How to Clean Gold, Silver and Gemstone Jewellery

How to clean your Jewellery

Believe it or not, it's totally possible to get even the oldest jewelry looking as good as new again. With the help of a few common cleaning ingredients, you'll remember why you bought that pretty ring or bracelet in the first place. (Hint: If you've got aluminum foil and vinegar in your cabinets, then you're already halfway there.)

Just remember: Methods using chemicals or other harsh and abrasive cleaners are not recommended for soft stones like opals and pearls — use soap and water only. For the rest of your baubles, you can shine them up with one of these handy jewelry cleaning hacks:

Ammonia
Diamonds lose their sparkle over time with grime and dirt building up. Soak diamond jewellery in a solution of 1 cup warm water and 1/4 cup ammonia for about 15 minutes, then use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub away any remaining grime, especially in the crevices of the setting and underneath the diamond.

Vinegar
Cleaning your gold and gemstone jewellery couldn't be easier with white vinegar. Simply drop the jewellery into a jar of vinegar and let sit for 10 to15 minutes, agitating occasionally. Remove and scrub with a soft-bristled toothbrush, if necessary.

Antacid
The fizzing power that works to soothe your stomach can also clean your jewellery. Drop two antacid tablets into a glass of warm water, followed by your baubles. Let sit for about two minutes in the effervescent solution, then scrub with a soft-bristled toothbrush, remove and rinse.

Aluminum foil
Use aluminum foil to clean your tarnished silver jewellery much like you would your silverware. Line a tray with a piece of crumpled aluminum foil and place your jewellery on the foil. Sprinkle a layer of baking soda over the jewellery, then pour boiling water over it. The tarnish will transfer from the jewellery to the foil. You may need to flip or move the jewellery around so all sides come in contact with the foil. Remove and rinse with water.

Soap and water
For soft and porous materials like pearls and turquoise, you need nothing more than soap and water to get them looking their best. Clean your string of pearls by dipping them quickly in a solution of 2 cups warm water and a few drops of mild detergent (like Woolite). Wipe each pearl with a soft, dry cotton cloth and lay flat to dry. (Pearls actually stay polished from frequent wear, so don't be afraid to accessorize!) Turquoise doesn't even need soap to come clean. Simply dip a soft-bristled toothbrush into warm water and scrub the stone clean. Dry with a clean cloth, then let air-dry for several hours before storing.

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