Take your jewelry from scummy to sparkly with DIY cleaning solutions
Jewelry can get grimy fast. Moisturizing, washing dishes, and even shampooing your hair will make your fave pieces lose their luster. It’s best to leave antique heirloom upkeep to the professionals, but you can clean the rest of your rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets at home with some basic kitchen supplies and no creepy chemicals.
Most jewelry (except for pieces with pearls, opals, or other soft stones like turquoise or amber) can be cleaned using 1 part mild dish soap and 3 parts warm water. Carefully scrub the jewelry with a soft toothbrush (be extra careful around prongs), rinse with warm water, and dry with a soft cloth. Do not soak jewelry that may have glue; instead dip the toothbrush in the cleaner. For tarnish and deep dirt, try one of the methods below. (And always cover your sink drain before rinsing your jewels!)
To remove tarnish, mix 2 tablespoons each of salt and white vinegar in 2 cups of steaming hot water. Dip a soft toothbrush in the solution and gently rub the tarnished area. Dry with a soft cloth. If your rings still don’t bling, line a small bowl with aluminum foil, add 1 tablespoon each of salt, baking soda, and dish soap, and 1 cup of hot water. Set jewelry on foil for 5 to 10 minutes. Flip the piece during the process so all sides come in contact with the foil, or, if the piece is oddly shaped, wrap the foil around it. Rinse with cool water.
To restore shine, soak the jewelry in a cup of boiling water for 5 minutes, then in a cup of white vinegar for 5 more. Then make a paste with small amounts of baking soda and water and use it to completely cover the piece. Lightly scrub in circles with a soft toothbrush; add more paste as you scrub. Soak in warm water for 5 minutes and rinse thoroughly.
By Callie Watts
Illustration: Danski Tang
This article originally appeared in the February/March 2017 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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