How to Clean and Care for Your Fine Jewelry

How to Clean and Care for Your Fine Jewelry

Each piece of jewelry is special in its own way. Whether it was a gift, a personal purchase, or something as precious as an engagement ring, you should care for your investment with proper cleaning and maintenance. With this quick guide, you’ll enjoy how bright your jewelry shines!


The Importance of Proper Jewelry Maintenance and Storage

Protecting and maintaining your jewelry is an essential part of being a responsible fine jewelry owner. Take pride in your pieces and follow basic maintenance to ensure the shine and longevity of your jewelry.

Inspect your jewelry on a regular basis to make sure no stones are loose. Be familiar with your gems and metals so that you know the best way to clean your jewelry and recognize when to take it into a professional.

Storage is also an important consideration that impacts your jewelry. Proper storage containers, like jewelry boxes with individual padded slots and posts, are ideal to keep your jewelry organized and protected from scratches, tangles, and more. With proper storage and maintenance, your jewelry will look its best and stand the test of time.


Cleaning Jewelry at Home

Your at-home jewelry maintenance will likely include basic cleaning. It is vital to know the best practices for each piece so that you do not damage your designer jewelry and heirlooms.

Overall, it is best to keep your jewelry away from harsh chemicals. In fact, cleaning jewelry at home takes very few supplies.

For cleaning jewelry you’ll need:

  • Warm water
  • Mild dish soap
  • Soft brush


When cleaning earrings, other small pieces, or jewelry with gems, use a glass or small bowl instead of the sink so you do not risk losing your jewelry down the drain. Be sure you use a very soft brush, especially on soft gems and metals that can easily scratch.


How to Clean 5 Different Types of Jewelry

Before you begin cleaning jewelry at home, research your jewelry’s materials so that you employ the correct methods that will preserve instead of harm your pieces. You may find yourself cleaning engagement rings and other jewelry worn often on a more regular basis, so it is essential you take care to use the correct methods.

Different gems and metals require specific care, and following cleaning guidelines will help keep your jewelry sparkling and intact. A little research is worth it to preserve your special pieces.


1. How to Clean Gemstones

Special care must be taken when cleaning gemstone jewelry. Most gems can be washed with warm water and a mild detergent, like dish soap, but take the time to research your stones so you understand their specific care recommendations.

A little gemology is helpful for determining which gems need a gentler touch. For example, diamonds have the greatest natural hardness of any material, but they can still be damaged by heat or mechanical cleaning.

Some gems are treated before being sold, and these treatments could react poorly to specific types of cleanings. Many emeralds are treated with oils to improve the gem’s transparency, but that treatment combined with an ultrasonic cleaning could be damaging.


2. Cleaning Pearls

Pearls are softer than most other gems, and cleaning pearls should be done carefully to avoid scratching. Gently wipe your pearls with a soft cloth after every wear to prevent the buildup of oils, perfumes, and lotions you may have been wearing.

When it is time to clean your pearls, use a damp cloth as needed. It is best to avoid submerging a pearl necklace in water, as the water will weaken the silk thread. If you wear your pearl necklaces or bracelets often, we recommend you have them restrung by a professional once a year to ensure the jewelry does not break.


3. Platinum Jewelry Maintenance

Platinum jewelry is easy to maintain, which is one of the reasons it is a top metal choice for important pieces like engagement rings. Platinum will not fade or tarnish, but it will take on a distinctive patina over time. This can be washed off or left alone for a vintage look.

Cleaning platinum jewelry is easily done with warm water, soap, and a soft brush. Be sure to treat any gems in the jewelry with care. If your platinum jewelry has unwanted patina, polishing the pieces will bring back the brilliance of newly purchased platinum.


4. Best Ways to Clean Gold

Gold is a soft metal prone to scratches. While most gold used for jewelry is mixed with other metals to form stronger alloys, it is always wise to handle it with care. When cleaned well, gold will have a mirror-like finish that shines brightly. Natural oils dull gold’s brilliance, but cleaning gold with soapy water and a soft brush will bring back the shine.

White gold is often plated with rhodium to combat the natural yellow tinge of gold and to make the jewelry stronger. This plating must be replaced occasionally to maintain high shine. Bring your precious white gold engagement ring to a jeweler to be professionally replated.


5. Polishing Silver Jewelry

Silver jewelry provides a classic look, but the metal is known to tarnish and needs frequent upkeep to ensure its shine. Everyday pieces, like a classic silver necklace, tarnish slower than the finer jewelry that sits in a jewelry box for long periods of time. Your frequently worn silver jewelry will likely require an occasional polish to keep up its brilliance.

Cleaning silver jewelry that has tarnished may take more vigorous scrubbing. Make a paste with one part water and three parts baking soda, and gently rub the paste in circles with a soft microfiber cloth to remove the tarnish.


When to See a Professional Jeweler for a Cleaning

Experts recommend you bring important pieces of jewelry in for inspection at least once a year. This may include a thorough cleaning and ensuring all the gems are secure.

A reputable jeweler like Fink’s Jewelers will be able to:

  • Repair necklace and bracelet clasps
  • Lengthen necklaces
  • Replace watch batteries
  • Repair diamond and gemstone settings
  • Resize, clean, and polish jewelry


Before heading to the jeweler, know the right questions to ask to ensure your jewelry will be well taken care of. It is best if repairs are done in-house and the jeweler holds important certifications that prove their qualifications and professionalism.

With proper cleaning and maintenance, your jewelry will gleam and impress for years to come. Store your jewelry well, perform simple cleanings at home, and ensure your jewelry is well-maintained with regular jeweler inspections. Cleaning jewelry is a simple way to protect your most important pieces, and it is worth the time to have jewelry that shines.