your house.

After years of wear, you might not even notice that your jewelry has lost its shine. Dirt, debris, and daily grime build up over time, making jewelry look dull. Luckily, there are many easy solutions for cleaning. You don't need a professional, or expensive jewelry polish, to breathe life back into your favorite gems. These easy-to-use home jewelry cleaners feature budget-friendly ingredients you likely already have on hand.

jewelry holder, diy, flea market projects

Keep in mind that some hacks work best for certain types of jewelry. Soft gemstones, for example, can't stand up to the harsher cleaning methods designed for gold and platinum. Make sure you know exactly what your jewelry is made of, and if you have any uncertainty, err on the side of caution and have your jewelry examined by a professional.

1. Put a Toothbrush to the Test

toothbrush holder, bathroom, bathroom accessories

A clean, soft-bristle toothbrush is the perfect weapon for fighting grime. Tiny bristles make it easy to access tough-to-reach nooks and crannies. For light spots, consider scrubbing with water. For tougher buildup, dilute toothpaste with water and scrub with it. Rinse with water, then wipe clean with a microfiber cloth. Let your jewelry dry before putting it away.

2. Let It Bubble with Baking Soda

cleaning DIY

If you're not in the mood to scrub, let a chemical reaction do the work for you. Both baking soda and effervescent heartburn tablets cause a chemical reaction when mixed with water. This reaction produces bubbles and fizz that eagerly attack the buildup on your jewelry. Simply place an item in a small bowl, cover with water, and add the active ingredient. Let the piece soak for a few minutes, then remove it from the bowl and wipe with a cleaning cloth. Let the jewelry dry before putting it away. This method is best suited as a diamond ring cleaner, or for silver or gold jewelry—do not use the technique on pearls or soft gemstones.

Get our other genius uses for baking soda.

3. Keep It Simple with Soap and Water

bathtub soap dish

Soap and water make a classic cleaning duo, for a reason. This simple solution makes quick work of spots, stains, and general grime without causing damage. Mix a few drops of liquid dish soap with a few cups of water, mix together, and place your jewelry into the mixture for a few seconds. Then remove and use a clean cloth to wipe dry and buff out any spots. Let the jewelry dry before putting it away. Keep in mind that this method is best for mild stains, tarnish, or general wear-and-tear, like those you'd find when cleaning sterling silver. It likely won't be strong enough for major spots, rust, or buildup.

Editor's Tip: This will help your jewelry retain its shine, and you'll sanitize the earring posts to reduce any chance of infection.

Learn more smart ways to clean silver.

4. Boiling Jewelry

boiling water, water, water in pan

Hot water is an easy (and cheap) cleaning solution for hard metal jewelry. Steam and heat loosen dirt and debris from the jewelry, making it a snap to wipe away. Simply place your pieces in a heatproof container, then slowly pour in boiling water until they're covered. Let the jewelry sit for a few minutes or until the water has cooled, then remove it and wipe away the grime with a clean cloth. Let the jewelry dry before putting it away. Keep in mind that this method will not work with pearls, opals, and many other gemstones. Reserve this technique for silver, gold, platinum, and diamonds.

5. Use Antibacterial Cleaner

Cleaners, spray bottles, cleaning products

You don't need a fancy jewelry cleaner to make your bling sparkle. Look no further than a multipurpose antibacterial cleaner. Start by pouring a few inches of the liquid cleaner into a glass bowl. Add your jewelry and let it sit for five minutes. As you wait, the buildup should begin to fall to the bottom of the bowl. Once the time is up, remove and gently scrub the jewelry with a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse under cool water, then pat dry with a clean cloth. Let your jewelry dry before putting it away.

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