How to clean jewelry quickly and make it sparkle like new

Cleaning a ring with cloth
Cleaning a ring with cloth (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If your rings, bracelets or necklaces are starting to look dull and losing their sparkle, you’ll need to know how to clean your jewelry to make it look like new. What’s more, if you wear your favorite baubles often, they're prone to build up of dirt, stains and general wear-and-tear over time. That’s why knowing how to clean jewelry will not only remove tarnish and bring the shine back, but also keep them grime-free.   

Be it gold, silver or gemstones, knowing how to clean jewelry quickly can seem tricky. After all, you don’t want to scratch or damage the surface or plating of your expensive jewelry. In addition, you need to make sure you’re not using any harsh abrasives or products that may cause discoloration.  The good news is there are homemade solutions that are easy to make, and and return the luster to your jewelry.

If you have diamond rings and unsure, be sure to check out how to clean a diamond ring to keep it sparkling. Plus, check out these jewelry storage hacks to keep them tangle-free.

How to clean jewelry with dish soap and water

Cleaning rings in soapy water

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

1. First, fill a bowl or dish with lukewarm water, and add a few drops of mild dish soap. Then soak the jewelry in the mixture for a few minutes to allow the soapy solution to lift off any dirt.

2. Next, remove and gently buff away dirt and residue with a toothbrush. Another tip is to use a toothpick to dislodge any dirt trapped in awkward spots.

3. Finally, rinse and pat the jewelry dry with a soft, lint-free cloth, and allow jewelry to air dry completely before wearing or storing away.

TIP: Take note of loose gemstones or signs of damage to the jewelry. If you do spot these, don’t attempt to clean until they can be fixed. 

How to clean jewelry with white vinegar and baking soda

Soaking rings to clean in soapy water

Cleaning rings in soapy water (Image credit: Shutterstock)

It seems like you can use white vinegar and baking soda to clean almost anything; well, you can add jewelry to the list. 

1. First, take half a cup of white vinegar and mix it with two tablespoons of baking soda in a shallow bowl or dish. Mix the solution well until the baking soda is dissolved.

2. Next, place your jewelry in the bowl and leave to soak for around 5-10 minutes. Leaving it to soak will allow the chemical reaction of the baking soda and white vinegar to work its magic on softening tarnish or dirt. 

3. When all traces are removed, rinse thoroughly with cool water and dry with a soft cloth or paper towel. 

TIP: For delicate jewelry like necklaces, dip a toothbrush into a paste consisting of three parts of baking soda with one part of water.  Gently scrub your jewelry clean for a few minutes or until residue is gone, before rinsing in cool water.  

How to clean jewelry with antibacterial cleaner

Antibacterial liquids

Antibacterial liquids (Image credit: Shutterstock)

1. First, pour drops of antibacterial liquid cleaner into a glass bowl or dish, enough to cover your jewelry.

2. Then, add your jewelry and let it sit for about five minutes. This will allow the ingredients to get to work in, lifting off the dirt and residue. After the time has passed, remove jewelry and gently scrub with a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush

3. Finally, rinse under cool water before patting dry with a clean soft cloth. Allow to air dry completely before putting it away.

Tips for keeping jewelry clean 

Jewelry box

Jewelry box (Image credit: Shutterstock)

—  Always remove jewelry after use to keep it clean for longer. This will avoid built-up dirt, sweat or residue over time. 

—  Avoid frequent use of hand sanitizers, as this can wear down the coating of jewelry or leave a dull finish. Simply remove jewelry when using hand sanitizers and dry properly.

—  For engagement rings, it's recommended to get it professionally evaluated and cleaned at least once every six months or a year.

For more top tips on making your metal shine again, you may also want to read how to clean silver and how to clean stainless steel without damaging it.

Also, be sure to check out how to clean with vinegar without the smell, while you learn how to clean every room of your home for spring-cleaning tips.

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!