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DIY Jewelry Cleaner

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People wear jewelry for varying reasons. You can wear them for identification, personal status, beauty, or to signify an event.

Whatever the function, jewelry is often an investment. It can be financial or sentimental. But all jewelry holds some value to the wearer. 

Unfortunately, even the most treasured pieces can lose their shine and sparkle with time. But their invaluable nature doesn’t always allow us to discard them easily.

So, how do you restore their sparkle and use them longer or even pass them on to the next generation?

You can hire professional jewelry cleaning services, but they are expensive.

Moreover, store-bought cleaners may contain harsh chemicals that can damage your jewelry. 

That’s where DIY jewelry cleaner comes in.

With a few locally available ingredients, you can create a homemade cleaner that will restore your ornaments’ luster without breaking the bank. 

Explore the benefits of DIY jewelry cleaner, the ingredients, and tools you’ll need, and how to get started from this article.

different jewelries on display

What Do You Need for DIY Jewelry Cleaner?

There are many types of homemade jewelry cleaners. The ingredients you use depend on the jewelry material and coating.

That said, you need the following tools and equipment.

  • Two small bowls/basins.
  • Pieces of microfiber cloth.
  • A small, soft-bristled brush (an old toothbrush works well).
  • A medium-sized towel.

You also need the following substances for the cleaning solution:

  • Dishwashing liquid without bleach.
  • Warm water.
  • Baking soda.
  • Distilled white vinegar.
  • Liquid ammonia.

Note that you can change the above substances to suit different jewelry. 

For example, pearl jewelry loses its luster when you wash it in distilled vinegar or baking soda. Therefore, you should only use warm water and dishwashing soap on them.

baking soda with white vinegar on the table

How to Make a General DIY Jewelry Cleaner

You can make a homemade general jewelry cleaner using the following steps.

  1. Pour one cup of warm water into a small bowl or basin.
  2. Add ¼ cup of baking soda.
  3. Stir to form a homogenous mixture.

The above can be used to clean most types of jewelry apart from those with pearls.

cleaning jewelry diamond ring with glass of hot water and dishwashing liquid on wooden table

How to Clean Jewelry Using a Homemade Cleaner

After preparing the cleaning solution, use it to clean your ornaments in a separate bowl.

  1. Put your pieces of jewelry in an empty bowl or basin. If there are many pieces, you can clean them in shifts.
  2. Ensure you spread the jewelry pieces on the base of the bowl with enough space around each piece.
  3. Add enough cleaning solution to submerge all the pieces.
  4. Let them soak for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Use the small soft-bristled brush (or an old toothbrush) to scrub each piece gently. Ensure you reach all the nooks and crannies to remove hidden dirt.
  6. Bracelets and chains hide a lot of dirt along the joints. Ensure you take time to scrub all the hidden surfaces to remove oil, grease, and dust particles.
  7. Fill another bowl with warm water. Transfer the jewelry pieces scrubbed in the cleaning solution to the warm water and rinse thoroughly. Cold water tends to solidify oil and grease, therefore, use warm water.
  8. Spread the clean pieces on a clean towel and let the water drip. You can wipe them using pieces of microfiber cloth to restore their sparkle.
  9. You can also rinse your pieces in hot running water. But ensure you block the sink with a stopper to prevent your pieces from running down the drain.
Jeweler cleaning jewelry diamond ring with fabric cloth

Can I Remove Tarnish From Jewelry Using a DIY Cleaner?

Metallic jewelry loses its shiny luster when its surface reacts with oxygen in the air. But you can remove tarnish from your silver, copper, or brass jewelry using a special DIY cleaner.

Follow the following steps to remove tarnishes from your jewelry pieces.

  1. Put about 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a basin.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar or lemon juice.
  3. Allow the ingredients to react until the fizzing stops.
  4. Apply the paste on the tarnished jewelry, ensuring you spread it to cover all surfaces.
  5. Let the pieces stay for 30 minutes.
  6. Rinse the pieces in warm water, put them on a towel to dry, and wipe them using a microfiber cloth
Woman hands cleaning and polishing golden jewelry at home

Tips to Keep Your Jewelry Clean 

You can keep your jewelry clean after wearing it through the following practices.

  • Wipe your jewelry using a soft or jeweler’s cloth. This removes oil and dust and restores the ornament’s sparkle.
  • Avoid harsh cleaners such as chlorine bleaches or scouring powder because they tarnish your jewelry.
  • Wrap your jewelry in a soft cloth when storing it to protect the pieces against scratching each other.
  • Take off all jewelry before swimming because the chlorine in treated water and salty water can damage them.
  • Remove rings when applying beauty products or washing garments using bleach detergents. Some lotions can react with the metallic coating and tarnish your ornaments.
  • Take your valuable jewelry to an expert to check their status and advise you accordingly. Some settings on expensive jewelry require a specialist.

Summary of Common Jewelry and Methods of Cleaning 

The table below summarizes the ideal cleaning methods for different jewelry.

Jewelry TypeDIY CleanerCleaning Frequency
Gold jewelryAdd a few drops of dish soap to warm water and clean with a soft brush. If the pieces contain precious stones, rinse them in seltzer water instead of plain water. The seltzer loosens dirt and removes debris trapped in the settings.Clean every 1-2 weeks.
Silver JewelryDish soap and warm water for light tarnish. Add three parts of baking soda to one part of water for heavy tarnish. Apply white toothpaste, allow it to rest, and rinse using warm water.Clean every 2-6 months.
Costume jewelryDish soap and cold water. Wipe gently and rinse in cold water before air drying.
Once every month.
Jewelry with pearlsClean in mild shampoo and warm water. Rinse using a damp cloth and air dry.
NEVER soak jewelry with pearls because water weakens the string.
Once every two months.
Jeweller hand cleaning and polishing vintage jewelry diamond ring

Final Thoughts 

Cleaning your jewelry using homemade cleaning solutions is fast, affordable, and effective. With most of the tools and reagents you need readily available, you have nothing to fear about cost.

To avoid destroying your jewelry’s beauty, note the material they are made of before you choose a suitable remedy. And also, avoid detergents containing chlorine beaches.

DIY should help you maintain your ornaments’ sparkle.

However, this doesn’t replace the role of jewelry experts, especially for valuable pieces. 

Remember to visit the jeweler occasionally for advice and to keep your valuable pieces in good shape.