Cleaning Jewelry At Home: An Easy Guide To Keep Your Jewelry Sparkling

Cleaning Jewelry At Home: An Easy Guide To Keep Your Jewelry Sparkling

Regularly cleaning your jewelry helps maintain its value and prevents it from becoming damaged.

Last updated December 6, 2022

Gold jewelry

Source: Pixabay

Cleaning jewelry is an important part of keeping your jewelry looking its best. Regular cleaning can help to remove dirt, oils, and other debris that can build up on jewelry over time. Regular cleaning can also help to prevent harmful tarnishing and discoloration. Jewelry cleaning at home can often be done with common household goods in under an hour.

Dirt and oils can cause damage to jewelry over time, and regular cleaning can help to reduce this damage and keep it in good condition. Regular cleaning helps to maintain your jewelry's value and keep it looking new. Cleaning can also help to keep the stones and settings secure, which helps prevent missing stones that can negatively affect the jewelry’s value.

If you plan on selling or pawning your jewelry, we recommend cleaning it before taking it to the pawn shop. The presentation goes a long way when you get a quote for your item from a pawnbroker. Cleaning your jewelry will help you get more money when you sell or pawn your jewelry.

Steps To Clean Your Jewelry At Home

Cleaning jewelry with dish soap
  1. Inspect jewelry for any signs of damage before cleaning. Check for any loose stones, bent prongs, or other damage that may require professional repair.
  2. Remove dirt and grime with a soft brush. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub away dirt and grime from jewelry.
  3. Soak jewelry in warm, soapy water. Fill a bowl with warm water (lukewarm, not hot) and a few drops of mild dish soap. Soak your jewelry for 10-15 minutes, then gently scrub with a soft brush.
  4. Rinse jewelry in clean water. Use a soft cloth to wipe away any remaining soap residue.
  5. Dry jewelry with a soft cloth. Use a soft, lint-free cloth to gently pat jewelry dry.
  6. Polish jewelry with a jewelry polishing cloth. Gently rub jewelry with a jewelry polishing cloth to restore shine and luster.
  7. Clean gemstones with a soft cloth. Use a soft, lint-free cloth to gently wipe away dirt and oils from gemstones.
  8. Store your jewelry in a safe place. Store jewelry in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Using An Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner

Ultrasonic jewelry cleaner

An ultrasonic cleaner is a device that uses ultrasonic sound waves to clean objects. An ultrasonic cleaner works by generating high-frequency sound waves in a cleaning solution, which creates millions of microscopic bubbles that implode and create a scrubbing action that removes dirt, grime, and other contaminants from the surface of the object being cleaned. Ultrasonic cleaners are used in a variety of industries, including medical, automotive, and industrial.

Ultrasonic jewelry cleaners are typically safe to use on most types of jewelry, including gold, silver, and platinum. You should avoid using ultrasonic jewelry cleaners on watches and battery-operated jewelry. Also, do not submerge any gemstones that have natural cracks or crevices - ultrasonic cleaners could damage these gemstones.

Using Silver Polish

Silver polish before and after
Source: Pinterest / Miroxol UK

Silver polish is a product used to clean and restore the shine of silver objects. Silver polish is usually a liquid or paste that contains a mild abrasive, a cleaning agent, and a protective coating.

Silver tarnishes because it reacts with sulfur compounds in the air. The sulfur compounds form a thin layer of silver sulfide on the surface of the silver, which gives it a dull, grayish appearance. An interesting explanation of how silver tarnishes is in this post.

Silver polish typically contains abrasives, such as pumice, that help to remove the tarnish. It also contains chemical agents, such as ammonia, that react with the tarnish and help to break it down. The silver polish also contains lubricants that help to reduce friction and make the polishing process easier. Some silver polishes contain a polishing agent, such as beeswax, that helps to restore the shine to the silver object.

Steps to apply silver polish

  1. Begin by wiping the silver item with a soft, lint-free cloth to remove any dust or dirt.
  2. Apply a small amount of silver polish to the cloth and rub it into the silver item in a circular motion.
  3. Continue to rub the silver item until the polish has been completely absorbed.
  4. Wipe away any excess polish with a clean, dry cloth.
  5. Use a soft-bristled brush to remove any stubborn tarnish or dirt.
  6. Rinse the silver item with warm water and dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth.
  7. Buff the silver item with a soft cloth to bring out its shine.

Things To Avoid When Cleaning Jewelry

Follow the things to avoid below to keep your jewelry safe when cleaning it. Jewelry can become ruined in some circumstances.

  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals. Harsh chemicals and cleaners can permanently ruin the finish and luster of your jewelry.
  • Use a soft cloth or brush to remove dirt and debris. Coarse cloths, brushes (including hard bristle toothbrushes), and sponges can leave scratch marks and ruin the finish of your jewelry.
  • Avoid using ultrasonic cleaners for soft stones such as opals, pearls, turquoise, and coral. Also, avoid putting watches and battery-operated jewelry inside of an ultrasonic cleaner.
  • Be sure to check for loose stones before cleaning. Loose stones can become lost when cleaning.
  • You should be aware that some gemstones and watches can get ruined when they are submerged in water - inspect them beforehand and get an expert opinion.
  • Do not use high heat or extreme cold when cleaning jewelry. Some gemstones and watches are sensitive to changes in temperature. High heat or extreme cold can ruin jewelry by cracking it.
  • Never use chemicals on jewelry unless you are sure the chemicals are safe. Some chemicals can dissolve precious metals, or leave the finish tarnished.

Visit Your Local Pawn Shop

Some pawn shops will clean your jewelry for free, or for a small fee. Often pawn shops have jewelry cleaning equipment on hand and they can clean your jewelry in a few hours or days. Many pawnbrokers offer jewelry cleaning services to encourage customers to visit the shop.

You can find local jewelry pawn shops in your area by using Pawn Shop Map’s tool. You can stop by the pawn shop, or give them a call ahead of time.

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