April 07, 2022

5 Eco-friendly ways to clean your jewelry 

By Jamie Fish
5 Eco-friendly ways to clean your jewelry 

So, you’ve put off cleaning your jewelry long enough and you have some extra time to do it this weekend. After time lotions, soaps, and dirt can clog your jewelry settings and dull the chains, stones, and pearls. Even your most beloved items that stay in the jewelry box can accumulate dust. 

If your favorite bracelets, rings, and necklaces need some polishing, you can clean them at home instead of dropping them off to us at Prairie Jewelers. (unless you want us to of course!) 

We have obviously cleaned thousands of pieces of Jewelry over the years, but we got some help from one of our favorite house cleaning services in Madison to bring you some green cleaning solutions to ensure you won’t damage anything. 

Mild Dish Soap 

As many of you already know, dish soap can be a great eco-friendly option. Mild dish soap is a good cleaner for jewelry, including diamonds, silver, and pearls. While any dish soap will do, an eco-friendly brand that is free of chemicals is best. Sometimes those chemicals like ammonia can harm the finish on your jewelry. 

For silver, Gold & Platinum - Mix dish soap with warm water. After that simply dampen a soft cloth in the solution and rub your jewelry with it. Once you are satisfied, rinse the jewelry with cold water. 

Diamond Jewelry - Using the same mixture of dish soap and water we can take care of the bacteria, dirt, or hand lotion can easily get trapped in the tiny gaps and grooves in the diamonds and setting over time. You will need a soft bristled brush to get into those hard to reach areas. 

Pearls - Pearls are a little more sensitive and you want to make sure you don’t scratch them. However, you can safely use this mixture of dish soap and water and place the pearls in the bowl for 10 seconds. After you can pull them out and dry them with a clean cloth and leave them laid out to dry. Finally you can place them back in a cotton back when you are finished. 

Soap and Seltzer Water 

Don’t gemstones have a beautiful sparkle? Well, it might be easier than you think to restore that sparkle to your precious stones like rubies, diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires. You can use the same instructions listed above for cleaning gemstones set in silver, gold, or platinum. Instead of using regular water, however, mix the soap with seltzer water instead. The carbonation loosens dirt and helps to dislodge any debris trapped in the metal settings and on the gem’s facets. 

You can brush the stones and settings gently with a soft toothbrush. To rinse, dip in clear water or place your pieces in a strainer and rinse under the tap. All that’s left to do now is to buff your jewelry dry and enjoy that new looking sparkle! 

Boiled Water Method for Diamond Rings 

Boiling water is another method for cleaning diamond and gemstone rings without the need of chemicals. 

-Boil your water in a pot. 

-Place your ring into a separate bowl. (Pour enough boiled water into the bowl to cover the piece.) - Wait for the water to cool to room temperature. 

After the water cools, remove your ring and gently scrub away dirt with a cloth or a soft-bristled brush. Make sure you scrub from multiple angles to ensure you get all the dirt trapped in hard to reach areas. 

Finally, rinse the ring in cold water and pat dry. Please note: this method is not recommended for costume jewelry. The intense heat can loosen any glue, so keep that in mind before using this method. 

Baking Soda 

Baking soda can be a great natural and effective way to remove tarnish from silver. Mix three parts baking soda with one part water. Baking soda is a commonly used eco-friendly cleaner. While you can use it to clean many areas in your home, it works great on silver jewelry. It deep cleans silver and other metals to remove tarnish and bring back that shine.

Wet your silver and apply the baking soda paste with a soft, lint-free cloth. Work the paste into the crevices. Turn the cloth as you pick up the tarnish. Rinse well and then buff dry. For gold, sprinkle some baking soda on the piece. Gently rub with a soft cloth for a few minutes. Then, rinse. 

For cleaning diamond jewelry, place your pieces in a cup of hot water and add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water. Leave it for a few minutes, then remove the jewelry and dry with a cloth. 

Vinegar 

Another non-toxic cleaner is vinegar. This is a very common green cleaning product around your home, but it can also be used to make silver and gold jewelry look new again. 

To clean gold, pour some vinegar in a bowl and then place your gold jewelry in it. Let it soak for 20 minutes or so, then remove the jewelry and spot clean as necessary with a soft-bristled brush. Be careful not to let it sit longer than 20 minutes because it can damage the metal. Rinse your gold afterward with room temperature water and dry with a cloth. 

If you have silver jewelry that needs extra cleaning, dampen a cloth with a vinegar and baking soda mix. Rub it in the jewelry, rinse, and then dry with a cloth. Please Note: Never use vinegar on gemstones or pearls. Due to the acidic nature of the vinegar, it can damage them. 

Easy Cleaning, No Harsh Chemicals 

Now, you never need to be scared to clean your jewelry again. You can keep your jewelry looking great all by yourself using eco-friendly cleaning products to ensure you won’t damage anything.