Eco-Friendly, Non-Toxic Ways To Clean Your Jewelry At Home
After a while, all your favorite jewelry will need a good cleaning, whether it’s your everyday pieces, your special occasion favorites, or your family heirlooms. Things we encounter in our daily routines like lotions, soaps, and dirt can clog your jewelry settings and dull the chains, pearls, and stones. Even those items that stay in the jewelry box are susceptible to dust.
If your favorite bracelets, rings, and necklaces need some polishing, you can clean them at home. There’s no need to send them to the jeweler. You can use items you already have in your pantry to restore your jewelry’s luster and shine. What’s more, there are several eco-friendly, non-toxic options to choose from.
Here are a few cleaning options that don’t involve harsh chemicals.
Mild Dish Soap
Surprising as it may seem, mild dish soap is a good cleaner for jewelry, including diamonds, silver, and pearls. While any dish soap will do, an eco-friendly brand that is free of chemicals is best. Sometimes, it’s those chemicals, like ammonia, that could harm the finish on your jewelry.
For silver, you simply mix dish soap with warm water. Then, dampen a soft cloth in the solution and rub your jewelry with it. When finished, rinse off with cool water. Simple soap and water is an effective and easy way to clean gold and platinum jewelry as well. You can employ the brush for any tough buildup.
If you have diamond jewelry, bacteria, dirt, or hand lotion can get trapped in the tiny gaps and grooves in the diamonds and setting. Add a soft-bristled brush to your cleaning kit and gently scrub the small, hard-to-see places where the dirt has accumulated.
This method, minus the brush, is safe for your pearls as well. Dip your pearls in the soapy water for about 10 seconds. Remove and dry with a soft cloth. Do not scrub. Scrubbing can scratch and damage the pearls. Lay your pearls to dry and then store them in a cotton bag.
Soap and Seltzer Water
Gemstones have a uniquely beautiful sparkle. It’s easier than you think to restore that sparkle to your precious and semi-precious stones like rubies, diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires. You can use the same instructions listed above for cleaning gemstones set in silver, gold, or platinum. Instead of using regular water, however, mix the soap with seltzer water instead. The carbonation loosens dirt and helps to dislodge any debris trapped in the metal settings and on the gem’s facets.
You can brush the stones and settings gently with a soft toothbrush. To rinse, dip in clear water or place your pieces in a strainer and rinse under the tap. All that’s left to do now is to buff your jewelry dry and admire the restored sparkle.
Boiled Water Method for Diamond Rings
Boiling water is another method for cleaning diamond and gemstone rings with no added chemicals. Boil your water in a pot. Place your ring into a separate bowl. Pour enough boiled water into the bowl to cover the piece. Wait for the water to cool to room temperature.
Once the water cools, remove your ring and gently scrub away dirt with a cloth or a soft-bristled brush. If your ring has an oval-shaped diamond, be sure to scrub all the angles around the diamond because the round shape tends to mask dirt in the smaller places around the stone.
Finally, rinse the ring in cold water and pat dry. Keep in mind that, due to the strong heat, this method is not for costume jewelry. For example, if the ring has any stones that are glued to the setting, the intense heat will loosen the glue and damage the ring.
Baking soda is a natural, effective way to remove tarnish from silver. Mix three parts baking soda with one part water. Baking soda is a commonly used cleaner, mainly because it is an eco-friendly cleaning agent. While you can use it to clean many areas in your home, it works wonderfully on silver, including silver jewelry. It deep cleans silver and other metals to remove tarnish and restore shine.
Wet your silver and apply the baking soda paste with a soft, lint-free cloth. Work the paste into the crevices. Turn the cloth as you pick up the tarnish. Rinse well and then buff dry. For gold, sprinkle some baking soda on the piece. Gently rub with a soft cloth for a few minutes. Then, rinse.
For cleaning diamond jewelry, place your pieces in a cup of hot water and add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water. Leave it for a few minutes, then remove the jewelry and dry with a cloth.
Another handy, non-toxic cleaner is vinegar. Many people use it to clean and disinfect areas around the home, though it can also make your silver and gold jewelry look new again.
To clean gold, pour some vinegar in a bowl and then place your gold jewelry in it. Let it soak for 20 minutes or so, then remove the jewelry and scrub off any stubborn spots with a soft-bristled brush. Be careful not to let it sit longer than the 20 minutes because it can damage the metal. Rinse your gold afterward with lukewarm water and finish by drying with a cloth.
If you have silver jewelry that needs extra cleaning, dampen a cloth with a vinegar and baking soda mix. Rub it in the jewelry, rinse, and then dry with a cloth. Note: Never use vinegar on gemstones or pearls. The acidic nature of the vinegar can damage them.
Toothpaste is a mild abrasive, and that’s how it removes stains from your teeth when you brush. It works the same way to remove tarnish from silver. Though, be sure to use the white paste type of toothpaste rather than the green or blue gel type.
Apply a small portion of toothpaste on the silver and rub with a soft cloth. Rinse well with warm water. Buff to a shine with a clean, soft cloth.
Easy Cleaning, No Harsh Chemicals
Now, you never have to tuck your jewelry away because it needs a deep cleaning. You can keep your jewelry sparkling yourself using eco-friendly cleaning agents you probably already have around the house.
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