May 13, 2017 5 min read

There’s no scarcity of edgy and modern styles in stainless steel jewelry on the market today, and many have taken to the trendy metal to substitute or compliment their expensive fine jewelry. The chromium composition is light, durable, and does not rust nor oxidize…but it does get dirty.

The fool-proof method of cleaning your baubles is taking them to a professional (DUH!), but you are most probably not going to do that and are looking for a quick fix online. There are multiple “hacks” of cleaning jewelry at home with everyday items that we do not recommend like: ketchup, beer, alka seltzer, aluminum foil (god no!), and club soda to name a few. We don’t recommend these because you run the risk of damaging your jewelry ☹

But we know you love living on the edge… so we gotcha covered! Read on to get your jewelry looking blinging brand new with the DIY hacks that can cause the least amount of damage to your stainless steel jewelry, you rebel, you! 😉


Use Toothpaste

Did you know you could use toothpaste to clean jewelry? The reason why it works is because toothpaste is mildly abrasive, so you should only be using a small amount for cleaning your jewelry. We would not recommend this method for cleaning your valuable fine jewelry nor jewelry that has any treatment done (such as ion plating). This method works well only for plain stainless steel jewelry that does not have any stones, crystals nor gems on it. 

Image Credit: Wagner Cesar Munhoz 

  1. Make sure the toothpaste you use does not contain silica. This chemical can scratch your jewelry so avoid at all costs! Also skip any gel-based toothpastes because it lacks the mild abrasive cleaning power you need to get your bling on.

  2. Use a soft, nonabrasive, lint-free microfiber cloth. Dip the cloth in lukewarm water and squeeze out the excess water so it’s damp (not dripping).

  3. Squeeze the toothpaste on the soft cloth. Just like cleaning your teeth, you only need a pea-sized amount for cleaning jewelry, so don’t go overboard! Remember that it’s abrasive so you don’t want to use too much and risk damaging your jewelry. Go with the natural grain of the stainless steel to avoid scratching and gently clean the dirt off the jewelry. (REMINDER: Do not use this method if your jewelry is precious, ion plated, or contains gemstones).

  4. OPTIONAL: Use a brand new soft bristle toothbrush to clean those hard-to-reach spots. Dip the brush in lukewarm water and add a tiny dab of toothpaste. It doesn’t take a lot of pressure, so go gently, with the grain (not back and forth in both directions).

  5. Now you need to rinse and dry your jewelry. We’ve gone into detail on best practices under “The Final Step on How to Clean Jewelry at Home: Rinsing, Drying & Polishing” towards the end of this Guide, so you can skip directly down to that section. 


Make a Baking Soda Paste 

Believe it or not, baking soda is a great cleaning agent for not only your house but your jewelry as well. Baking soda causes dirt and grease to dissolve in water like magic! As this is also a mildly abrasive cleaner, we do not recommend this cleaning method for fine jewelry, ion plated jewelry nor jewelry containing stones, gems, and crystals.

Image Credit: Aqua Mechanical

1.     Mix 2 tablespoons of water with ¼ cup of baking soda. This will make a thick paste-like solution to clean jewelry.

2.     Use a soft toothbrush. Dip the toothbrush in the paste solution to clean jewelry. (Pro Tip – Use a new children’s toothbrush for easier cleaning).

3.     Gently scrub the jewelry. Brush the nooks and crannies along the grain of the jewelry to avoid scratching. (REMINDER: Don’t use this method if your jewelry is precious, ion plated, or contains gemstones).

4.     All you need to do is rinse and dry your jewelry. We’ve gone into detail on best practices under “The Final Step on How to Clean Jewelry at Home: Rinsing, Drying & Polishing” towards the end of this Guide, so go ahead and skip down to that section.


Clean with Dish Soap

This is hands down then best way to clean jewelry at home ever! Yes, we know that this is also the most boring way to clean your jewelry…but hear us out: 1) You will most probably not damage your baubles, 2) There are no restrictions on the type of jewelry you can’t clean 3) You already have the items needs at home vs. a Non-Silica toothpaste or Baking Soda, and 4) It’s gentle! This method is clearly the WINNER and you should really consider sticking to this one if you aren’t going to go to a professional. 

Image Credit: Caroline Gagné

1.     Fill two bowls (large or small depending on your piece) with lukewarm water. You will use one bowl to wash the jewelry and the other bowl will be used for rinsing.

2.     Add mild liquid dish soap to the lukewarm water. Depending on the size of the bowl you use, you’ll probably want to add enough to see the soap forming at the top.

3.     Dip your lint-free, nonabrasive, microfiber cloth in the soapy water bowl. Rub the cloth gently along the lines of the grain in your jewelry. Do not rub in the opposite direction as this will scratch your piece.

4.     OPTIONAL: Use a brand new soft toothbrush for intricate jewelry. Dip the bush in the soapy water bowl and gently brush along the grain of the jewelry. Make sure to stay away from gemstones to keep them from getting scratched!

5.     After you see the Bling back, it’s time to rinse, dry and polish your piece. Head down to the next section on the next steps.


The Final Step on How to Clean Jewelry at Home: Rinsing, Drying & Polishing

You’ve made it this far! High-Five!! 😊 This section is dedicated to the final process of your jewelry cleaning journey. Now we know it’s tempting to just rinse and let your jewelry dry but you might end up getting annoying water spots on it so we’ve given you tips on how to avoid it. Since you’ve made it this far, might as well finish it perfectly now, right?

1.     Rinse: Depending on the method you used, you want to rinse the jewelry in lukewarm non-soapy water. The smartest way would be to fill a bowl with lukewarm water and rinse in there until all the soapy residue is out. But you’re most probably going to rinse your jewelry in your sink under a tap… so our Pro Tip to you is: Plug the drain before cleaning jewelry to avoid any OH SH*T moments! 😃

2.     Dry: Pat the jewelry with your favorite soft, lint-free, nonabrasive microfiber cloth until it’s dry. Examine for any water-spots. This often-skipped step is important because excess water may lead to spotting. If your jewelry is intricately designed (such as a bracelet or a chain), wrap it up in the cloth and leave to dry for a while. This will soak up any excess water stuck in the nooks & crannies.

3.     Polish: We made it! Once your jewelry is dry, you can now start rebuffing it gently. For polishing and giving your piece that mirror-finish shine we recommend you use a soft cotton cloth (not the lint-free microfiber cloth you’ve been hearing about). Polish along the edges of your jewelry and you will see it look as good as new!


Now go have fun! Your deserve it 😉

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