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DIY: Jewelry Cleaning 101

November 21, 2016

Just remember: Methods using chemicals or other harsh and abrasive cleaners are not recommended for soft stones like opals and pearls — use soap and water only. For the rest of your baubles, you can shine them up with one of these handy jewelry cleaning hacks:
 
Aluminum foil

Use aluminum foil to clean your tarnished silver jewelry much like you would your silverware. Line a tray with a piece of crumpled aluminum foil and place your jewelry on the foil. Sprinkle a layer of baking soda over the jewelry, then pour boiling water over it. The tarnish will transfer from the jewelry to the foil. You may need to flip or move the jewelry around so all sides come in contact with the foil. Remove and rinse with water.

 
Ammonia

That diamond isn't going to keep its sparkle all on its own. Soak diamond jewelry in a solution of 1 cup warm water and 1/4 cup ammonia for about 15 minutes, then use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub away any remaining grime, especially in the crevices of the setting and underneath the diamond.

 
Antacid

The fizzing power that works to soothe your stomach can also clean your jewelry. Drop two antacid tablets into a glass of warm water, followed by your baubles. Let sit for about two minutes in the effervescent solution, then remove and rinse.

 

Soap and water

For soft and porous materials like pearls and turquoise, you need nothing more thansoap and water to get them looking their best. Clean your string of pearls by dipping them quickly in a solution of 2 cups warm water and a few drops of mild detergent (like Woolite). Wipe each pearl with a soft, dry cotton cloth and lay flat to dry. (Pearls actually stay polished from frequent wear, so don't be afraid to accessorize!) Turquoise doesn't even need soap to come clean. Simply dip a soft-bristled toothbrush into warm water and scrub the stone clean. Dry with a clean cloth, then let air-dry for several hours before storing.

 

Vinegar

Cleaning your gold and gemstone jewelry couldn't be easier with white vinegar. Simply drop the jewelry into a jar of vinegar and let sit for 10 to15 minutes, agitating occasionally. Remove and scrub with a soft-bristled toothbrush, if necessary.

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