Cleaning Jewelry with Ammonia

Brighten up your gold and silver trinkets by soaking them for 10 minutes in a solution of 1/2 cup clear ammonia mixed in 1 cup warm water. Gently wipe clean with a soft cloth and let dry. Note: Do not do this with jewelry containing pearls, because it could dull or damage their delicate surface.
Cleaning Jewelry with Ammonia
Cleaning Jewelry with Ammonia


Know when to clean with ammonia. Ammonia is a powerful cleaner, but, chemically, it can be somewhat caustic. Avoid doing using ammonia to clean gold jewelry too often to prevent wear on your jewelry - ammonia is a good candidate for occasional (but not frequent) "deep cleans." Ammonia can damage certain materials often used in jewelry. Don't use ammonia when cleaning gold jewelry pieces that contain platinum or pearls.
  
 Add one part ammonia to six parts water. Stir gently to ensure an even mixture. Soak the jewelry in the mixture for no more than one minute. Don't let jewelry sit in the ammonia mixture for too long - as a strong base, ammonia can be slightly corrosive. To quickly remove all of the jewelry at once, use a kitchen strainer like you might use when cooking pasta. Either fish the jewelry out with a hand-held strainer or upend the bowl into a larger strainer in the sink.
 Rinse the jewelry thoroughly under running water. Plug or cover the drain of the sink to prevent losing any precious jewelry that slips out of your hand. Alternatively, simply use the strainer you used to get your jewelry out of the ammonia. Gently dry the jewelry with a soft polishing cloth. Allow jewelry to air dry on a towel completely before wearing it.

Cleaning Jewelry with Dish Soap

Cleaning Jewelry with Dish Soap
Cleaning Jewelry with Dish Soap


Put a few drops of liquid dish detergent in a bowl of warm (not hot) water. Mix gently. Though ordinary tap water will work fine, for even better results, you can use sodium-free seltzer water or club soda. The carbonation in these liquids can help loosen accumulated dirt and debris. Don't use hot or boiling water, especially if your jewelry contains fragile precious stones. Some precious stones, like opals, can crack if subjected to rapid and drastic temperature changes.

- Soak the gold jewelry in the solution. Allow the jewelry to sit in the water for about 15 minutes. As it soaks, warm soapy water will work its way into the cracks and crevices, loosening hard-to-reach buildups of dirt.

- Gently scrub the jewelry with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Scrub each piece of jewelry individually, paying special attention to nooks and crannies where dirt may be hidden. Use a very soft brush - the softer the better. Stiff bristles can scratch the surface of your jewelry. If your jewelry is gold-plated (as opposed to solid gold), especially stiff bristles can even remove the gold layer entirely! Special brushes designed for this purpose are best, but most small, soft brushes (like, for instance, eyebrow brushes) will also work.

- Rinse each piece in warm running water. A good rinsing will help remove lingering dirt that's been loosened by the action of your brush. Again, make sure the water isn't hot , especially if your jewelry contains fragile stones. If you're rinsing your jewelry in a sink, plug or cover the drain so that you don't accidentally lose your jewelry if it slips out of your hands. Alternatively, rinse your jewelry in a pasta strainer or metal coffee filter.

- Blot dry with a soft cloth. Then, let the jewelry sit out on a towel to air dry completely before wearing it again. If your jewelry is still wet, wearing it can trap moisture against your skin, leading to minor skin irritation.

Cleaning Glued-In Gemstones Jewelry

You can Use window cleaner to spruce up jewelry that is all metal or has crystalline gemstones, such as diamonds or rubies. Spray on the cleaner, then use an old toothbrush for cleaning. But don’t do this if the piece has opaque stones such as opal or turquoise or organic gems such as coral or pearl. The ammonia and detergents in the cleaner can discolor these porous lovelies.
Cleaning Jewelry
Cleaning Jewelry with cloth


Know which types of jewelry should be kept dry. Pieces of jewelry with gemstones that are glued into their setting (like many earrings) should not be submerged in water. Warm water can loosen the glue, which can cause your gemstones to fall out, especially when subjected to a thorough brushing. For these types of jewelry, use a special cleaning method that avoids total submersion in water. Wipe the jewelry with a wet, soapy cloth. Make a small quantity of dish soap solution. Dip a soft, delicate towel in the solution and gently scrub your jewelry. "Rinse" the jewelry with a cloth dampened with plain water. Gently dab a wet cloth onto the jewelry, taking care to soak up any leftover soap suds. Lay or hang the pieces upside down after cleaning. Allow your jewelry to dry in this way. By letting your jewelry dry upside down, you allow any remaining moisture to drip out, ensuring it won't soak into the setting.
Cleaning Jewelry