How to Clean Jewelry: Keep Your Diamonds Clean At Home
Alicia Briggs | January 9, 2023
Alicia Briggs | January 9, 2023
Fine jewelry is an important purchase, meant to be cherished for a lifetime. However, daily wear can take a toll on jewelry, no matter how high quality it is. To maintain your treasured pieces of jewelry, it’s important to learn how to clean jewelry properly. Below, we’ll cover the best ways to clean different types of jewelry at home so you can easily preserve your fine jewelry for years to come.
Why Should You Clean Your Jewelry?
To keep your jewelry looking like new, it’s important to have a regular cleaning routine. Daily or regular wear can impact our jewelry if it’s not properly taken care of. Materials that we regularly come into contact with like dirt, grime, lotion, and hand sanitizer are abrasive and can damage or get stuck in jewelry.
Certain types of jewelry need to be cleaned more often than others to maintain their luster or brilliance, but overall, we recommend cleaning your jewelry weekly to best maintain it. Thankfully, cleaning your jewelry only takes a few minutes and can easily be done at home.
What Is The Best Way To Clean Jewelry At Home?
If you search online for how to clean jewelry at home, you’re going to find numerous DIY recipes. Many of these recipes contain ingredients that should not be used on your jewelry, however.
The best way to clean jewelry is with a simple solution we call the Light Wash method:
- Mix 1 tsp mild dishwashing soap and 1 cup warm water in a clean bowl or dish.
- Once the dish soap is thoroughly dissolved, gently dip your jewelry into the mixture.
- Use a soft cloth to lightly scrub until clean. You can also use a soft bristle toothbrush.
- Rinse your jewelry off with clean water (not too hot or too cold) and leave it to dry on a clean and soft cloth.
For a deeper clean, suitable for certain types of jewelry, we recommend using the Medium Wash Method:
- Combine ½ cup white vinegar or witch hazel with 3 drops of lemon essential oil in a clean, shallow bowl or dish.
- Add jewelry either one by one or together, as long as they don’t touch.
- Soak your jewelry for five minutes. If it still looks dirty or dull, you can gently wipe it with a soft cloth.
- Rinse with warm water and let dry on a clean, soft surface.
While these methods work for most types of jewelry, certain types of jewelry require different scrubbing methods or may not work well with vinegar. Read on to discover the best way to clean each type of jewelry.
What Household Products Can Be Used To Clean Jewelry?
Certain household products can be used to clean jewelry. The best product to use is mild dish soap. You can also use a gentle shampoo or body wash, as long as it has no added moisturizer or exfoliating beads. These products should be diluted in warm water before being applied to your jewelry.
Does Vinegar Clean Jewelry?
White vinegar, diluted with warm water, is a wonderful household product that can be used to effectively clean certain types of jewelry that tend to tarnish, such as silver. Try to avoid soaking white gold jewelry in diluted white vinegar.
What Products Should Never Be Used To Clean Jewelry?
Bleach, chlorine, and acetone should never be used to clean jewelry. They can discolor and harm your jewelry. Toothpaste, salt, baking soda, and any tools with hard bristles should not be used on most types of jewelry as these ingredients are abrasive and may cause scratches.
To ensure you’re cleaning your jewelry effectively, follow our recommended cleaning methods for each jewelry type below.
How To Clean Diamond Jewelry
Diamond jewelry is beautiful, brilliant, and valuable. If you own diamond jewelry, proper care will ensure it maintains its radiance for years to come. If you’re wondering how to clean a diamond ring or jewelry, we recommend a light weekly cleaning to maintain optimal shine.
The best way to clean diamond jewelry is by using the Light Wash method. Choose a dish soap that is free from any exfoliants, beads, or abrasive ingredients that could damage your diamonds. This solution is gentle enough for weekly use on diamond jewelry. You can also use the Medium Wash method for an occasional deeper clean, however, we recommend an annual professional cleaning to best preserve your stunning diamond jewelry. We offer a complimentary professional cleaning for all VRAI engagement rings and wedding rings.
How To Clean Gold Jewelry
Solid gold jewelry is a timeless, jewelry staple. If you own jewelry, chances are you own gold jewelry. The most important thing to consider when learning how to clean gold jewelry at home is the gold color.
For solid yellow or rose gold jewelry, we recommend a weekly cleaning using the same Light Wash method, detailed above. If you haven’t cleaned your gold jewelry in a while and it’s visibly dirty, we recommend first using the Medium Wash method for a deeper clean.
For white gold jewelry, a weekly clean with the Light Wash method will work beautifully. Keep in mind that over time, white gold may start to appear more yellow due to regular friction or wear. As such, white gold jewelry, particularly white gold rings, need to be redipped every 1 to 2 years to keep its color and shine. Complimentary redipping is included with our VRAI Lifetime Care Package.
How To Clean Platinum Jewelry
Platinum jewelry is known for its lustrous shine and clean appearance. As such, it’s important to regularly clean platinum jewelry to highlight its beauty and avoid dullness. For any pieces of platinum jewelry that you wear daily or regularly, like platinum engagement rings, clean them weekly using the Light Wash method. If your jewelry hasn’t been cleaned in a while, you can also try the Medium Wash method.
For platinum jewelry, ensure you’re not using anything abrasive to scrub or wash it so you don’t scratch or damage the metal.
How To Clean Silver Jewelry
Silver jewelry is a popular and classic jewelry choice but unfortunately, real silver will tarnish over time with daily wear and friction. For regular maintenance, we recommend using a silver polishing cloth often to polish your jewelry. Polishing is easiest for larger pieces of jewelry, but for more delicate pieces, like earrings, it may be best to avoid.
To clean your silver jewelry, you can use the Light Wash method with one addition. Before gently scrubbing or wiping your silver jewelry, let it soak in the solution for 15-30 minutes. If your silver jewelry needs a deeper cleaning, you can also use the Medium Wash method.
How To Clean Tarnished Jewelry
If your jewelry is tarnished, dull, and discolored, you may need a deeper cleaning to refresh your fine jewelry. The Medium Wash method may work well for certain pieces of jewelry. If your tarnished jewelry is valuable or contains diamonds, it’s best to take it to a professional. A professional can effectively clean and restore your jewelry, without damage.
Additional Ways to Care For Your Fine Jewelry At Home
Aside from regularly cleaning your jewelry at home, there are a few other things you can do to keep your jewelry in perfect condition:
- Store Properly: Store your jewelry in a room temperature, secure environment. Avoid storing jewelry together that could scratch or that is of different metal colors. If you lead an active lifestyle, carry a storage bag with you to protect your jewelry on the go.
- Avoid Chemicals: Avoid getting lotion, makeup, perfume, hand sanitizer, or harsh soap on your jewelry.
- Avoid Water Exposure: Don’t shower or swim with jewelry on.
- Remove Jewelry: There are certain times when you should remove your jewelry to keep it safe. Avoid sleeping with jewelry on. Don’t wear jewelry to places where it would be hard to retrieve, or where it could easily get scratched.
- Professional Maintenance: Have your jewelry professionally cleaned every year. You can also have a professional polish or replate your jewelry as well as tighten the prongs on your diamond jewelry.