Jewelry is so much more than “what you see is what you get.”
Heirloom jewelry tells a story. Costume jewelry expresses fun or a special occasion. Everyday jewelry conveys a person’s sense of style, whether that’s dramatic or simple.
Jewelry is the sum of its many parts, beyond making a fashion statement (although that’s there, too). Pearl necklaces, tennis bracelets, diamond earrings, wedding rings—they’re an expression of a person’s soul, their feelings that day, the occasion, tangible representations of moments in time.
That’s why the conversation about choosing jewelry cleaners is an important one. Choosing the wrong cleaners could damage your beloved jewelry, sometimes beyond repair. Don’t let that happen to you!
1. Different Types of Jewelry Need Different Cleaners
Similarly, some types of metals are more prone to chemical damage than others are. Certain metals prove to be more durable than others. When it comes to bleach or chlorine, for example, platinum faired the best compared to 14k nickel white gold, the worst.
Of course, you wouldn’t use chlorine to clean your jewelry anyway, but it’s worth noting that metals react to different substances in their own unique way, which should be addressed come cleaning time.
Because of this, you’ll notice some jewelry cleaners dedicated to silver only, some multi-purpose cleaners, and those for diamonds. Your multi-purpose options typically cover gold, silver, platinum, and even various gems—but you’d never want to clean silver jewelry with a cleaning agent meant for gold.
So, keep a close eye out on your labels to ensure the product’s safe to use before submerging your precious ring!
In addition to the type of metal, other factors affect which cleaning solution would be best. For example, you wouldn’t clean costume jewelry with a pre-mixed solution—that’s more of a soap-and-water situation. You would also choose the most delicate solutions for dainty or antique jewelry.
2. DIY Jewelry Cleaners Are Always an Option
Don’t feel nervous about buying pre-mixed jewelry cleaners—it’s very clear whether it’s appropriate for your jewelry. You’ll see something that says “Good for all types of metals,” for example. Still, it doesn’t get much safer than using good old-fashioned soap and water.
There are other recipes out there, such as this one:
- Enough hot water to submerge your jewelry
- Two tablespoons of baking soda
- Two tablespoons of salt (or, a 1:1 ratio of each)
Line a bowl with tin foil, bring water to steaming hot, and add it to the lined bowl. Add your other ingredients to the hot water and then add your jewelry, piece by piece, staying careful not to let them touch. Let your jewelry soak for three to 5 minutes, but no more than five.
The above recipe is not good for gold, costume jewelry, or gemstones. What’s something you can do for everything?
Soap and water.
Use a few drops of dish soap (props if it’s unscented) and some warm water to create a dunking solution. Let your jewelry sit for five minutes, occasionally rubbing the jewelry with the mixture if desired. Then, rinse the jewelry with cool water, lay it out to dry, then use a microfiber cloth to get any missed dirt or crevices.
3. Consider the Various Methods of Cleaning
Jewelry cleaners, like jewelry itself, are not one-size-fits-all.
You might prefer one type of cleaner over another, or use two different kinds depending on the occasion (and how much time you have). Maybe you keep liquid cleaner around for bi-monthly dunks and a polishing wipe in your purse for on-the-go buff-ups.
If you didn’t know there were options, you’re in for it! They include hand-cleaning jewelry with a liquid solution; steaming jewelry in a steam jewelry cleaner; using trays that drop into liquid; setting and forgetting your jewelry in an ultrasonic machine that cleans it for you. For a quick shine, polishing rags can get a piece of jewelry clean-looking (albeit, not cleanclean).
Ultrasonic jewelry cleaners are one of the newest tech advancements in DIY jewelry cleaning. Using high-frequency ultrasound waves, the machine removes dirt, oil, polishing compounds, tarnish, and more from your favorite pieces. Some ultrasound cleaners have restrictions as far as what type of jewelry they clean, whereas others are good for most.
When choosing which method you’ll use, consider things like the fragility of your jewelry, how much tarnish any pieces have, how much time you’ve got to clean, and the type of cleaning level you hope to achieve.
Remain Vigilant When Making or Choosing Jewelry Cleaners
If you’re the kind of person who takes the time to clean their jewelry, it’s clear that you care about it. It means something special to you, whether it’s sentimental or simply a piece you love. That care and attention brought you here today to learn about the best jewelry cleaner options.
You might prefer the manual method of cleaning your jewelry by hand or the set-it-and-forget-it choice that involves placing it in an ultrasonic cleaner. You may even decide to make your own cleaning solution over buying a pre-mixed one, opting for the delicacy of simple soap and water. If all else fails, never forget that your town probably has a local jewelry cleaner!
We hope this guide made choosing jewelry cleaners a breeze, so you can do the fun part—wear your stuff in style (in immaculate condition, we might add).
If you need any more fashion or beauty tips like this, you know where to go! Come back regularly for more news.