Jewelry Care: Home Remedies for Cleaning Jewelry

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Jewelry Care: Home Remedies for Cleaning Jewelry

Do you own imitation jewelry that desperately needs cleaning? Here’s how you can care for your jewelry without damaging it!

It’s important to keep your favorite jewelry clean so that it stays bright, shiny, and looking new.

With the right care and cleaning, all of your jewelry will look as beautiful as the day you bought it and hold up well to lots of wear.

Read on for some helpful home remedies for cleaning jewelry so that your beloved pieces continue to shine.

Why Your Jewelry Gets Dirty or Tarnished

Whether you’re wearing a real diamond ring with 24K gold or imitation jewelry, sometimes, these items can start to dull or lose their sparkle. Costume jewelry is prone to tarnishing, but it can still be restored to its original glory with some simple home remedies.

So, why does jewelry get dirty, and what causes it to look cloudy or grimy? Prolonged or repeated exposure to hand lotion, skincare products, hand soap, and even water can start to make your favorite jewelry look worse for wear. Cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals can start to wear the finish away.

It may come as a surprise but jewelry that is stored away over a period of time can also become tarnished or dirty. As the materials are exposed to the elements in the air, a chemical reaction can occur, leaving your favorite pieces looking discolored.

Another reason jewelry gets dirty is simply due to lots of wear. This is especially true for rings and necklaces since the oils from our skin can also react to the materials, resulting in a tarnished look. Thankfully, there are plenty of easy home remedies for cleaning jewelry you can try at home to restore your favorite pieces.

Baking Soda, Aluminum Foil, and Salt

This method is an easy way to clean your imitation jewelry, and it only requires a few simple and common household items. Start by gathering all of your jewelry together, then grab some salt, baking soda, aluminum foil, and a pie plate or shallow aluminum bowl.

A bowl or plate made of aluminum is best, but if you don’t have one, you can cover a regular one with aluminum foil with the shiny side up – just make sure it doesn’t tear. Add one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of baking soda to your bowl or plate.

Heat one cup of water in the microwave for about two minutes or less. Make sure the water is hot, but not boiling, then pour it into the mixture you added to your bowl. This mixture will create a chemical reaction with the foil and start to bubble.

Stir everything thoroughly until you don’t see any clumps, then wait about one minute to let everything combine thoroughly. Place your jewelry into the mixture.

The combination of salt, baking soda, and water should oxidize all of the tarnish from your jewelry, while the silver from the foil or plate should actually restore any worn-out spots on your silver imitation jewelry. Watch the process closely and remove your jewelry when the tarnish is completely removed.

It may take a few minutes for your jewelry to start looking clean. Everything will begin to look a bit shinier, and silver-toned or silver plated jewelry should begin to be restored. 

When you remove your jewelry from the mixture, dry it off using a soft rag and remove any excess tarnish by gently wiping it away. Any green verdigris buildup can also be wiped away to reveal the shiny material underneath.

Home Remedies for Cleaning Jewelry: Lemon Juice

If you don’t have any baking soda or foil around, you can try this method to clean your imitation jewelry. Start by mixing one part water with one part lemon juice in a small bowl.

Place your jewelry into the mixture and let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes. The acid from the lemon juice should do a great job of eating all of the grime and gunk away from your jewelry.

If you’re not seeing results, try rinsing your jewelry in clean water, then putting it back into the mixture so the lemon juice can work its magic. This process is a little time consuming, but it’s well worth it if you want your favorite pieces of jewelry to look as good as new.

Once you’re happy with the way your jewelry looks, rinse it off one more time in clean, cool water. Buff your jewelry dry with a soft, clean cloth and you’ll be ready to wear it again.

The Classic Toothbrush Scrub

To get into small nooks and crannies, a soft-bristled toothbrush is a perfect tool to clean your imitation jewelry. You can use the toothbrush to gently scrub between cracks and gemstones.

When you use this method, you can do so with either a gentle soap or toothpaste. Baby soap is great for imitation jewelry since it doesn’t contain a ton of extra chemicals that could cause more harm than good.

If you decide to use toothpaste, use a whitening formula. The gritty texture of the toothpaste will help to scrub tough buildup and grime from the surface of your jewelry.

Start by squeezing a very small amount of toothpaste or a small bit of soap onto the jewelry, and smudge it all over with your finger. Once your jewelry is coated with a thin layer of soap or toothpaste, you can start to gently brush it clean.

Work your toothbrush into the crevices of your jewelry, and avoid scrubbing too hard. After everything looks clean and shiny, simply rinse your jewelry in cool water and buff it dry with a soft, clean cloth. Microfiber cloths are perfect for polishing and drying all types of jewelry.

If you find that some grime still remains in between the cracks, use a cotton swab to remove it. Take your time and work through all of the details in the jewelry until you notice that the dirt has finally been scrubbed and wiped away. Always be gentle with your imitation jewelry since it’s not designed to withstand rough handling or scrubbing.

Restore Shine with Tea Tree Oil and Vinegar

This simple DIY jewelry tip won’t clean gunk and grime from your jewelry, but it will do a great job of helping it shine. Gather some tea tree oil, white vinegar, and a mason jar together before you begin.

Place one-half cup of white or distilled vinegar into the mason jar, then add one small drop of the tea tree oil. Place your jewelry into the jar and put the lid back on.

Let your jewelry soak in this mixture overnight, then remove it and rinse it clean with some cool water. Tea tree oil has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties that may help to keep your jewelry cleaner for longer.

This method is great for most forms of imitation jewelry, but it’s not recommended for certain stones. Avoid putting jewelry with pearls, tanzanite, or opals into the mixture as the acidic vinegar can cause them to become damaged. 

Caring for Jewelry the Right Way

The best way to keep your favorite pieces of jewelry looking new is to practice proper care. For starters, remove your jewelry every night and gently wipe it with a soft cotton or microfiber cloth before you put it on the dresser or into your jewelry box.

If you’re going swimming, take your jewelry off before you take a dip. The chlorine in swimming pools and the salt in the ocean can both wreak havoc on the finish of your imitation jewelry.

You should also take all jewelry off before you take a shower. Too much exposure to water can cause jewelry to tarnish, and hot water may cause the glue that holds gemstones in place to melt, which can result in loose or lost stones.

If you need to store your jewelry for a prolonged period of time, consider putting it into a plastic zippered sandwich bag. After you put the jewelry inside, squeeze all of the air out and seal the bag. The lack of oxygen will keep your imitation jewelry from oxidizing so it looks newer, longer.

When cleaning your home or doing dishes, remove your rings and bracelets to protect them from exposure to water and household cleaners. A good rule of thumb is to try and protect your jewelry from water and other substances as often as possible to help your favorite pieces retain their beautiful luster and shine.

Say Hello to Clean, Shiny Jewelry

Whether you use baking soda and aluminum foil or scrub it with a toothbrush, these home remedies for cleaning jewelry will help you maintain your favorite pieces for a long time to come. Remember to take good care of your jewelry and try to prevent it from being exposed to too much water, soap, and chemicals.

With the right care and proper storage, you can cherish and enjoy your imitation jewelry for many years.

To explore our latest selection of beautiful jewelry, visit our website, or contact us today!

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