How to Clean All Types of Jewelry: Brass, Sterling Silver, Gold and MORE

December 28, 2018

One of our most popular posts is "How to Take Care of Your Fashion Jewelry"

In this post, we are going to dig a little deeper and give you a comprehensive guide on 

How to Clean Different Kinds Of Jewelry

Before I give you the low down on cleaning your jewelry you should be sure to remove dirt, oils and general pollutants. You will get better, more even cleaning results if you do this step first. 

Use a little soap and water or a soft toothbrush to clean out gunk and grime from your piece. Sometimes that is all you need, but if you need to beef up your shine game keep reading! 

How to Clean Brass Jewelry

Our specialty is brass, so I will start with how to clean brass jewelry. 

Clean your brass with a lemon or lemon juice 

  • Step One: Pour one cup of water into a glass or plastic container
  • Step Two: Add lemon juice from a bottle or a freshly cut lemon. 
  • Step Three: Add a little bit of salt and stir to dissolve. 
  • Step Four: Place your brass in the solution and let it soak for a few minutes.
  • Note: Keep your eye on your brass so you can take it out as soon as it is as shiny as you want it to be! 
  • Step Five: Rinse off your jewelry and dry completely.
  • NOTE: Brass retains water spots – so always dry it immediately! 

Alternatively, you can cut a lemon in half and sprinkle some salt on top of it. then rub it over the brass. Continue to step Five and Six! 

Clean your brass with Ketchup! 

When I think ketchup I think fries and not jewelry! That being said, ketchup isn’t only good for food. Ketchup can be an easy way to clean your brass jewelry. 

  • Step One: Use your fingers or a soft toothbrush to rub the sauce across your jewelry.
  • Step Two: Let your jewelry sit for between one and two minutes. 
  • Step Three: Rinse off all the sauce and its residue. 
  • Step Four: Inspect the jewelry and if it isn't to your linking repeat steps One to Three.
  • Step 5: Let Dry Completly.  

Clean your brass with vinegar and salt 

  • Step One: Use a glass container to mix 1 cup of white household vinegar and 1 tablespoon of salt.
  • Step Two: Warm up the solution in the microwave for a minute or two. The solution shouldn't be hot to the touch.
  • Step Three Place your brass jewelry in the container.
  • Step Four: Scrub the item with a cloth or toothbrush to remove additional grime.
  • Note: Keep your eye on your brass so you can take it out as soon as it is as shiny as you want it to be! 
  • Step Five: Rinse off your jewelry and dry completely.

Final Steps: You can rub your jewelry with olive oil to give it a super shine!

Shop Brass Jewelry

How to clean sterling silver 

Silver typically becomes shinier the more it's worn, so if you want to keep your sterling silver fresh, don't let it sit around in your jewelry box! 

However, if you are saving a certain piece for a certain occasion and need some easy cleaning tips here are a few easy ways to clean your sterling silver jewelry!

Clean your sterling silver jewelry with tin/aluminum foil

If your jewelry is super tarnished, you can be sure that it will respond well to being cleaned by aluminum foil.

  • Step One: Find a baking tray and line it with a clean piece of tin foil
  • Step Two: Spread your jewelry out on the tray
  • Step Three: Sprinkle some baking soda onto each piece of your silver jewelry so that they are covered.
  • Step Four: Boil a small pot of water
  • Step Five: Slowly pour the water over the jewelry 
  • Step Six: Watch in awe as the tin foil picks up the tarnish off your silver jewelry! 
  • Step Seven: Flip your jewelry over and repeat steps One to Six. 
  • Step Eight: Rise your jewelry and dry well
  • Step Nine: Store in an anti-tarnish bag!

Shop Sterling Silver Studs


How to clean diamond and other hard gemstone jewelry

Clean Diamonds and Gemstones with Alka Seltzer

  • Step One: Add your jewelry to a glass container
  • Step Two: Fill the container with one cup of room-temperature water
  • Step Three: Add a tablet of Alka Seltzer to your solution
  • Note: Don't use flavored Alka Seltzer!
  • Step Four: Take your jewelry out of the solution a couple of minutes after the fizzing has stopped
  • Step Five: Remove your jewelry and with a clean, dry cloth
  • Step Six: Dry thoroughly 

Shop Gemstone Bracelets

How to clean fashion jewelry 

Wash Your Fashion Jewelry With Soap and Water

Good old-fashioned soap and water works well on alsmost all jewelry! This is method is best for soft stones and plated jewelry.

  • Step One: Add a little bit of dish detergent to s soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Step Two: Run a bit of water over the toothbrush.
  • Step Three: Gently scrub away any smudges or grime.
  • Step Four: Rinse/wipe away with a cloth dipped in plain water.
  • Step Five: Lay the jewelry flat to dry 

If this isn't working for you, you can step up your game by

Cleaning your fashion jewelry with soap, baking soda, and water

This method is similar to the one above but adds baking soda! 

Shop Fashion Jewelry

How to clean gold jewelry

Boil Your Gold Jewelry

Not all jewelry can be boiled, but you sure can boil solid gold! Before you boil, make sure that nothing is glued to your gold. Also, make sure that your gold isn't freezing cold before putting it into boiling water. 

  • Step One: Place your jewelry into a glass bowl
  • Step Two: Slowly pour the boiled water over your gold jewelry
  • Step Three: Continue pouring slowly until the jewelry is fully submerged
  • Step Four: Let your jewelry sit until the water cools
  • Step Five: Gently scrub your gold with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Step Six: Dry thoroughly.

Clean Your Gold Using Vinegar 

Vinegar can clean just about anything, so it is not surprising that it is great for hard gemstones and gold. Just be sure to use white vinegar!

  • Step One: Pour white vinegar into a glass container (enough to completely cover the jewelry)
  • Step Two: Soak your jewelry for about 15  to 20 minutes
  • Note: Make sure to move it around every couple of minutes
  • Step Three: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently scrub your jewelry
  • Step Four: Rinse with plain water and let dry completely

How to Clean and Polish Pearls

Because they're so porous, pearls easily lose their luster. Whether real, cultured, or faux, you must clean them with care.

  • Step One: Create a solution of warm water and shampoo
  • Step Two: Place your pearls on a soft cloth.
  • Step Three: Dip a soft, clean makeup brush into your solution and cover your pearls with the solution
  • Step Four: Rinse the pearls with a clean damp cloth.
  • Step Five: Lay your pearls flat to dry
  • Note: This method is also good for turquoise, another soft, porous stones.

Shop Pearls


What is the best homemade jewelry cleaner?

Soap and Water

With all these very specific methods on cleaning jewelry, the best method for cleaning jewelry remains soap and water! If all else fails, this is a good go-to method for all types of jewelry. 


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