Zoe Vanderweide | October 31, 2022 –
Gold not so glittering? Diamonds looking dim? Lotions, household cleaners, improper storage, and everyday wear and tear can take a toll on your jewelry, leaving metals tarnished and gemstones dull. Luckily, armed with a little know-how, you can keep your baubles looking their best pretty easily. We tested a slew of expert-endorsed jewelry care techniques—along with a few popular DIYs—to discover what really works. Whether you’re looking to preserve a family heirloom or just polish up your everyday favorites, we have tips on how to clean, store, and maintain your jewelry so that it shines for years to come.
Use dish soap and warm water for most metals, gems, and crystals
“Most jewelry, whether it’s a diamond or rose quartz, can be safely cleaned with dish soap and warm water,” said McKenzie Santimer, museum manager and designer at the Gemological Institute of America.
Santimer recommends mixing one drop of Dawn dish soap with warm water in a bowl then allowing your jewelry to sit in the mixture for several minutes to cut through oils and grime. For solid gold jewelry and hard gemstones, follow up with a gentle scrub using a soft-bristle toothbrush. If you’re cleaning a stone in a pronged setting, make sure to scrub the gem from each side, working the flexible bristles into all the nooks and crannies, where sunscreen, lotion, and other enemies of sparkle tend to collect. Rinse, then dry with a microfiber cloth.