Bring Back the Sparkle: How to Clean Jewelry the Right Way

There’s nothing quite like the sparkle in a new piece of jewelry, or the feeling of looking down at a beloved heirloom and knowing it was shining just as brightly when it was worn by your loved ones.

Have you noticed less bling in your ring lately? Don’t let your favorite pieces go dull just because you don’t know how to clean jewelry! The truth is, many pieces of jewelry, including precious metals and stones, can be cleaned right at home, even without going to a fancy jeweler.

Learning how to clean jewelry is learning how to care for your memories. Read on to find out the best way to care for different types of jewelry, and what type of jewelry cleaner is the best fit for each job.

How to Clean Silver

Silver can be a little bit high maintenance at times, as it tends to become tarnished. Tarnish is the result of a chemical reaction, which causes your silver to become dull and dark. While it’s best to keep your silver safe in air-restricted storage spaces, that can’t always happen and tarnish creeps in.

The fear of ruining or scratching our favorite pieces can often keep us from attempting to get silver sparkling again. The truth is, there are many simple ways to clean silver at home, and most of them are fairly straightforward!

The easiest involves aluminum foil, boiling water, and baking soda. When combined, these items cause a reverse chemical reaction, which is a fun way to use household science to achieve serious shine!

By filling an aluminum foil-lined bowl with boiling water and one tablespoon of baking soda per cup of water, you can create a substance that takes the tarnish right off, right before your eyes! As long as the jewelry is touching the foil, the process should work like magic.

Place your jewelry in the bowl and watch it closely. Even the most tarnished silver shouldn’t need more than about five minutes of soak time. Remove with tongs or another handy tool, rinse with cool water, and dry it off!

How to Clean Gold

Cleaning gold can be nerve-wracking because this precious metal often has a lot of sentimental value due to its price and classic look. Luckily, you don’t need to become a chemist to clean your gold!

If you want a super simple option, Sparkle Bright Products sells an all-natural polishing cream that can get your gold gleaming in no time. If you’d rather use something you have on hand, however, there’s an easy option for that too!

Gold requires a milder solution than silver. By mixing lukewarm water (not hot or boiling water!) with a little bit of mild dish soap, you can create a simple solution that will get your gold jewelry sparkling. Simply soak your gold in the solution for up to fifteen minutes, then scrub with a soft brush (even a toothbrush will work) until you have achieved the shine you’re hoping for.

Not happy with this method? You don’t want to mess around too much with precious gold, so if the soap-and-water method isn’t doing it for you, it may be time to bring your gold jewelry to a jeweler, who can use professional tools to make sure everything stays intact. Sometimes, it’s best to leave it to the professionals!

How to Clean White Gold

What’s the difference between gold jewelry and white gold jewelry? Well, foremost, the color!

White gold gets its color from the other metals it’s mixed with, which tend to have a lighter color, such as nickel. Likewise, your yellow gold gets its color from metals like copper, which tend to be more yellow. Whatever the reason, your white gold jewelry is precious to you, and it deserves just as much care as your silver and yellow gold!

The good news? Yellow gold and white gold can both be cleaned at home, using the same warm water and dish soap method.

The same rules apply here too. If you’re not happy with the look of your jewelry after a quick dip in the soapy water, it may be time to bring your gold to a jeweler.

White gold tends to be plated with rhodium, which is a kind of platinum. When this wears down, a jeweler can replace the coating with a rhodium dip or replate the piece to restore it. If you’re unsure, it’s a good idea to bring your jewelry to a professional, just to make sure you are doing your best to take care of your precious pieces!

Other Jewelry Cleaning Tips

Have a piece of jewelry that doesn’t fit into one of the categories above? Here are a few extra tips that can help you if you’re dealing with something special or unique and want to learn how to clean jewelry with stones or special features.

Stones, Gems, and Pearls

When cleaning jewelry with stones, gems, or pearls, you should take special care. These precious elements are easily damaged by chemicals and may not survive your DIY cleaning process. Even commercial jewelry cleaners can harm your diamonds or other bling.

If you want to shine these up at home, it’s best to go with the dish soap and water method.

Costume Jewelry

The truth is, costume jewelry tends to be cheap, and your most eccentric pieces may not survive an intense cleaning process. If you still want to give it a try, it’s best to attempt a spot cleaning with some soapy water and a q-tip.

The key is to avoid accessive moisture, as even well-constructed costume pieces tend to deteriorate, simply due to the materials used to create them.

Now You Know How to Clean Jewelry

Whether you are caring for silver, gold, white gold, or something more unique, learning how to clean jewelry with household products can save you money and restore your sparkle! So remember our tips for cleaning your pieces.

Want to learn how to style your newly sparkly jewelry? Check out some other posts on fashion on the blog!

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