Have you ever noticed that over time that piece of jewelry you wear day in and day out slowly loses its brilliant shine?
Or have you ever put away a beautiful sterling silver necklace, only find it looking like someone dipped it in a vat of charcoal dust the next time you pull it out?
I have a favorite bracelet I made that I wear nearly every day. I’ll admit, I’m TERRIBLE about properly storing it at the end of each day. I
chuck it gently and lovingly place it on my desk each night because by the time I take it off at around 9:00 I’m too lazy to spend the extra ten seconds putting in a little plastic ziplock bag.
Let me tell you, though, sterling silver (and most metals for that matter) + oxygen don’t mix.
I won’t get into why jewelry tarnishes over time because, a) that would make for a very boring blog post, and b) my understanding of chemical reactions dates back to 1998.
But what I will do is share with you my down ‘n dirty secret for giving my jewelry back its brilliant shine.
And I’ll give you a hint: it doesn’t involve polishing cloths or nausea-inducing jewelry dips.
(Seriously, that sh*t smells disgusting.)
In fact, you probably have most of these items at home. (And if not, you can easily get them at your local pharmacy or grocery store.)
Are you ready?
How to cheaply and easily clean your jewelry at home
For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.
I have two jewelry-cleaning methods you can do with items you already have at home. The first is for jewelry that is mildly tarnished — you’ll find the method below. The second method is for cleaning more heavily tarnished jewelry.
Just a quick note: I have personally used both methods on sterling silver and silver-plated jewelry. I can’t speak for how they would work on other types of metal. And in general, silver plating may come off over time, so I can’t promise that yours won’t with these methods.
What soap should I use?
For this first method I recommend using dish soap. Will other types of soap use? Possibly, I just haven’t tried them.
- Warm water
- Mild dish soap
- Soft tooshbrush
- Small container
- Mix some warm water and a squirt of mild dish soap in your small container
- Using the soft toothbrush, gently clean piece using the soap and water mixture, being careful to avoid any delicate beads such as pearls
- Ta-da, you're done! See how much shiner the right side of the bracelet is?
I have tried this method on sterling silver & silver-plated jewelry only. I cannot speak for how it will work on other types of metal.
If your piece is especially tarnished, you may need to add an extra squirt of dish soap onto your brush.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
See? Easy peasy. But if you try this and you find your silver jewelry is still tarnished, try moving onto this method.
I have used this method successfully for cleaning my sterling silver jewelry, as well as silver plated. Just be careful when cleaning any non-metal embellishments.
IF YOU found this helpful, CONSIDER LEAVING A TIP!
Leave a here tip if you’d like. They’re not required, but always appreciated
Want to try out more eco-friendly DIYs?
- A clever and cheap DIY hack to organize your jewelry — A really fun DIY using an upcycled picture frame to beautifully display your non-tarnishing jewelry
- DIY natural jewelry clean using pantry items — this is for more tarnished piece
Jewelry making inspiration delivered right to your inbox
Sign up for the Linkouture newsletter to receive ideas, tutorials, and practical steps for jewelry making e-mailed to you. You’ll also get exclusive access to my FREE mini video course, Jump Ring Jewels.
Like this tutorial? Pin it for later!
Your shares are on social media are how this site grows and help more people find the content here on this blog. Know a friend who’d like this? Please share it on Facebook or save it to your favorite natural cleaning board on Pinterest.
What’s your secret for cleaning your jewelry?