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This one cleaning mistake can ruin your jewelry

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

We all want to keep our favorite rings, bracelets or necklaces looking great for as long as possible. And if you wear them often, they’re prone to everyday dirt and tarnishing. Which is why it’s essential to know how to clean jewelry properly to make it sparkle again. 

But while the internet is awash with homemade hacks for cleaning jewelry, not every tip is safe to use. If you’re not cautious, these could actually ruin your jewelry and cost you expensive repairs in the long-run. 

This one cleaning mistake in particular is a common hack, but could also damage your beloved collection. Are you making this one cleaning mistake that can ruin your jewelry?

Why you should never use a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean jewelry 

Toothpaste and brush to clean silver

Toothpaste and brush to clean silver (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Cleaning with toothpaste is great to use when learning how to clean silver to restore its luster. Or even to remove permanent marker. However, using a toothbrush and toothpaste on jewelry is simply too abrasive for delicate metals such as gold, white gold and silver plating. It can wear down the metal over time or cause indents. What’s more, the bristles on a toothbrush may leave scratches on the surface of the metal and stones, ruining the appearance. Toothpaste can also harden like glue underneath gemstones and can be extremely tricky to remove. So it’s best to avoid it altogether, and leave the toothpaste to cleaning your teeth! 

Other things to avoid cleaning your jewelry with is lemon juice or other acids that can damage delicate stones or pieces.

How to store your jewelry

Jewelry box

Jewelry box (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Experts suggest that you keep all jewelry in a fabric-lined case to reduce any risk of damage. It should also have a closed lid to prevent air flow tarnishing precious metals. Also, ensure that your different pieces are separated in compartments so they can’t knock together, and to prevent scratches or entanglements. 

Other tips for maintaining jewelry 

  • Always remove jewelry before taking a shower.
  • Remove jewelry when using hand sanitizers and dry your hands properly. This can wear down the coating or leave a dull finish.
  • 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.

Cynthia Lawrence
Cynthia Lawrence

Cynthia Lawrence specialises in Homes ecommerce, covering all things homes 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!