Cleaning Jewelry

August 7, 2012

Cleaning JewelryThe best way to clean jewelry is to use an electric toothbrush and vinegar (or you can use commercial jewelry solution, Windex, or even toothpaste)



  1. Save your old electric toothbrush head when you change it to a new one.
  2. Soak your rings, bracelets, and necklaces in vinegar or whatever solution you prefer for a few minutes.
  3. Change your newer electric toothbrush head back to your old toothbrush head that you've saved.
  4. Holding your jewelry in your hand or flat on a counter (necklaces) go over and around them for a minute or so with the brush head vibrating. Rinse off in water, dry with a soft cloth, and they come out sparkling clean.

You will find this deep cleans all the nooks and crannies where gunk gets built up through time. I find this works much better than using those little brushes that come with cleaning solution. Also, it is easier for people with arthritis/pain in their hands.

I have a couple of rings I can't get off, so I just clean them using this method while they are still on my fingers. I turn my diamonds around so that they are facing up on my palm side so I can hold them steadier.


By ann from Goulais River, Ontario

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13 More Solutions

This page contains the following solutions.

Silver Post Medal for All Time! 390 Posts
May 28, 2014

Scrub your good jewelry clean with an old toothbrush and some toothpaste. Rinse it clean in warm water and drop it into a small container of gin. Leave it for a couple of hours or overnight. Jewelry sparkles as good as new.


October 18, 2011

I was told by a reputable jeweler in our area many years ago to not buy the stuff they sell in the stores for cleaning gold jewelry. He told me to soak the jewelry in straight lemon ammonia.


February 8, 2010

When you need to clean tiny crevices of items, namely jewelry, earring backs, or any decor with fine detail I found that brush picks (in dental floss aisle in stores) works great.


November 11, 2008

I ran out of hand cream one day so I used my pharmacy brand of Oil of Olay. I noticed a few minutes later, that where my rings were, my fingers had black tarnish marks on them.


So I took my rings off and rinsed them and they were so shiny.


July 13, 2015

Take some toothpaste and use your hand or a brush of sorts and brush the jewel. Then rinse and by then you have a sparkling piece of jewlery.


February 23, 2012

Using a dry toothbrush and some cigarette ashes, brush your jewelery with the cigarette ashes, then take a soft cloth and polish clean. The ashes are so fine they work as an abrasive cleanser.



Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

June 28, 2010

I am looking for advice for cleaning jewelry.



Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 290 Feedbacks
June 28, 20100 found this helpful

Use their search box at top of website.

June 28, 20100 found this helpful

Try a steamer or tooth paste for gold.

June 29, 20100 found this helpful

Try this:

Mix 1 part ammonia with 1 part hydrogen peroxide. Put in your jewelry, swish it around for a few seconds, and rinse. As soon as the jewelry goes into the solution, you will be able to see the dirt and grime bubbling out. You might need to use an old toothbrush to get dirt out of intricate designs.



Answer this Question

April 7, 2008

How do you clean jewelry worn by a smoker? I have some necklaces and earrings which need cleaning. Also pearls which are slightly brown and smell of smoke.

Sandy from Barre, Vermont


By karen (Guest Post)
April 10, 20080 found this helpful

Soak them in a solution of warm water and baking soda. The baking soda will neutralize the smoke smell. Use a toothbrush to gently scrub the jewelry. Rinse and air dry.

April 10, 20080 found this helpful


Caring for Your Pearls

Even cultured pearls with thicker coatings are more fragile than most other gemstones, so you must handle them carefully to keep them in the best condition.


* Your pearls will stay cleaner if you put them on after you've applied your makeup and perfume.
* Be sure to take off your pearl rings before you apply hand and body creams. Good rule for all jewelry.
* Wipe your pearls with a soft, lint-free cloth as soon as you take them off.
The cloth can be dampened with water or it can be dry. If damp, allow the pearls to air dry before putting them away.
* Dirty pearls can be cleaned with a mild soap and water solution (try Ivory flakes).
* Never clean your pearls with solutions that contain ammonia or harsh detergents.
* Don't put pearl jewelry in an ultrasonic cleaner.
* Don't use abrasive cleaners or rub pearls with abrasive cloth. Both can wear away the nacre coating, leaving you with a plain looking bead.


You don't say what the other kinds of jewelry are, but basics are: silver jewelry can be cleaned the same way as silverware. Either silver polish, a liquid type like "Dip" or Tarn-X, or the boiling water in an aluminum pan. No ammonia on silver; you can turn your silver permanently black.
Gold is much easier, you can use window cleaner or ammonia and warm water. One of my salesmen used to boil his wife's gold jewelry in just plain water. I don't recommend that because if the water boils out, the heat could shatter your stones and scar your gold.
Be careful of certain stones, though. Opal, emerald, pearls (as I mentioned above), mother-of-pearl, abalone, onyx shouldn't be put in commercial cleaning solutions as the solution may remove the finish from the stone.


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 378 Feedbacks
April 10, 20081 found this helpful

No abrasives on the pearls! The soda is too harsh and will actually reduce the very thin outer layer which is the only part of value! The smoking stain is a tar, so you will need detergent treatments alternated with peroxide treatments. Repeat as needed. Detergents such as baby shampoo will be a gentle degreaser to dissolve, and peroxide will lift away the loosened tars. God bless you!

Answer this Question

December 11, 2013

Can anyone tell me how to clean this old ring, rather than pay to have it done at a jeweler's? Thanks.

By Anna

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June 24, 2016

This is a page about cleaning diamond earrings. Keeping your diamond earrings brilliant and sparkly can be done at home.

A pair of diamond stud earrings isolated against a white background

August 3, 2011

Silver jewelry is very beautiful and complements your attire, whether formal or jeans casual. However, silver has a dark side, tarnish. This is a page about cleaning silver jewelry.

Coiled silver bead necklace with large silver ball.


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 19, 2011

How do you remove sticky stuff off of jewelry?


November 30, 2010

Does anyone have any ideas on how to clean diamond earrings/pendants?

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