Home Remedies for Cleaning Jewelry

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From silver pendants to gold necklaces dripping with gems, there comes a time in every jewelry piece’s life when they need a little touch up or shine. Thanks to our body oils, bath and beauty products, and other substances – fashion accessories can lose some of their winning appearance. When you need to enhance the appearance of your pieces, get familiar with the convenience of home remedies for cleaning jewelry.

Jewelry Cleaning Home Remedies

If you want your favorite accessories to last a long time, then proper care should be taken to make sure the elements do not suck the life out of your pieces. You don’t need to spring for a fancy cleaner when you have some of the following home remedies for cleaning jewelry at your fingertips:

a) Ketchup [1]:

Dunk your silver jewelry into a small bowl filled with ketchup to treat a tarnished look. Leave the pieces in for a couple of minutes before using an old toothbrush to scrub around the surface. Don’t forget to address all of the crevices. Afterwards, rinse the pieces clean and dry before wearing.

b) Beer:

Rub in a small amount of beer (not the dark ale variety) across your gold jewelry to polish. With a soft cloth, gently rub the liquid across the surface. Dry with a clean cloth. Do not use this remedy on jewelry with gemstones.

c) Baking Soda:

Get rid of tarnish on silver jewelry by adding two tablespoons of water to ¼ cup of baking soda to make a cleaning paste. Use a damp sponge to apply the paste. Gently rub clean, and then rinse before buffing dry.

d) Alka Seltzer:

To revamp dull-looking costume or inexpensive jewelry, drop your pieces in a glass of fizzing Alka-Seltzer for a couple of minutes. As you pull the pieces out – note the improved sparkle and shine.

e) Aluminum Foil:

Line a small bowl with aluminum foil and fill with hot water. Add one tablespoon of powdered laundry detergent (the bleach-free kind) to the bowl. Place the jewelry in the solution and let it soak for one minute. Rinse well and air dry. This remedy takes advantage of a chemical process called ion exchange, which works wonders on silver jewelry.

f) Denture Tablets:

Add a denture tablet to a glass with one cup of water in it. Add your diamond rings, earrings and other pieces to the liquid, and leave for a couple of minutes. A rejuvenated, sparkling piece is revealed once you take it out of the solution.

g) Vinegar:

A mixture of ½ cup white vinegar and two tablespoons of baking soda can be used to revamp dull-looking silver trinkets. Let the paste stay on the pieces for a mixture of ½ cup white vinegar and two tablespoons of baking soda. Use a soft cloth to completely dry the piece before wearing or storing.

h) Ammonia:

Brighten up your gold and silver jewelry by soaking in a solution of ½ cup clear ammonia and one cup of warm water. Leave in for 10 minutes, and then gently wipe clean with a soft cloth. Let dry before wearing or storing. Do not use this remedy on pieces with pearls.

i) Baking Soda and Vinegar:

To polish gold jewelry, cover with a light coating of baking soda and then pour a small amount of vinegar over it. Rinse the piece clean. Do not use this technique on jewelry with pearls or gemstones, as it can loosen the glue and damage the finish.

j) Window Cleaner:

Window cleaner can add shine to metal and crystalline gemstones (like diamonds and rubies). Simply spray on, and use an old toothbrush to clean. Do not use this remedy on opaque or organic stones, such as pearls, coral, opal and turquoise.

k) Club Soda:

An overnight soak in a glass of club soda will make your precious gems (such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds) shine.

l) Toothpaste:

Use an old toothbrush to rub in a small amount of white toothpaste (the non-gel kind) to add sparkle to a diamond ring. To remove any lingering residue, use a damp cloth.

m) Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide:

A paste made out of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean and shine up gold and silver jewelry. Gently rub on to remove dirt, grime and body oils.


[1] Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest; pg. 193