The Art of Cleaning Jewellery: Tips and Techniques

The Art of Cleaning Jewellery: Tips and Techniques

Jewellery, whether it's a family heirloom, a sentimental gift, or a fashionable accessory, often holds both monetary and emotional value. Over time, however, jewellery can lose its lustre due to exposure to dust, sweat, oils, and environmental pollutants. Regular cleaning is essential to maintain its shine and ensure it lasts for generations. In this article, we'll explore the art of cleaning jewellery, offering tips and techniques to keep your precious pieces looking their best.

Understanding the Basics

Before diving into specific cleaning methods, it's crucial to understand the basics of jewellery cleaning:
  1. Know Your Jewellery: Different types of jewellery (e.g., gold, silver, gemstones, pearls) require different cleaning methods. Make sure you're familiar with the materials used in your jewellery pieces.
  2. Check for Damage: Inspect your jewellery for loose stones, worn prongs, or other damage before cleaning. Cleaning damaged jewellery can exacerbate existing issues.
  3. Gentle Approach: Generally, a gentle approach is best. Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive materials that can scratch or damage your jewellery.

Cleaning Techniques

Here are some tried-and-true techniques for cleaning different types of jewellery:

1. Gold Jewellery
Gold jewellery is relatively easy to clean:
  • Mild Soapy Water: Fill a bowl with warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap. Soak your gold jewellery for a few minutes, then gently scrub with a soft brush or toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a clean, soft cloth.
  • Ammonia Solution: For more stubborn dirt, mix one part ammonia with six parts water. Soak the gold jewellery briefly, then follow the same steps as with soapy water.

2. Silver Jewellery
Silver jewellery tends to tarnish over time. Here's how to restore its shine:
  • Baking Soda Paste: Create a paste using baking soda and water. Apply the paste to a soft cloth or toothbrush and gently rub the tarnished areas. Rinse with water and dry thoroughly.
  • Silver Polishing Cloth: These specialized cloths are designed to remove tarnish without scratching the metal. They are readily available at jewellery stores.

3. Gemstone Jewellery
Cleaning gemstone jewellery depends on the type of gem:
  • Diamonds: Soak diamonds in a solution of equal parts ammonia and water, then gently scrub with a soft brush. Rinse and dry.
  • Sapphires and Rubies: Soapy water and a soft brush work well for these gemstones. Avoid soaking them in ammonia-based solutions.
  • Pearls: Wipe pearls with a soft, damp cloth and allow them to air dry. Avoid using water, which can damage the silk thread holding the pearls together.

4. Costume Jewellery
Costume jewellery often includes non-precious metals and materials. To clean it:
  • Gentle Cleaning Solution: Create a solution with mild dish soap and water. Use a soft cloth or toothbrush to clean the jewellery. Avoid submerging costume jewellery, as it may have glued components that can loosen in water.


Cleaning jewellery is an essential aspect of maintaining its beauty and longevity. Regular, gentle cleaning can prevent tarnish, dirt build-up, and damage. Remember to store your jewellery properly to minimize exposure to air and moisture when not in use. If in doubt, consult a professional jeweller for guidance on cleaning and maintenance. With the right care, your jewellery will continue to sparkle and be treasured for years to come.
The Art of Cleaning Jewellery: Tips and Techniques