How To Clean Your Jewelry Without Jewelry Cleaner

You probably already have everything you need in your kitchen.
Learn how to keep your jewelry looking brand new.
Marc Bruxelle via Getty Images
Learn how to keep your jewelry looking brand new.

If you’re anything like us, you probably have some old pieces of jewelry lying around, becoming duller or more tarnished as the days go by. Instead of bringing them to a jeweler or buying a jar of jewelry cleaner, you just let them sit in your jewelry box, never to be worn.

But it’s time to put your days of dirty jewelry behind you, because there are plenty of easy and affordable ways to polish up your accessories at home. The best part? You probably already have all the things you need in your kitchen cupboards. Plus, experts who spoke to Woman’s Day agreed that certain household items can get your jewelry just as clean as commercial products.

It should be noted, though, that if you have any jewelry pieces that are extremely important to you ― family heirlooms, for instance ― it’s best to bring them to a professional.

Below are eight simple ways to clean your jewelry at home:

Baking Soda, Water And Aluminum Foil
Soaking your silver jewelry (or household items and silverware) in a mixture of baking soda and hot water in an aluminum foil-lined bowl is a great way to get rid of tarnish. As Hello Glow notes, the tarnish will transfer from the silver to the water -- you'll likely notice the water getting a little murky -- thanks to a process called ion exchange. With this method, there's no scrubbing required. When you remove items from the water, just use a soft, lint-free cloth to wipe away any excess tarnish.
Dish Soap, Salt, Baking Soda And Water
This method is similar to the baking soda and water method, but adds salt and dish soap for added cleaning power. In the video, a toothbrush really gets into all the nooks and crannies -- we'd suggest using ultrasoft bristles or a soft, lint-free cloth to be on the safe side. This method can be used on harder stones and metals, like diamonds and platinum, but should be avoided for softer metals like silver and gold, as well as for pearls and opals.
Alka Seltzer
Alka Seltzer is said to be a great cleaner for diamonds and other hard stones. All you need to do is let your jewelry soak in a mixture of water and Alka Seltzer and then wipe it with a clean, dry cloth. As the video shows, you can take the jewelry out once the tablets or powder stops fizzing, or you can let it soak a little longer, depending how dirty your jewelry is. Note: Don't use flavored Alka Seltzer, as it may contain dyes that could affect your jewelry.
As seen in the video above, beer is a good option for cleaning gold, but might not work too well on your silver jewelry. Go ahead, have a pint and clean your jewelry while you're at it -- just don't drink from the same glass.
Turns out ketchup is more than just a condiment for hot dogs -- it's actually pretty good at cleaning tarnished silver. Ketchup also works well on brass and copper.
Soap And Water
The classic mix of soap and water is an easy and effective way to clean gold and platinum jewelry, as well as pearls and opals. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush or cloth to scrub any tough buildup on the gold, but skip that step for pearls and opals. Instead, just remove them from the liquid and lay them to dry before storing them in a cotton bag.
For jewelry that isn't made of gold or silver, try using toothpaste to polish it and keep it looking shiny. Toothpaste can also be used on crystalline gemstones, according to Bustle, but you should avoid using it on softer stones and silver, as it is abrasive and could leave scratch marks.
Ammonia, Dish Soap And Water
A mixture of ammonia, dish soap and water can be used to clean your diamonds, rubies, sapphires and other hard stones, as the video above explains. A diluted ammonia solution can also be used on silver, platinum and gold, though we'd recommend using a cotton swab to apply it, rather than a toothbrush. If you are cleaning softer stones like opals, emeralds or pearls, stick to soap and water.

Before You Go

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