How to Clean Jewelry in 6 Steps

How to Clean Jewelry in 6 Steps 

Let us help you find your sparkle! A little time and maintenance can go a long way. Keep your favorite pieces lasting year after year with these 6 steps on how to clean jewelry.

Let’s face it. We are all constantly in contact with oils, dirt, sweat, etc. As much as we wish our jewelry could live in its own bubble, life gets in the way. That’s why it’s important to take care of your accessories. After all, we all tidy our bedrooms and wash our faces (usually!), so it makes sense that our jewelry would need some TLC. 

What is tarnished jewelry?

Chances are, your bling is made of metal. That means it’ll tarnish at some point. I’m talking about all your brass, sterling silver, and copper pieces. Then there is solid gold, there’s a reason the phrase “good as gold” exists. Solid gold ranges from 10k to 24k, 24k is the only solid gold that has no other alloys mixed in, meaning its is the only gold that will not tarnish.

From 10k to 18k have alloys such as silver and copper mixed in to make the metal more durable. When adding silver and copper this can allow your jewelry, even solid gold to tarnish. But the good news is that this tarnish can be cleaned. You can remove the layer of tarnish over sterling silver or gold to bring back its natural shine.

When your jewelry comes in contact with body oils, dirt, sweat, makeup, perfume, lotion, and other substances, it causes a chemical reaction that results in tarnishing. Tarnished jewelry can look dull, discolored, and rusty. This can be even more common if you live in a humid area.

Can I clean tarnished jewelry? 

Good news! Just because you may have forgotten about your jewelry doesn’t mean it can't be saved. If your sterling silver has oxidized, you can brighten it using a soft polishing cloth. Halie & Co. fact: although sterling silver tarnishes, it actually keeps its shine the more it is worn! Many of our pieces are gold-filled, which has a tarnish resistance due to how much solid gold is used and its binding process.

6 Steps to Clean Jewelry 

To polish off some of that daily wear and tear, follow our favorite steps below:

Here’s what you’ll need:

Small bowl
Warm water
Dish soap 
Soft toothbrush (a child’s size is best)
Non-abrasive cloth or towel (microfiber is our fave)

  1. Fill the bowl with warm water and add a few drops of soap
  2. Use the toothbrush to stir the soap around
  3. Place your jewelry piece in the bowl and let soak for a few seconds to loosen up the dirt
  4. Swirl your toothbrush in the water to pick up the soapy water
  5. Gradually take sections out of the water and scrub with the toothbrush until you’ve cleaned it all
  6. Rinse off in the bowl of water, then completely dry with a cloth

Congratulations! Now your bling is good as new. Just don’t forget that the keyword here is gentle. Treat your jewelry like you’re caring for a baby or puppy… we’re serious. And make sure you are cleaning your pieces individually. You don’t want to scratch or tangle them.

How do I clean permanent jewelry? 

Permanent jewelry is slightly different. As you can’t take off your permanent bracelet (anklet, ring, or necklace), we’ve got to get a little crafty. 

Instead of soaking in a bowl, you’ll use the soapy water on the toothbrush to scrub it around your wrist, ankle, finger, or neck. Be sure to give it a good wash after every dip in the pool or ocean and with any use of harsh chemicals (ie: lotions, sunscreen, and tanning oils).

When should I clean my jewelry? 

At Halie & Co, we polish all jewelry right before shipping so it shines upon arrival.

After that, we suggest making cleaning your jewelry part of your routine. Just like you may grocery shop on certain days, set aside time each month to wash your jewelry. And as a bonus, it makes for great therapeutic “me time”.

If your jewelry is around excessive dirt, chemicals, or grease, you should clean it ASAP. But also be careful not to overwash your jewelry… yes, it’s possible. Especially for delicate or fragile pieces.

Jewelry was made to sparkle. And taking a few minutes out of your day will keep your necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings in tip-top shape. Ready for more? Shop our shiny new arrivals.



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