Is your gold jewelry looking dull? It may be time to give your jewelry a thorough clean so your pieces can look brand new again! The advantage is you don’t have to use expensive jewelry cleaning products for the job. There are household products you can use that will bring the shine back to your jewelry.
Let’s take a look at the products and methods to use when cleaning your jewelry.
1. Use Dish Soap to Clean Jewelry
Fill a bowl with lukewarm water (not boiling water) and add a few drops of dish soap to the liquid. Mix the solution gently. Tap water will work sufficiently for this process but for even better results you can use club soda or sodium-free seltzer water. Carbonated liquids loosen stubborn dirt in all the crevices of the jewelry. It should be noted that you must avoid using boiling water to clean jewelry with incrusted fragile stones, especially if they’re precious gems. Valuable gems such as opal can crack when exposed to sudden temperature changes. Freezing water is also not ideal because it can toughen the dirt on the jewelry, making it more difficult to clean the stains.
Soak your Jewelry in the Lukewarm Dish Soap Solution Place all your gold jewelry in the dish soap solution and let the pieces soak for at least 15 or even 30 minutes. The warm water will penetrate all the crevices of the jewelry to loosen the dirt and grime that has built up on the pieces over time
Scrub your Jewelry with a Soft Brush After your pieces have soaked in the solution, begin scrubbing each individual piece with a soft-bristled brush. Ensure you scrub in between all the nooks and crannies where dirt is prevalent. It’s important to use a soft-bristled brush as opposed to a hard one because stiff brushes will scratch the surface of your jewelry. If your jewelry is gold plated instead of solid gold, using a hard bristled brush will scratch the layers off completely. But if you’re unable to remove dirt in hard-to-reach places simply use a soft Q-Tip to clean the gaps.
There are specialized jewelry brushes you can purchase to clean your pieces but if you’re looking for an alternative, makeup brushes will work well.
Rinse your Pieces Thoroughly Once you’ve scrubbed all your pieces, use warm running water from the tap to rinse them off. As mentioned before, don’t use extremely hot water if your jewelry contains precious and fragile stones. Use low water pressure when rinsing your jewelry, so as not to loosen any stones.
If you’re rinsing your pieces in a sink, make sure you plug the drain so that if you drop your jewelry by accident, it won’t go down the hole. You can use a coffee filter or kitchen strainer to make it easier to rinse the jewelry. Dry your jewelry with a soft cloth and then leave your pieces out on a towel to air dry before you wear them again. If you wear wet jewelry, the trapped water can cause mild skin irritation.
2. How to Clean Jewelry with Ammonia
Ammonia is a strong cleaning solution but it’s a chemical and can cause corrosive damage to certain types of jewelry. It’s important to know when to clean with ammonia because it can potentially damage gold jewelry over time. Only use ammonia for occasional deep cleaning tasks.
Since ammonia is a chemical, it can damage certain materials found in jewelry. Avoid using ammonia on jewelry containing pearls or platinum. To create a solution, mix some ammonia with six times as much water and stir the solution thoroughly.
Soak your jewelry in this substance for only one minute. Never let your jewelry sit in ammonia for too long because ammonia is acidic. When removing the jewelry from the solution using a small pasta strainer. You can also tip the jewelry out of the bowl and into the strainer over a sink.
Now you can rinse your jewelry under running water and remember to plug the sink’s drain to avoid losing any of your pieces. You can use your pasta strainer to make rinsing easier. Dry off the pieces gently with a soft cloth and place them on a towel to air dry before you wear them again.
3. Cleaning Jewelry with Gemstones that are Glued -in
It’s important to know what type of jewelry you should always keep dry. Jewelry that contains small glued-in gemstones such as earrings should never be submerged in water. This is because frequent scrubbing and warm water can melt the glue holding the gemstones in place, causing the stones to fall out.
To avoid loosening gemstones on certain types of jewelry, use special cleaning methods that don’t require water submergence. Use the first method mentioned in this article to make a solution. Dip a soft cloth in the solution to gently scrub your pieces clean.
To rinse your jewelry with glued-in gemstones, use a damp wet cloth to wipe them down. Make sure you wipe your jewelry down thoroughly to eradicate any soap left on the pieces. Hang your glued-in gemstone jewelry upside down so they can dry off. Air drying your jewelry upside down allows all the moisture to drip out of the gaps to ensure water doesn’t seep into the settings.
4. Boiling Water to Clean Jewelry
As mentioned before, it’s not always safe to use boiling water to clean jewelry but it’s important to know when it’s a solution to your problem. Gold can be boiled in water without getting damaged but boiling jewelry with the following gemstones can cause the gems to chip or crack under extreme temperatures:
This is especially true if the gemstones were cold before boiling them. Boiling glued-in gemstones are not ideal as it will melt the settings. But if you want to clean solid jewelry that contains robust gemstones such as diamonds then boiling is the ideal option, especially if the pieces are extremely grimy.
- Bring Your Water to a Boil
- Place enough water into a pot so that it will cover all the jewelry you want to clean.
- While you’re waiting for your water to boil, place your jewelry in a bowl that won’t get damaged by the hot water.
- Use a Pyrex dish or a metal bowl for the job.
- Place your pieces evenly inside the bowl and avoid overlapping the jewelry.
- You want the water to be able to reach each piece of jewelry.
- Pour the Boiling Water over the Jewelry
Ensure that when you pour the water over your jewelry that you don’t spill the contents everywhere. Boiling water can cause harmful burns to the skin, so carefully pour the liquid over your pieces to avoid injury. When your jewelry is completely covered you know you’ve used enough water.
Wait for the Water to Cool Down. If you can place your hand in the water without getting burned it’s time to remove the jewelry. Scrub each piece with a soft-bristled brush and then dry the pieces off with a cloth.
Allow the pieces to air dry completely by placing them on a towel. Don’t panic if the water is extremely dirty because it simply means that the water has removed all the grime trapped in your jewelry. All the grime and dirt loosened from your jewelry will float to the surface of the water. The dirtier the water is, the cleaner your jewelry will be! Now your jewelry is ready to wear again.