Clean Your Jewelry Like a Pro: 5 Genius Ways To Do It at Home

Meghan Blalock

If you’re a mere mortal like us, you probably have jewelry in your collection right now that you have literally never cleaned. (It’s okay, don’t be ashamed!) And if it has been washed, perhaps it’s been a while—many of us put off keeping our favorite baubles as sparkly as they could be simply because we don’t feel like making time to stop by our local jeweler to have them cleaned.

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What you may not know is that you don’t actually need a professional to clean your precious gems. You also don’t need to make a trip to the drugstore to buy proper “jewelry cleaner.” You can polish and brighten your necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings using products you already have in your house!

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These creative tricks shine up your jewelry with stuff you probably already have in your kitchen.

stacked necklaces

Photo via Elf Sacks

1. Use beer to clean your gold pieces.
Yes, you read that correctly. You can polish up any of your solid gold pieces—just make sure there are no precious gems or any other sort of stones involved—by pouring a bit of light or amber-colored beer onto a soft cloth and rubbing the piece with it. Then, use a clean cloth to towel it dry. Voila! Beer-cleaned bracelets are in your future.

2. Clean silver with white vinegar.
You can file this one away under “things our mom taught us.” Soak silver jewelry in a mixture of a half cup of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda for two to three hours. Then rinse them with cold water and let it dry! Ed. note: This one only works with items that are pure silver, so make sure before you proceed!

3. Use ketchup to remove unwanted tarnish from silver.
If you have some silver pieces that have become tarnished, the acidity in ketchup will get rid of it. For smooth pieces, simply soak the tarnished sections in ketchup for a few minutes, then wipe it clean. If you’re dealing with a piece that has many nooks and crannies, use an old toothbrush to work the ketchup into the hidden areas, then soak in water to remove.

4. Soak your precious gems in club soda.
If you happen to be lucky enough to have any diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, or anything of the like in your jewelry collection, this one’s for you. Pour a glass of club soda, drop your jewels in there, and simply let them sit overnight. Wake up in the morning to a set of freshly-shined baubles. Easy-peasy.

5. Wipe crystalline and glass jewelry with vodka.
As it turns out, vodka is even more useful than we already believed! Because of it’s corrosive qualities, it’s very effective at removing caked-up dirt particles from glass and crystalline materials. This technique is especially great because it means vodka will effectively clean your real diamonds and your fake ones. Just dunk your napkin in next time you’re at after-work drinks with your friends, wipe down your ring, and you’re done!

how to clean your jewelry

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