How To Clean Your Jewellery

As you adorn your favourite piece of jewellery, have you ever wondered about the story it could tell? Every bangle, ring, or pendant holds tales of celebration, love, and perhaps even a touch of mystery. However, these stories can quickly fade under layers of everyday dust, oil, and cosmetics. Just as stories need to be passed on to keep them alive, your jewellery needs a bit of care to keep its sparkle.

Regular cleaning of your jewellery not only ensures that it keeps shining brightly but also extends its life, preserving its beauty for generations to come. Every piece, whether it's a family heirloom or a recent addition to your collection, deserves to shine to its full potential. Moreover, proper maintenance can also help prevent potential skin reactions caused by accumulated dirt and grime.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of cleaning various types of jewellery right at your home, the importance of regular cleaning, the unique needs of different types of jewellery, and much more. Whether you're a jewellery enthusiast or someone seeking to maintain the brilliance of their cherished pieces, this guide is designed to empower you with the knowledge and confidence to undertake this task. So, let's embark on this journey to unveil the hidden shine and tales within your jewellery collection.

The Importance of Regular Jewellery Cleaning

Everyday routines, though seemingly harmless, can gradually dull the shine of your treasured jewellery. Everything from your morning shower, applying lotion, spritzing perfume, perspiring in the summer heat, to preparing meals can leave small traces on your precious pieces.

Over time, these traces can accumulate and result in loss of lustre, discoloration, and tarnishing. More delicate metals like silver and low-karat gold can even react with the atmosphere or skin, exacerbating this effect. Even robust gemstones like diamonds can lose their sparkle with a simple touch, as our skin's natural oils create a film on their surface, diminishing their brilliance.

This daily wear and tear makes regular cleaning a crucial part of jewellery maintenance. Regular and proper cleaning helps maintain the inherent beauty, shine, and longevity of your pieces. It not only prevents the buildup of dirt and oils that can lead to skin irritation, particularly in sensitive individuals, but it also allows you to spot potential issues. You can catch loose stones or damaged clasps early before they result in loss or significant damage.

Beyond these practical benefits, regular cleaning ensures that your favourite pieces are always in a ready-to-wear condition, complementing your outfits perfectly when you need them. More importantly, it helps preserve the life, beauty, and story of each piece, allowing it to continue to be a part of your life's journey and shine brilliantly for generations to come.

Understanding Different Types of Jewellery and Their Cleaning Needs

Silver Jewellery

Silver, though beautiful and versatile, is notorious for tarnishing when exposed to air and certain substances. A specialised silver cleaner is often necessary to restore its shine, although a gentle polishing with a soft cloth can also help maintain its look. Silver jewellery needs particular attention and regular care to keep tarnishing at bay.

Gold Jewellery

The timeless allure of gold transcends cultures and centuries. However, despite its reputation for being resistant to tarnishing, gold can lose its sheen with time, especially when exposed to harsh chemicals or cosmetics. Cleaning gold jewellery needs a gentle touch and mild cleaning agents to ensure its lustre remains undiminished. A soft brush, lukewarm water, and a bit of dish soap can often do the trick.

Pearl Jewellery

Pearls, organic and delicate, require extra care when it comes to cleaning. They can easily lose their lustre or get damaged by harsh chemicals and even excessive moisture. Cleaning pearl jewellery often involves a simple wipe with a soft, damp cloth after each wear and a thorough drying before storing.

Tumbaga Jewellery

Like Silver, Tumbaga (an alloy of 80% copper and 20% zinc) can tarnish and requires the same care as silver jewellery - clean with a soft cloth or use Silvo or Brasso for more stubborn tarnishing.

Step-by-Step Guide On How To Clean Gold, Silver, and Gemstone Jewellery at Home

Before starting the cleaning process, gather the necessary materials. This usually includes warm (not hot) water, a bowl, mild dish soap, a soft toothbrush or cloth, and a lint-free towel as part of your DIY jewellery cleaner kit. For silver jewellery, you may also need a specialised silver cleaner or polishing cloth.

Tips and Tricks for Maintaining Your Jewellery's Sparkle

To maintain the beauty and longevity of your jewellery, it’s essential to incorporate a few habits into your daily routine.

  • Avoid wearing jewellery during activities that may cause damage or dirt accumulation, such as gardening, swimming, or exercising.

  • Apply lotions, perfumes, and other cosmetics before putting on your jewellery to minimise contact with these potentially damaging substances.

  • Wipe down your jewellery with a soft cloth after each wear to remove oils and sweat. This is particularly important for pearls, which are sensitive to these substances.

  • Regularly check your jewellery for signs of wear and tear, such as loose stones or clasps, which may need professional repair.

  • Conduct a regular, thorough clean at home using the appropriate method for each type of jewellery, and consider professional cleaning at least once a year for a comprehensive, deep clean.

Storing jewellery to prevent tarnish and scratches:

  • Proper storage of jewellery is just as critical as cleaning for maintaining their shine and preventing damage.

  • Store your jewellery in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or sources of heat.

  • Each piece should be stored separately to avoid scratches and tangling. Soft cloth pouches, jewellery boxes with lined compartments, or even acid-free tissue paper can be used for this purpose.

  • Lay down pearl necklaces flat to prevent the string from stretching.

  • For silver jewellery, consider using anti-tarnish strips in the storage area, or store them in airtight bags to minimise exposure to air.

  • Do not store jewellery in the bathroom where humidity levels are typically high, as this can expedite tarnishing.

By following these routine care and storage tips, you can ensure your jewellery continues to tell its story with its original sparkle and allure.

Preserving the beauty, sparkle, and integrity of your precious jewellery involves a blend of regular home cleaning, periodic professional cleaning, and adopting prudent daily habits. Whether your collection includes gold, silver, diamonds, pearls, or other gemstones, understanding each piece's unique needs is paramount to effective cleaning and care.

Moreover, storing your jewellery in the right environment can help prevent tarnish, scratches, and other damage. Ultimately, these pieces are more than mere accessories. They hold sentimental value and tell your unique story. By maintaining your jewellery with care, you can ensure they continue to shine brilliantly and narrate your tale to the world.

Elevate your jewellery game with NAJO, a renowned Australian jewellery brand. Dive into our wide range of chic and tasteful collections, from versatile necklaces that perfectly frame your outfit, to women’s earrings for a touch of elegance, and unique rings that express your individuality. Crafted in sterling silver, gold, and rose gold, our pieces embody timeless beauty.

Jewellery Cleaning FAQs

What can I use to clean jewellery at home?

Cleaning your jewellery at home can be done with some common household items. Depending on the type of jewellery, these materials may include:

  • Warm Water: Lukewarm water is a universal cleaning agent for most types of jewellery. Avoid using hot water as it may cause damage, particularly to gemstones.

  • Mild Dish Soap: Dish soap can be used in conjunction with warm water to create a cleaning solution that's effective for most metals and stones.

  • Soft Toothbrush or Cloth: A soft toothbrush can help dislodge accumulated dirt from small crevices in your jewellery, while a soft, lint-free cloth is perfect for wiping surfaces clean and drying.

  • Silver Cleaner or Polishing Cloth: If your silver jewellery is heavily tarnished, you might need a specialised silver cleaner or a silver polishing cloth.

Remember, it's crucial to understand what materials are safe to use on each type of jewellery. For example, pearls and certain gemstones are very delicate and should not be cleaned with abrasive or acidic substances. Always do some research or consult with a professional if you're unsure.

How do you remove tarnish from jewellery?

Tarnish on jewellery, especially silver, is a common issue that can be addressed with a few household items. Materials like warm water, mild dish soap, a soft cloth or sponge and a bowl are essential for cleaning tarnished silver jewellery.

For light tarnish, soaking the jewellery in a solution of warm water and mild dish soap followed by gentle scrubbing works well.

Regardless of the method, always test on a discreet area first and, when in doubt, consult a jewellery professional.


Jo Tory

Born in Australia, Jo Tory is proud to be one of the country’s pioneering female jewellery founders. She has been our Creative Director since NAJO’s formation, steering the company to be one of Australia’s most successful fine jewellery brands today. Jo also sits on the Jewellers Association of Australia’s Board of Directors, where she actively promotes the highest standards and ethics within the Australian jewellery industry.