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Best Jewelry Cleaning Tips At Home

Learn how to clean jewelry and give shine back to your dirty gems with these clever hacks. We’ll show you how to use around-the-house items for cleaning rings, earrings, necklaces, and more.

After years of wear, you might not even notice that your jewelry has lost its shine. Dirt, debris, and daily grime build up over time, making jewelry look dull. Luckily, there are many easy solutions for cleaning jewelry. You don’t need a professional cleaner or expensive jewelry polish to breathe life back into your favorite gems. These easy-to-use home jewelry cleaners feature budget-friendly ingredients you likely already have on hand.

Keep in mind that some hacks work best for certain types of jewelry. Soft gemstones, for example, can’t stand up to the harsher cleaning methods designed for gold and platinum. Make sure you know exactly what materials your jewelry is made of. And if you have any uncertainty, err on the side of caution and have your jewelry examined by a professional.


It can be easy to miss that your jewellery needs a clean, either because you wear it all the time and don’t notice the changes or because it’s put away somewhere and you don’t look at it too often. You might be a bit alarmed when you realise just how grimy and dull some of your favourite pieces are.

The good news is that cleaning for most jewellery pieces is pretty easy. Read on to find out how.


This is the simplest cleaning step to do, but pretty much all jewellery should benefit from it. You might find it’s all you need to do for many pieces, particularly for solid gold jewellery or fashion jewellery.

Wash your jewellery with warm water and a gentle colourless and fragrance free liquid soap. Castile soap, soap for woollens or even a gentle hand soap with no moisturiser, antiseptic or harsh chemicals should work well.

Use a cloth or soft bristled brush to help get grime out of crevices. Be sure not to leave soft gems such as opals or pearls soaking in water for too long as it may affect them.

Once it’s clean make sure you rinse it and dry it quickly and well.


If grime and dust isn’t removed easily from intricate pieces, then look into getting a cheap ultrasonic cleaner and follow the instructions. It will do a great job of dislodging dirt and debris, even from otherwise impossible to reach places.

Note that an ultrasonic won’t remove tarnish, but it will work a treat with complex pieces (exceptions below) which have lots of crevices where dirt can accumulate and stick.


If your silver jewellery has blackened or patinated areas as part of the design or features soft gemstones like opals, lapis lazuli, turquoise or pearls then avoid ultrasonic cleaning to be on the safe side.

This process can damage some finishes and soft gemstones, so use it with caution.


Necklace with pendant: stars and sapphires cluster necklace.

Necklaces with pendants in Australia

Sterling silver in particular will tarnish over time, but other precious metals can as well, including lower carats of gold. This is a normal process with metal and the tarnish is easy enough to clean off precious metals.

If your precious metal jewellery is tarnished, use a precious metal jewellery cleaning cloth to remove it, such as the professional quality polishing cloths we have available in our online store.

Once you’re happy, give the piece a rinse and carefully dry it to remove any chemical residue.


You can also use silver dip for very quickly and easily removing tarnish from sterling silver. It particularly works well with silver chains which can be difficult to clean with a polishing cloth alone.

You should be able to find silver dip or similar at your local supermarket, larger pharmacy or hardware shop. Otherwise try a local jewellery shop.

Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and always rinse well and dry when you’re done.


As with an ultrasonic cleaner, if your silver jewellery has blackened areas as part of the design or soft gemstones like lapis lazuli, turquoise or pearls then avoid silver dip to be on the safe side as it may damage some finishes and gemstones.


Never use ‘old wives’ jewellery cleaning methods involving toothpaste or baking soda paste which is rubbed onto the metal. These methods will remove tiny amounts of metal every time you do it and over time it will damage and deplete your precious jewellery.

Drop earrings and dangle earrings in gold and silver in Australia.

Drop earrings & dangle earrings

In particular jewellery which is gold vermeil, gold filled or plated should never be cleaned in this way or it will be damaged. Learn more about different types of gold jewellery to better understand why this will be the case.

Also take care when using a polishing cloth, brush or anything else which is rubbed against the metal, particularly if your jewellery has a more delicate finish, such as gold plating, blackening or a patina.

Too much enthusiasm with jewellery cleaning may not be a good thing!


If your necklace has silk thread (like our very popular forget-me-nots silk necklace) it can also be washed in warm soapy water, followed by a rinse.

Lay the piece flat or hang it up to dry the silk straight. Otherwise use an iron on the silk setting to straighten it out.


Now your jewellery is nice and clean, have a think about how best to store it to avoid needing to clean it again too soon.

Avoid storing precious metal jewellery in a humid place – especially the bathroom – as it will speed up tarnishing. If you live in a humid location, then extra care should be taken and more frequent cleaning undertaken.

Ideally precious metal jewellery should be stored away from free flowing air. This will also slow down tarnish, plus it will help keep dust at bay. Keep it in a pouch, small jewellery box or similar if you can.

If you like having your jewellery on display, then be aware that it’s likely to need to be cleaned more often, so keep an eye on it.

Another key point is that metal rubbing against metal, harder gemstones or other hard surfaces will cause it to get scratched. To avoid scratching, do your best to keep your precious metal jewellery stored individually and so that beads or chains don’t rub against pendants.

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