Sometimes you plan an entire outfit around your jewelry and, other times, it’s a last-minute style decision as you’re running out the door. But regardless of whether your jewelry is a centerpiece or a subtler accent, the last thing you want is for your accessories to be dull and grimy from exposure to dirt, moisture and residue-depositing soaps and body lotions. The best jewelry cleaners will restore your most precious pieces to all their sparkly, glittery glory in just a few minutes.
If you’ve got silver earrings that needs sprucing, an emerald necklace that needs some attention or a wedding ring you want to glitter like a disco ball, there are all sorts of easy-to-use-at-home cleaners that don’t require a special trip to the jeweler. We consulted jewelry experts, and it turns out, they use many of these DIY options themselves. Here are the best jewelry cleaners for precious metals and gems.
Best Liquid Jewelry Cleaner
Hagerty: A Dependable And Versatile Cleanser
Best Diamond Jewelry Cleaner
Juli: Restore Shimmer And Shine To Diamonds
Best Silver Jewelry Cleaner
Wright’s: Take Silver From Grimy To Glossy
Best Gemstones Jewelry Cleaner
Connoisseurs: A Versatile Foam For Fashion And Fine Jewelry
Best Jewelry Cleaning Wipes
Shinery: Cleaning Convenience When You’re On-The-Go
Best Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner
Magnasonic: A Countertop Accessory For A Deep Clean
Best Non-Toxic Jewelry Cleaner
Simple Shine: An Ammonia-Free, All-Natural Cleaner
Best Polishing Cloths
Mayflower: An Easy-To-Use Jewelry Cleaner and Buffer
What To Look For When Shopping For The Best Jewelry Cleaners
Formulation And Method: Jewelry cleaners come in various formulations. They may come in the form of a gel, liquid, foam or cream, or they may be an ultrasonic cleaner, cloth or wipe.
Ingredients: When choosing a jewelry cleaner, be mindful of exactly what the cleaner will be used for. Some cleaners are specific to certain metals, like silver, and others are safest for certain gemstones. If your piece is a mix of a metal and gemstone, be sure to check that the cleaner is safe for both prior to use.
Common ingredients that can be polarizing in jewelry cleaners include phthalates, parabens, sulfates and fragrance because they can be absorbed through the skin or may cause irritation. “Many cleaners can be damaging as they’re full of chemicals,” say Los Angeles-based gemologist and jewelry designer Daria de Koning. For instance, ammonia can cause damage to porous gemstones or clarity-enhanced diamonds so it should be used with caution.
Silver cleaners are made up of ingredients including aluminum silicate (an abrasive clay mineral), sodium carbonate (for removing silver sulfide tarnish and returning a piece back to shiny silver) and propylene glycol (for retaining moisture and preventing tarnish).
Ease Of Use: Another factor to consider is the time investment involved in cleaning jewelry as well as the potential for mess. When choosing a cleaner, look not only for what will be safest for you and your jewelry, but also for what has a low likelihood for spillage and won’t require a chemistry lesson or elaborate setup on our countertop. In general, jewelry cleaning liquids that come with dip baskets and mini brushes are convenient, as are polishing mitts, cloths and wipes.
Certain metals, such as silver, may require more of a time investment because of their tendency to tarnish quickly. Similarly, some stones are more laborious to clean. Specifically, pavé set stones tend to hang onto dirt, and you might need to invest more time to get in between the tight spaces of a prong or channel-set stones, like those found in an eternity band.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Jewelry Cleaners
How often should you clean jewelry?
For the most part, you should clean jewelry whenever it’s lost its luster. For pieces you wear regularly, such as a wedding band or everyday studs, you might want to clean them every week. “Diamonds are like magnets—they attract dirt,” says de Koning. “So it’s best to wash diamond jewelry frequently.” If you want to be sure your jewels are reaching their shine potential as well as check for loose stones or faulty settings, take a trip to a jeweler. Galgano says it’s good practice to “bring your pieces to a jeweler for a professional cleaning every six months,” even if you’re cleaning at home.
How can I maintain cleaned pieces?
“Always spray perfume, sunscreen or bug spray on before putting on jewelry,” says Brogna. “If your jewelry is gold filled or gold plated, the ingredients in those sprays can damage it,” she says. “Pearls and opals are especially soft and fragile, so they should be cleaned as little as possible and only professionally,” says Galgano. Fox cautions against wearing perfume or hairspray with pearls because it ruins pearl nacre, the iridescent material made of calcium carbonate. Also, be careful using jewelry cleaners on more porous, natural stones—like turquoise or coral—says Fox, because organic stones are more likely to be damaged by harsh ingredients.
Should I always rinse jewelry with water after cleaning?
Most experts recommend rinsing a piece of jewelry with water after cleaning simply to remove any excess cleaning solution or cream so it doesn’t irritate your skin. Also, some silver cleaners have an odor that you may be sensitive to.
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