Get your baubles sparkly

It's easy to keep your jewelry looking as shiny as the day you got it. Read on to find out how to use common household products to clean your jewelry at home.

There's nothing like getting your jewelry professionally cleaned… it sparkles like it did the first time you put it on. But with busy schedules, we rarely have time to stop in at the jeweler's for a cleaning. Now you can clean your jewelry at home with basic household items like antacid, aluminum foil and vinegar. Read on to find out how easy it is. You'll never need to make a special trip to the jeweler again.

(Note that methods using chemicals or other harsh and abrasive cleaners are not recommended for soft stones like opals and pearls. Use soap and water only.)

Check out these 10 jewelry myths debunked >>


Diamonds are a girl's best friend, but not when they're dirty! Soak diamond jewelry 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.


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

Read more about cleaning with vinegar >>


The fizzing power that works to soothe your stomach can also clean your jewelry. 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 remove and rinse.

Learn how to make your own homemade natural cleaners >>

Aluminum foil

Use aluminum foil to clean your tarnished silver jewelry much like you would your silverware. Line a tray with a piece of crumpled aluminum foil and place your jewelry on the foil. Sprinkle a layer of baking soda over the jewelry, then pour boiling water over it. The tarnish will transfer from the jewelry to the foil. You may need to flip or move the jewelry 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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Comments on "How to clean jewelry at home"

Laurie December 26, 2013 | 11:25 AM

White vinegar is safe for diamonds but not other precious gems. Also, if gold is left in white vinegar for too long, it can damage the finish.

Khandaker Mustafijur Rahman September 26, 2013 | 8:36 PM

Don't use vinegar where there is pearl. It will permanently damage your pearl. So be careful.

diana June 21, 2013 | 6:39 PM

I have a white gold ring with a london blue topaz stone. cleaning a paint brush I got paint and paint thinner combined on the underside of the stone. Does anyone know how I could clean it? I don't want to put it in paint thinner for fear of damaging the stone. Diana

Kathy September 12, 2012 | 4:50 AM

I love cleaning jewelry with vinegar, vinegar is always available at our house. thanks

Katie September 10, 2012 | 2:16 PM

This is great advice. I've been wanting to clean my wedding rings but didn't want to take it somewhere and pay. I'm going to try the ammonia trick, thanks!!

regina September 09, 2012 | 6:22 AM

also denture tablets will clean a lot of jewelry as well as toothpaste

bj August 28, 2012 | 9:23 AM

Did you know that you can destroy vintage rhinestones by getting them wet? Your advice doesn't take that into account, and should.

Nicole August 14, 2012 | 11:03 AM

This is great advice on how to clean jewelry at home! I just inherited a lot of jewelry from my mother and grandmother, and some of the pieces are tarnished. It’s great to know that I don’t have to take the items to a jewelry store and pay to have them cleaned, but instead I can clean them at home using everyday household items. I feel like I just saved money reading this article!

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