How to Clean All Your Jewelry At Home
I’ve been sharing a lot of tips and tricks when it comes to detangling your jewelry and how to store it, and my next goal? Putting all my knowledge around jewelry cleaning into one guide that you can keep coming back to! I know there’s a lot of confusion and too much information out there, but don’t worry - this guide is here to help you in keeping your jewelry nice and shiny as long as possible! And you can clean all your jewelry at home! We’ll look at different types of jewelry, key characteristics, and the best way to clean based on various properties.
Okay, so what is costume jewelry, and how do you clean it?
Costume jewelry is what you find at Claire’s, Target, Wal-Mart, etc. They are made with inexpensive materials and do not contain precious or plated material.
How to clean costume jewelry
- A toothbrush
- A bowl of water
You’ll need white toothpaste rather than gel-like ones to get rid of orange-colored and/or tarnished costume jewelry. Take the toothbrush, apply some toothpaste and gently scrub until it starts to spark. All done! Just rinse the jewelry, and you’re good to go!
How to clean copper jewelry
For copper-based jewelry, you’ll need a bowl…and some ketchup. Yes, you read that right! Leave the jewelry in the ketchup for about 10 minutes, come back, and wipe it down with either a cloth or a paper towel.
P.S. You can also do this with copper pans, so it’s a multi-purpose cleaning tip!
What is fashion jewelry
Up next, we’ll look at how to clean fashion jewelry. This is generally gold or silver-plated jewelry in the $50-200 range. The base metals differ. The amount of plating can vary from piece to piece, which is why the range is so varied.
Plated jewelry is more budget-friendly, which is great! Generally, real gold is 5 times more expensive than gold-plated jewelry. Amazing right? But the plating tends to tarnish or fade over time, which is why cleaning those pieces is so important.
How to clean fashion jewelry
Gently scrub to clean
Using harsh chemicals like sterling silver cleaning, as that causes damage
Use natural ingredients like salt and baking soda
Cleaning with silver cleaning cloths, they tend to be abrasive and will make the plating come off
- A bowl
- Baking soda
Take your bowl and wrap a layer of foil around the inside of the bowl. Add equal parts of salt and baking soda - I generally use a tablespoon of each, but you may want to add or subtract depending on the number of pieces. Pour boiling hot water into the mixture, take a spoon and stir it well until the content dissolves.
Add the jewelry in and gently stir to ensure that the fizzy mixture gets into the nooks and the crannies of your jewelry. After a few seconds, you’ll likely see some gradual change. If you have a lot of pieces in, give it time! Once you’re happy with the results, take the pieces out and rinse.
Remember, no scrubbing! Use a microfiber cloth, like the ones you get with sunglasses, to reduce the risk of removing the plating while drying. Or you can just let it air dry.
How to Make Your Plated Jewelry Last Longer
If you’d like to extend the life of your plated jewelry, here are some quick tips:
- Apply lotion and perfumes before putting on your plated jewelry.
- Remove your plated jewelry before swimming. Chlorine isn’t good for any jewelry!
- Wash and dry your hands before putting plated jewelry.
- Store the metals separately because they can scratch one another.
I store my jewelry in anti-tarnish bags that comes in with each Laura Elizabeth order.
How to clean fine jewelry
Fine jewelry can include solid metal jewelry (so no plating) like gold and precious stones like diamonds. We’ll go over the steps to get your gold jewelry clean and shiny!
How to clean gold jewelry
- Boil water in a pot. Once it starts to reach a boil, add gold jewelry in.
- Add a teaspoon of baking soda while the jewelry is in the pot.
- After a minute, turn off the flame and let it soak for 5-10 minutes.
- Once it’s done soaking, take a mild dish washing soap and a soft toothbrush for additional cleaning.
Depending on the karats in your gold jewelry, its hardness can vary. That’s why it’s better to use a soft toothbrush to reduce any abrasiveness. Once you’re done scrubbing, rinse with water and pat it dry.
How to clean diamonds
- Soak the ring in de-greasing solution like diluted gentle dish soap
- Remove ring from solution and use a soft clean toothbrush to get off excess gunk
- Be sure this is a new toothbrush and make it your designated ring cleaning brush
- Be gentle and mindful when cleaning
- Make sure to get the inside of the ring/back of the diamond where there’s more oil build up
- Rinse with water
- Dry with lint-free/microfiber cloth
- If you are cleaning over a sink… Make sure to close the drain!
That’s it! Hopefully, you feel a lot more confident cleaning your jewelry now, but even if you don’t - no need to worry! I’m always here to help, so feel free to drop me a message with your jewelry challenges, and together we can try to figure them out!