What is the Best Homemade Jewelry Cleaner?

The sparkle of your jewelry is supposed to grab attention from across the room, but over time a layer of grime can dull that alluring glow. While a jeweler can clean your jewelry with specialized equipment, you can also use a few simple hacks to keep your fine pieces looking bright.

The first thing you need to do is decide which cleaning solution will work best for your piece. While most of the products in this article can be used on a wide variety of metal and gemstone pieces, some might not be safe for certain types of stones or may be too harsh for softer or plated metals.

For example, ammonia is a common cleaner for jewelry but it can be too strong to fully remove tarnish from silver and can damage some gemstones. Some of the DIY cleaners in this article contain ammonia, but we have included a few alternatives for those who would prefer not to use it on their fine jewelry.

Vinegar is another commonly used homemade jewelry cleaner because it’s effective at removing tarnish from sterling silver. However, it’s important to note that vinegar is very acidic and can cause damage to many other metals. Therefore, it’s best to use it on only a few of your most treasured pieces.

A few drops of gentle dish soap can be a great way to gently and safely clean most metal jewelry pieces. Simply add a few drops of the liquid to a bowl of warm water and allow your jewelry to soak for a few minutes before scrubbing it with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Be sure to carefully work the toothbrush into the nooks and crannies of your jewelry, especially if it has prongs or intricate designs. After scrubbing, rinse the piece and buff it dry with a soft cloth.

Another DIY cleaner for gold and silver is a little bit more adventurous but just as effective. Dunk a piece of jewelry in a bit of light beer (lager or pilsner will do). The alcohol in the beer helps to loosen up any buildup on your jewelry, and the scrubbing action of the brush works to remove it. After a few minutes of polishing, rinse the jewelry with warm water and dry it with a soft cloth.

While these at-home cleaning solutions are effective, you should always remove your jewelry before going swimming or engaging in other activities that might damage it. It’s also a good idea to clean your fine jewelry regularly to prevent a layer of grime from building up over time. With a few of these easy, inexpensive, and DIY cleaning hacks at your disposal, you’ll be able to keep your jewelry sparkling for years to come.