Search for “home jewelry cleaner” and you’ll find hundreds of recipes with different ingredients and instructions on how to clean jewelry at home. How do you know which one to choose?
Always consider the source when evaluating the safety and efficacy of any DIY cleaning solution. A cleaning company may be better than a general fashion source, but the best source is a jewelry specialist.
Fortunately, we know where to find one – more than one. We have a large number of GIA graduate gemologists and AGS certified sales staff.
Want all the cleaning and care tips from our jewelry experts? Read our guide!
Here’s what they have to say about these common jewelry cleaning solutions.
Home jewelry cleaner
Witch Hazel, tea tree oil, baking soda
Popular sites that specialize in natural remedies themselves recommend the following.
Place the jewelry in a glass container.
Cover with 1/2 cup white vinegar or witch hazel. Add a drop of tea tree oil and stir.
Soak the jewelry in the mixture overnight.
The next morning, apply baking soda, scrub with an old toothbrush, and then rinse with water.
Our advice: All elements of this method have the potential to damage your jewelry. Both witch hazel and white vinegar are slightly acidic and do not work well with soft, porous stones and plated jewelry.
Baking soda is slightly abrasive, so it can scratch soft stones and metals.
Finally, using an old toothbrush is not the best recommendation. An old toothbrush will have toothpaste residue that will scratch the jewelry.
Salt, baking soda, dishwasher
From fashion to food, this popular resource offers tips for cleaning your jewelry at home.
Line a bowl with aluminum foil and fill it with salt, baking soda, and dishwashing liquid.
Add hot water and let the jewelry sit for 10 minutes.
Brush gently with an old toothbrush.
Rinse and dry with a paper towel.
Our advice: Again, there may be problems with both the ingredients and methods of this recommendation.
You’ve got some baking soda and instructions for brushing an old, potentially dirty toothbrush. Avoid this method.
Hot water and baking soda
The best source for cleaning offers a simpler recipe:
Soak your rings in a cup of hot water with 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda for a few minutes.
Our advice: At least this recipe requires few ingredients and harmless tools. However, even with this simple solution, we still have a problem with the baking soda.
Read this blog on how to clean antique jewelry!
Our recommended homemade jewelry cleaner
Dishwasher and warm water
The best solution for cleaning handmade jewelry is to mix a few drops of Dawn dishwashing detergent with warm, not hot, water.
Leave the area in the solution for a few minutes, longer if very dirty, then gently scrub with a new, child-sized, soft toothbrush. To wash, place the item in a new bowl of warm water.
Some gemstones don’t react well to sudden changes in temperature, so make sure the water isn’t too hot or too cold.
You can dry it with a paper towel or regular cloth to be careful not to stick the dew to the fibers.