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  • Writer's pictureWedding Day Diamonds

How to Clean Your Jewelry Like A Pro

bowl of jewelry with candle and perfume

Whether you wear your fine jewelry every day, or only on special occasions, precious metals, diamonds, and gemstones need to be clean if you want them to sparkle. (Even the world’s most perfectly cut diamond is going to look dull if it’s got a filmy layer of hand lotion caked onto it.)


So, here’s everything you need (and a few things you definitely don’t want to do!) to make sure your jewelry is looking as shiny and brilliant as possible.

soft dish towels for jewelry cleaning
soft dish towels for jewelry cleaning


The Supplies:


A soft dish cloth

A bowl of warm filtered water. (Tap water is usually fine.)

Liquid dish soap or jewelry cleaner

A soft-bristled toothbrush.

A fine mesh sieve or drain cover.

A lint-free cloth (separate from the cloth listed above)


The Process:



1.        Lay your cloth in a well-lit location. This is now your workspace.

2.        Arrange your to-be-cleaned jewelry on the cloth so you can see it. Not only does the cloth prevent scratches, but it will stop any small pieces (think diamond studs) from rolling or sliding off the counter or table you’re working on.

3.        With each piece laid out, give them a once-over. Check to make sure no stones are missing, and that no prongs look bent or broken.

4.        Put any broken or damaged pieces to the side. You should take these to a professional jeweler to be repaired and cleaned before you do anything with them yourself.


dish soap bubbles in a woman's hand
  1. Put a few drops of dish soap in a bowl of warm water.

  2. Stir it up until you have a reasonable amount of suds.

  3. Put one piece of jewelry or one set of earrings in the bowl at a time.

  4. Let soak for 10-15 minutes.


Tip: Why not dump all your jewelry in at once when the water’s hot? Well, technically, you can. But the reason we recommend working in batches is so that you can be sure every item that went into the bowl came back out before you dump the water.


Bonus: Work in small batches so one item of jewelry won’t scratch any other when it's pulled from the bowl.

monochromatic wooden toothbrushes and linen towel
  1. Hold your item of jewelry securely over, or in, the bowl.

  2. Take that soft bristled toothbrush and give your jewelry a good scrub, working from different angles to be sure you’ve removed any stubborn crud or films.

  3. If even a toothbrush isn’t detailed enough, try a cotton swab.

tattooed woman rinsing jewelry under a sink


  1. When you’re done scrubbing, rinse your jewelry under warm running water.

  2. We recommend rinsing for at least 30 seconds to be sure all soap residue is gone. Soap residue, if left to dry, can leave a dull film on your gemstones.


Tip: Put a fine mesh sieve over your drain first. That way, even if you were to drop your precious item, you’ll know it’s safe!


microfiber towels for jewelry cleaning


1.        We like lint-free cloths, whether the kind you use to dry wine glasses, or a microfiber cloth you might use on electronics.

2.        Whatever type of cloth you have, you’ll want to use it in a buffing motion until the jewelry is completely dry. This prevents any water stains from dulling your dazzlingly clean jewelry!


Do Not:

  • Never use your espresso machine’s steam wand to clean jewelry! We know, this is a major internet trend. It’s also needlessly risky:

    • You could burn your hands.

    • Old milk, sugar-syrup residue, or even espresso grinds can spurt out and get under your gemstone. They can also put dings and scratches in the metal.

    • The steam, which isn’t pressurized the same way jewelry store steam cleaners are, could damage the prongs.

  • Never use harsh chemicals. Not all gemstones are equally durable. Harsh cleaners like bleach can permanently damage and dull some stones.

  • Never skip towel-drying your jewelry. This gives you a chance to do a final inspection to make sure everything from side diamonds to earring backs are intact, and it prevents water spots.


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