How to Clean Jewelry at Home

You don't need fancy jewelry cleaner to get your silver to sparkle, your gold to gleam, and your gemstones to shine. Try these everyday items, most of which you probably already have in the house.

If your diamond ring has lost its luster, or your silver necklace is starting to show tarnish, you needn’t pay big bucks for pricey jewelry cleaner just to make them shine again. These solutions will show you how to clean jewelry so it looks like new once more.


Drop your dull-looking jewelry in a glass of fizzing Alka-Seltzer for a couple of minutes. It will sparkle and shine when you pull it out. More uses for Alka-Seltzer »

Aluminum Foil

To clean your jewelry, simply line a small bowl with aluminum foil. Fill the bowl with hot water and mix in one tablespoon of bleach-free powdered laundry detergent (not liquid), like Tide. Put the jewelry in the solution and let it soak for one minute. Rinse well and air-dry. This procedure makes use of the chemical process known as ion exchange, which can also be used to clean silverware. More uses for aluminum foil »


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. More uses for ammonia »

Baking Soda

To remove built-up tarnish from your silver, make a thick paste with 1/4 cup baking soda and 2 tablespoons water. Apply with a damp sponge and gently rub, rinse, and buff dry. To polish gold jewelry, cover with a light coating of baking soda, pour a bit of vinegar over it, and rinse clean. Note: Do not use this technique with jewelry containing pearls or gem-stones, as it could damage their finish or loosen any glue. More uses for baking soda »

Next: Beer puts the shine back for gold jewelry

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