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How To Clean Jewelry at Home

Cleaning Diamond Jewelry at Home

Photo by Eric Welch/GIA

A common question we are asked at Josephs is, “how can I clean my jewelry at home?” It’s important for you to know that cleaning jewelry is not always easier at home. In fact, one jewelry cleaning solution will not work for all gemstones or metals because each needs its own care due to a number of different factors. An at-home method should only be used temporarily for hard gems like rubies, sapphires and diamonds, but it’s best to check with your jewelry professional.

Now more than ever, we understand the importance of cleaning jewelry in the comfort of your home. If you do not have our jewelry cleaner solution readily available, here are a few other recommendations that you can follow.


DIY solution to clean jewelry at home

Photo from JewelersMutual

The red, whites and blues (rubies, diamonds and sapphires) are the safest gems to clean at home. Others require very specific care to avoid damage. It’s important to regularly clean your diamond because it naturally attracts oils and often looks cloudy when not cleaned.

The Gemological Institute of America recommends creating a mixture of warm water and a few drops of mild dishwashing soap. Soak your ring for about 20 – 40 minutes and then gently brush the stone with a new soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse under warm running water to remove the soap film. If needed, repeat until sparkling! Please use caution when scrubbing fragile pieces like estate jewelry or older settings.

Another way to clean diamond jewelry and harder gems such as rubies and sapphires is to soak the piece in an ammonia-based cleaner such as a window cleaner overnight. Organic gems should not be exposed to ammonia-based cleaners, and all gems should avoid harmful chemicals like bleach and chlorine.


Never clean opals, pearls or any other organic gems in harsh cleaning solutions; only a soft cloth and very mild soap should be used to wipe clean the jewelry. Opals and pearls are very fragile and can easily be scratched if not handled properly. Pearls also have thin layers called nacre that can be removed if a rough cleaner is used.

To avoid dirt buildup and residue on your jewelry, always take it off when


There are a number of effective ways to clean your silver jewelry and flatware. One of the easiest (depending on how tarnished the piece is) is a polishing cloth that’s available at Josephs. Our professional polishing cloth has two layers—the middle layer removes dirt and tarnish and the outer layer gives your piece its brilliant shine.

If the piece is a little bit more tarnished and the polishing cloth doesn’t do the trick, another option is Hagerty Silver Foam. This foam takes a bit of scrubbing to clean tarnished pieces, but it’s great for restoring original conditions. Apply the foam with a sponge applicator and scrub making sure to wash the piece thoroughly and then rinse with warm water. Buff the piece with a dry, soft cloth when finished. Be careful to not get this cleaner on any gems. This is especially great for antique silver that has tarnished a great deal. Hagerty products are available for purchase at Josephs.

If you’re piece of silver jewelry has blackened silver accents, Kiehls Coriander Soap is a good choice. It’s a mild liquid foaming soap that gently cleans with natural extracts. It works great for John Hardy jewelry or many Native American pieces because it cleans without removing the blackened look. Apply this soap to the piece, gently scrub it and rinse with warm water.