At Home Hacks for Cleaning Your Jewelry
*Originally published July 2016
Summer is the time of year to go outside, feel the sunshine on your face and go on spontaneous adventures.
However, it’s also the time of year that people tend to sweat a little more. Washing your clothes is a no-brainer, but the one thing people tend to forget to clean: their jewelry.
Dead skin and sweat can build up on your jewelry and make it boringly dull, but getting it professionally cleaned can cost you. Here are some methods to clean your jewelry at home and keep it from tarnishing:
Toothpaste: Made for polishing your pearly whites, toothpaste can also be used to polish your silver. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way! Put a little bit on toothpaste on an unused toothbrush and gently scrub until your ring is shiny again.
Chalk: This hack is mostly for keeping silver from tarnishing rather than cleaning it, but it will definitely keep you from shelling out money for a professional silver cleaner. Put some white chalk in a piece of cheesecloth and keep it in your jewelry box or wherever you keep fine silver.
Ketchup: Weird? Yes. Effective? Also yes. The go-to condiment for burgers and hot dogs can also be used to clean your silver. The acidity in ketchup is gentle enough to be used as an effective and safe cleaner. Put your jewelry in a bowl of ketchup, making sure it’s completely covered in the sauce and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. After removing it, gently scrub the jewelry with an old toothbrush and rinse with warm water.
Clear nail polish: Costume jewelry can be just as dazzling as real jewelry, but it can tarnish quickly and turn your fingers green. To keep your budget-friendly jewelry shining, paint a thin coat of clear nail polish on any metal piece.
Beer: It’s the chosen drink of college parties and tailgates; beer can be used to clean your gold jewelry. The key to this hack is using a light colored beer. Pour a little light beer on a cloth and gently rub until clean. (Make sure that your piece is either solid gold or gold plated without gemstones!)
Baking soda: A tried and true method, this kitchen staple can be used to make your sterling silver pieces look brand new again. Find a bowl big enough to gold the pieces you want cleaned and line it with some aluminum foil. Pour boiling water (carefully!) into the bowl and add a tablespoon of baking soda. You’re going to see some bubbles and smell something like rotten egg (no worries, it’s just the sulfuric gases!) Use a wooden spoon to move the jewelry around, making sure they all touch the foil. Gently rinse the pieces under tap water, pat dry with a soft cloth, and you’re good to go!