A Closer Look at DIY Jewelry Cleaners

  • May 08
A Closer Look at DIY Jewelry Cleaners

It may seem like we’re a bit out to get the old wives, but they have a lot of tales about jewelry cleaning that don’t hold up to scrutiny.

We’ve already covered some old favorites, but the old wives never give up. Here are some new DIY tips debunked, plus a few old not-favorites. The key takeaway? For best results, clean your jewelry with professional products designed specifically for the purpose.


What NOT to use?



It’s great for dipping your fries; less great for dipping your jewelry. Ketchup has entered the DIY cleaning repertoire due to the vinegar it contains. Vinegar is a popular acidic agent used to clean metals, including copper, stainless steel, cast iron and silver. Even the DIY-proponents acknowledge that using ketchup “for too long” can damage your jewelry. How long is too long? And do you really want to rub your jewelry with sugary ketchup?

Cleaning your silver jewelry with a silver jewelry cleaner formulated for the purpose is much safer. Our Silver Jewelry Cleaner is a mild formulation that will not cause pitting or silver loss. Your ketchup is formulated to taste great on a burger or hot dog.



Coca Cola is sometimes recommended for jewelry cleaning for the same reason as ketchup: its acid content. And we don’t recommend it for the same reasons we don’t recommend ketchup. Enjoy a Coke on a hot summer’s day, but use professional jewelry cleaner for your jewelry cleaning needs.



Maybe DIY cleaning has been overtaken by foodies? We love beer and vodka at happy hour, but not so much at cleaning hour. Beer has been suggested for cleaning gold, while vodka is suggested for gemstones. But caveats always emerge, like not using dark ales or beer on gemstones. Again, the best choice is something formulated specifically for cleaning jewelry. You know, something you would use to clean your jewelry if you accidentally dropped it into a mug of beer or a vodka martini.



These are all big favorites for the DIY crowd, but please set them down now. Toothpaste is too gritty for jewelry and can cause scratches on the metal. Toothbrushes can do the same, plus their long handle places too much pressure on settings. But that little brush in a jar of jewelry cleaner is just right for brushing off dirt and oils after a soak in a professional jewelry cleaning formula. And while Windex leaves your glass sparkling, the chemicals can damage gemstones like emeralds, opals and more.



DIYers recommend creating a solution with dish or body soap and soaking your piece in that. But not soap with a moisturizer, and no details are given on the quantities that go into the solution, and the time to soak is a frustratingly wide window. They add that you should use a brush to clean it better, but a soft brush. Do you know what brushes are soft? Do you know whether you soap has moisturizer? Do you know whether 20 or 40 or 60 minutes is safe? There are a lot of variables to be sure of. Again, the best bet is a cleaning formula designed specifically for jewelry, one you know is safe and one that comes with a brush that is the right size and softness.