Keeping your jewelry sparkling and clean doesn’t have to mean a trip to the jewelers or purchasing fancy cleaners. With common household items, you can keep your treasured heirlooms and newer pieces from becoming dull and tarnished. Don’t let your jewelry sit around in a box, never to be seen just because they need a little elbow grease. Here are some ways that you can clean your jewelry looking brand new from home.
Baking soda, water, and aluminum foil
Unleash your inner scientist, because this jewelry cleaning hack removes even the worst tarnish. Line a bowl with aluminum foil and fill with very hot water and baking soda and place your tarnished jewelry into the bowl. You’ll be able to watch the magic of ion exchange as the tarnish disappears from your jewelry and beings to cloud up the water. Remove your jewelry from the water and just wipe it down with a soft cloth – no scrubbing required! For tougher to clean pieces, you can add a little dish soap and scrub with a soft toothbrush. This technique is safe for traditional and lab grown diamonds, platinum, and gemstones.
This cleaning technique couldn’t be simpler. Drop your jewelry into a glass of water with an Alka-Seltzer tablet and let the carbonation do the cleaning for you! Once the tablets have stopped fizzing, you can remove your jewelry and wipe it down with a soft cloth to remove any remaining dirt or grime. Be sure not to use colored Alka-Seltzer as the dyes may affect your jewelry.
Ammonia is a great cleaner, especially for harder stones and metals such as diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. Soak your jewelry for at least 10 minutes in a half ammonia, half water mixture. You should use soft materials instead of toothbrushes to clean silver, gold, or platinum using this method to avoid scratches. Avoid using ammonia on soft stones such as pearls, opals, or emeralds.
Ketchup is a fantastic jewelry cleaner and is much safer for softer metals such as gold or silver, or even copper and brass. Let your jewelry sit in a bowl of ketchup for 10-15 minutes, remove and scrub with a soft toothbrush, and rinise off. Just be sure not to leave your jewelry for too long since the acidic tomatoes and vinegar combination can be too strong for some jewelry.
Beer or Vodka
Beer and vodka are both great jewelry cleaners. Just be sure not to use your favorites since you won’t want to drink from the same glass when it’s done making your jewelry sparkle. Let your jewelry soak overnight and simply wipe down with a soft cloth in the morning. Don’t have any beer or vodka around the house? Club soda is a great alternative.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
Using this technique, mix ½ cup of vinegar with two tablespoons of baking soda, place your jewelry in a bowl with the mixture and let it sit overnight. In the morning, remove your jewelry, carefully rinse it with cold water, and wipe it down with a soft cloth.
If you’re unsure or if one of your pieces of jewelry is a treasured, antique heirloom it’s better to leave the cleaning to the professionals. Take these pieces into your local jeweler to have them professionally cleaned or repaired.