How to Naturally Clean Jewelry at Home

Reader Contribution by Gwen Lewis
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You love your precious pieces of jewelry so much that you’re probably worried about having to clean them. The last thing you want is to damage them or make them lose their dazzle. The safest bet is to ditch chemically-based cleaning agents in favor of eco-friendly methods that are gentle on your bling while making it sparkle again.

Of course, you need to take into account the type of jewelry you have and choose a cleaning method that’s suitable for it. Here’s a guide.

Silver and Gold-Plated Jewelry

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An item of jewelry that’s plated basically has a surface covering of gold or silver. It’s fragile, especially if the layer is thin, so you don’t want to damage or remove it with abrasive cleaning.

How to clean silver-plated jewelry: Place aluminum foil along the bottom of a bowl and pour warm water over it. Add four tablespoons of salt and a few drops of dishwashing liquid (choose an eco-friendly brand to keep it gentle). Leave it to soak for a few minutes.

How to clean gold-plated jewelry: Mix some mild soap with warm water. You can let the pieces soak for a few minutes in this solution or use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub away marks if the jewelry is very dirty.


Baking soda is a great cleaning agent because it strips dirt but is gentle enough to use when cleaning up your diamond rings and other items. Simply place a cup of hot water into a bowl, along with two teaspoons of baking soda. Drop in your diamond bracelet or ring and let it soak for a few minutes.

Gemstone Jewelry

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For gemstones, you want to be even gentler. Soak them in soapy water for a few minutes. Then wash them off with cold water, before drying them off with a soft cloth.


Gentle dish soap comes to the rescue again when you want to clean up your gold items. You want to drizzle a few drops of it into a bowl but add in some seltzer water or club soda, too. The bubbles are what will help to brush off the dirt! Allow the gold pieces to soak for a few minutes and if you still have some marks, use a toothbrush to gently scrub them away by hand. Now your gold jewelry will look brilliant again.


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If your gorgeous copper items of jewelry aren’t gleaming the way you’d like, use some salt and lemon juice to bring back their beauty. Cut a lemon in half. Squeeze its juice all over the item of copper you want to clean. Take some salt and sprinkle it on, then use the same half-slice of lemon to scrub away dirt. Rinse it off.

Pearls (and Other Porous Stones)

Pearls are delicate and need extra care when cleaning because they’re porous and easily ruined. You want to place the pearl item on a soft cloth. Then, take a clean makeup brush (such as an eye shadow applicator) and dab it onto some shampoo and warm water. Carefully use this brush to gently clean every pearl. Be sure to rinse off the pearls with a wet cloth and allow them to air-dry. You should also use this method for other porous stones, such as turquoise, coral, amber, lapis lazuli, and malachite.

Care for Your Jewelry

Looking after your gorgeous jewelry is an important way to prevent you from having to clean them intensively.

• Keep your jewelry away from light and heat. Both can cause them to fade and become dull.
• Store every item of jewelry in a different compartment in your jewelry box to prevent them from getting scratched.
• Always apply body lotion and perfume, and allow them to dry, before putting on jewelry. The chemicals in these products can cause your jewelry to fade.

Jewelry can easily get scratched or damaged so you want to be careful when cleaning it. Only use eco-friendly methods to deeply clean and polish your precious stones and metals. They’ll look brand new in no time!

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