DIY Jewelry Cleaner: The Safest Ways to Clean Your Valuable Jewelry

Save yourself a trip to the jewelers by whipping up these DIY jewelry cleaners at home.

Published February 14, 2023
cleaning jewelry diamond ring with micro fiber fabric

So many of us dream of owning expensive and beautiful jewelry, but keeping each little ring, earring, and chain necklace clean definitely doesn't feature in those delightful imaginings. But you don't have to run to a jewelry store to pick up a professional cleaning solution; there are so many DIY jewelry cleaner solution recipes you can mix up at home using only pantry ingredients.

DIY Jewelry Cleaners You Can Whip Up at Home

With cleaning jewelry, less is always more. The fewer ingredients you use, the better, and the less vigorously you scrub, the longer your jewelry will hold up. Since all these DIY jewelry cleaners can be made using pantry ingredients, you can experiment with them to see which works best for you.

Create a Baking Soda Paste

A popular at-home formula that works on most jewelry, whether it's gold or silver, involves creating a baking soda paste that you work into the jewelry, and then rinse off.

  1. Mix three parts baking soda to one part water.
  2. Use your fingers to work the baking soda into a paste.
  3. Take one piece of jewelry at a time, and rub the paste into it.
  4. Set aside for a few minutes and rinse off with cool water.
  5. If you feel like there's still some paste or dirt leftover, take a soft bristle toothbrush and gently brush it away under running water.
  6. Completely dry your jewelry using a cotton or microfiber cloth.

Keep It Simple With Soap and Water

For extremely delicate jewelry or pieces with metal and stones you can't identify, a simple soap and water cleaning should do the trick.

  1. Fill a bowl with warm water.
  2. Add a few drops of the gentle dish soap.
  3. Take a utensil and agitate the water to create some bubbles (these are vital to getting the dirt off your pieces).
  4. Using a soft or extra soft bristle toothbrush, gentle brush off your jewelry. Think of it like cleaning off your dishes, but in an extra careful way.
  5. Rinse each piece off with cool water.
  6. Completely dry them with a cotton or microfiber cloth.
Quick Tip

If you think you've got a piece that's dirtier than the others, you can replace regular water with seltzer water, as the extra bubbles will help dislodge that dirt and carry it away.

Use Only Water When Cleaning Pearls

Woman Polishing Pearl Necklace

Given that you probably only wear your pearls every once in a while, chances are they're not really dirty and don't need a deep clean. But pearls are one of the most delicate natural materials used in jewelry making, which means they're temperamental with cleaners.

Our best recommendation is that you only use warm water on a microfiber cloth to wipe down your pearls with. Make sure you dry them with a very soft cloth and place them back into a jewelry box (not near any other jewelry) or in a jewelry bag.

Quick Tips for Cleaning Your Jewelry Like a Pro

A man removes his wedding ring in a bathroom

The last thing you want to do with your expensive jewelry is accidentally ruin it while you're cleaning. Everyone makes mistakes, but the only way you can avoid them is by learning the best tricks for cleaning jewelry like a pro.

  • Remove your watch band before cleaning your watch. If you can, remove the band from your watch, and thoroughly clean the band first. Then, when addressing the face itself, you can use a soft bristle toothbrush and brush it down with a little bit of water or a damp cloth. This keeps you from getting your watch soaked for longer than necessary.
  • Clean your jewelry one piece at a time. Don't get in a rush when you're cleaning your jewelry; it's what leads to people dropping their stuff down the drain.
  • Cover the drain when rinsing anything. You can always rinse your jewelry in a bowl of cool water, but if you like running water better, we recommend putting a bowl on top of the drain so that if you drop anything, it doesn't immediately get swept away.
  • Always use a soft bristle toothbrush. Don't just pick up any toothbrush you find on the dental aisle at the grocery store. The stronger the bristles, the more likely you are to scratch your delicates.

How Often Should I Clean My Jewelry?

There's no hard and fast rule about how often jewelry needs to be cleaned because every person wears it in different contexts and for varying amounts of time. If you wear something every day, you'll want to clean it at least once a month to prevent any real dirt and grime from building up. If you're only wearing something occasionally, like for anniversaries or big events, then you can get away with cleaning your jewelry once a year, like Tiffany and Co. recommends on their website.

How Do I Keep My Jewelry Clean

Ultimately, the number one way to keep your jewelry clean is to not wear it. Of course, why do you have expensive jewelry if you're not going to wear it? So, the best you can do is limit how often you wear it, always keep it covered in a bag or box away from dust, dirt, and light exposure, and use a cotton cloth to wipe down anything you wear when you take it off.

Save Yourself a Trip to the Jewelers

Ultrasonic cleaners might be the rage, but not every situation needs a mechanical solution. Sometimes, just mixing a few basic ingredients will do the trick. Save yourself a trip to the jewelers and keep your fine jewelry safe by using these gentle DIY cleaners.

DIY Jewelry Cleaner: The Safest Ways to Clean Your Valuable Jewelry