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How to Clean Jewelry at Home: 12 Household Items That Work Miracles

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

Alka-seltzer Original Effervescent Tablets, 72-CountVia amazon.com

Alka-Seltzer


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. Try these 17 other cleaning tricks for hard-to-clean household objects.

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Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil (200 Square Foot Roll)Via amazon.com

Aluminum foil


Here’s how to clean 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.

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00051 Ammonia Clear 64oz, multipurpose cleanerVia amazon.com

Ammonia


Brighten up your gold and silver trinkets by soaking them for ten 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.

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Arm & Hammer Baking Soda - 64 ozVia amazon.com

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 gemstones, as it could damage their finish or loosen any glue. These are other weird tricks that actually polish silver with ease.

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Corona Extra Lager, 4.6% Abv, 24 OzVia amazon.com

Beer


Get the shine back in your solid gold (i.e., minus any gemstones) rings and other jewelry by pouring a bit of beer (not dark ale!) onto a soft cloth and rubbing it gently over the piece. Use a clean second cloth or towel to dry.

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365 Everyday Value, Club Soda, 12 Fl Oz, 6 Count Via amazon.com

Club soda


Soak your diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds in club soda to give them a bright sheen. Simply place them in a glass full of club soda and let them soak overnight. Here are more brilliant cleaning shortcuts for lazy people!

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Efferdent Plus Mint Anti-Bacterial Denture Cleanser Tablets | 126 Count | Packaging May VaryVia amazon.com

Denture tablets


Has your diamond ring lost its sparkle? Here’s how to clean jewelry using denture tablets: Drop the tablet into a glass containing a cup of water. Follow that with your ring or diamond earrings. Let it sit for a few minutes. Remove your jewelry and rinse to reveal the old sparkle and shine.

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Heinz Tomato Original Ketchup, 32 Ounce BottleVia amazon.com

Ketchup


Let ketchup do the work of shining tarnished silver. If your ring, bracelet, or earring has a smooth surface, dunk it in a small bowl of ketchup for a few minutes. If it has a tooled or detailed surface, use an old toothbrush to work ketchup into the crevices. To avoid damaging the silver, don’t leave the ketchup on any longer than necessary. Rinse your jewelry clean and dry it, and it’s ready to wear. Don’t miss the spring cleaning tasks you can finish in a minute or less.

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Crest Complete Toothpaste, Effervescent Mint Flavor (2 Count, 5.8 Oz Each) Via amazon.com

Toothpaste


Put a little toothpaste on an old toothbrush and use it to make your diamond ring sparkle instead of your teeth. Clean off the residue with a damp cloth.

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Heinz White Vinegar, 64 OunceVia amazon.com

Vinegar


Here’s how to clean jewelry to make it shine like brand new! Soak your pure silver bracelets, rings, and other jewelry in a mixture of 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons baking soda for two to three hours. Rinse them under cold water and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth. Once you’ve cleaned it, try these simple tips for organizing your jewelry, too.

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Bottle of vodka isolated on white backgroundJaroslaw Grudzinski/Shutterstock

Vodka


In a pinch, a few drops of vodka will clean any kind of glass or jewelry with crystalline gemstones. So although people might look at you askance, you could dip a napkin into your vodka on the rocks to wipe away the grime on your eyeglasses or dunk your diamond ring for a few minutes to get it sparkling again. But don’t try this with contact lenses! Also, avoid getting alcohol on any gemstone that’s not a crystal. Only diamonds, emeralds, and the like will benefit from a vodka bath.

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Glass Plus Glass Cleaner, 32 fl oz Bottle, Multi-Surface Glass CleanerVia amazon.com

Window cleaner


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. Now that you know how to clean jewelry, check out these other simple housecleaning tricks you’ll wish you knew sooner.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest