How to clean costume jewelry

Most of us have several pieces of costume jewelry in our jewelry box. Beyond being more affordable than rubies and other precious gems, each piece of jewelry is a unique work of art that adds a different style to your wardrobe. So to preserve these statement pieces, it is essential to know how to clean costume jewelry using the best methods possible.

The most significant issues we run across with our beloved costume pieces is tarnishing, and how to restore fake gold jewelry to the vibrant luster it once had. Some solutions are as simple as cleaning tarnished jewelry with dish soap and hot water.

Others may require more sophisticated methods, like using aluminum foil to fix discoloration. No matter which way you choose, these jewelry cleaning solutions are relatively simple and will save those fashion favorites with just a little bit of love and care.

  1. Cleaning Costume Jewelry – The Basics
    • How to Restore Fake Gold Jewelry without Harsh Chemicals
    • Cleaning Cheap Jewelry with Toothpaste
    • How to Clean Tarnished Costume Jewelry with Cleaning Products
    • Restore Discolored Jewelry Using Aluminum Foil
    • How to Clean Costume Jewelry Plated with Precious Metals
    • What is the difference between costume jewelry and real jewelry?
    • Can I use the same cleaning products on my costume jewelry as I do on my silver jewelry?

Cleaning Costume Jewelry – The Basics

Even if your jewelry looks clean, if you wear it often, sweat and body oils accumulate on the surface. There are many ways to clean metal jewelry depending on what it is made from. Sometimes wiping down your jewelry with a dry cloth is all you need to brush away dirt and grime from the surface.

Body oils, perspiration, and even cosmetic products like hairspray are the main contributors to the lack of luster in your fake gold jewelry. The excess moisture becomes trapped on the surface of your jewelry and in between crevices, causing it to look dull and dark.

How to Restore Fake Gold Jewelry without Harsh Chemicals

Starting with a dry clean should be your first course of action to remove any oily residues and moisture.If your jewelry requires a deeper clean, use a soft bristle toothbrush to reach in between tiny cracks and creases. You may also use a toothpick to dig out dirt particles or even a little shot of compressed air to blow away stuck on flakes.

For tough water stains or tarnishing, add a dab of dish soap or dishwashing liquid. Smooth the soap over the jewelry with your fingertips, then rinse using a damp cloth. Afterward, dry the jewelry piece thoroughly and buff with a microfiber cloth to restore shine.

Cleaning Cheap Jewelry with Toothpaste

Toothpaste may seem like an unusual jewelry cleaner but it is an effective solution for cleaning jewellery at home, especially cheaper jewelry, although toothpaste is appropriate to clean copper jewelry and some other metals, too. Using an old toothbrush and toothpaste to clean gold, for example, causes scratches in the soft metal surface and is not recommended.

Since this is costume jewelry, there is little need to worry about scratches ruining the metal. Not to mention, using this method saves you a quick trip to the jeweler and doesn’t expose delicate jewelry pieces to harsh chemicals.

For how to clean costume jewelry using toothpaste, start by adding a small dab onto a soft toothbrush. Scrub the surface of the jewelry lightly, working the toothpaste in between those nooks and crannies.

If you don’t want to use a toothbrush, you can also work the toothpaste over the costume jewelry using your fingertips. Rinse off and dry thoroughly to prevent water damage. When it comes to using toothpaste, you may want to test a small portion of the jewelry to see how it affects the metal.

How to Clean Tarnished Costume Jewelry with Cleaning Products

Most chemical cleaners will destroy costume jewelry unless plated with silver or other precious metals. However, there are some jewelry cleaners specifically designed for cleaning costume jewelry. If you don’t have a commercial cleaning product that is safe for fake cheap jewelry, here are some items you can also use.

Jewelry can be expensive, and you want to keep it looking just as beautiful as the day you bought it. You can keep your jewelry shiny and sparkling with products you already have at home. Learn how to clean jewelry with everyday ingredients and our tips.

There is no need to buy expensive jewelry cleaners to maintain your jewelry. A little time and accumulating the right ingredients is all that is necessary to ensure that your diamonds shine and your gold radiates.

How to clean costume jewelry(bialasiewicz/

  1. Ammonia
  2. Vinegar & Diatomaceous Earth
  3. Toothpaste
  4. Boil Your Jewelry
  5. Antacids
  6. Aluminum Foil
  7. Soap and Water
  8. Conventional Jewelry Cleaner


Many people use ammonia to clean their floors, but it also works well to clean diamonds without damaging them.

Clean Jewelry with Ammonia

  • 1/4 cup ammonia
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • Jar or bowl

Mix the ammonia and water in a jar or a bowl. Place your diamonds into the container and allow them to sit for about 15 minutes. After your jewelry soaks, take a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently scrub the jewelry to remove any grime that remains.

Make sure to target the setting and crevices on the piece because grime and dirt often stick in these areas. Rinse the piece with water, and use a soft cloth to dry it thoroughly.

Vinegar & Diatomaceous Earth

Vinegar cleans almost anything, but it is especially appropriate for gold and gemstones.

Using only white vinegar, pour into a jar or a bowl, and completely cover the jewelry you are cleaning. For cleaning jewelry with vinegar, allow the jewelry to soak for about 15 minutes and swish it around every few minutes to agitate it.

Once it finishes soaking, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub your jewelry to remove grime and residue. Rinse with plain water and dry. Dusting a bit of diatomaceous earth on your jewelry prevents it from tarnishing, too.


Toothpaste is a highly effective jewelry cleaner, and this is a great option for cleaning your jewelry on the go. Combine a tablespoon of warm water and an inch of toothpaste to make a loose paste.

How to clean costume jewelry(marcbruxelle/

This is mildly abrasive, so it gets the grime off of the jewelry, and you can apply it with a soft-bristled toothbrush for added scrubbing power. While toothpaste is mildly abrasive, it does not scratch your jewelry. Rinse thoroughly.

You can use toothpaste to also clean car headlights and get rid of that unsafe haze that can coat them after a while. Use a rag and straight non-gel toothpaste to scrub dirty headlights and make them shine again.

Boil Your Jewelry

Not all jewelry can be boiled, like delicate gemstones, but you can use boiling water on solid gold. Make sure that no parts are glued together and that the gold is not cold before putting it into boiling water. This solution works better for pieces that cannot be cleaned in any other way.

Place the jewelry into a bowl and slowly pour boiled water over it until the water fully covers the jewelry. Let it sit until the water cools and carefully scrub every piece with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Dry thoroughly.


The antacids you take for heartburn also keep your jewelry sparkling clean.

Use an antacid like witch hazel that works like an effervescent solution because the bubbling and fizzling clean the jewelry. Put two antacid tablets in a cup of warm water and let it fizz.

Add jewelry into the glass and let it sit for a few minutes before removing your jewelry. Rinse the jewelry and pat dry with a soft cloth.

Aluminum Foil

Clean tarnished silver jewelry by cleaning with aluminum foil. It is the perfect way to clean silver at home.

How to clean costume jewelry(pioneer111/

Line a tray with a clean piece of foil and spread your jewelry out on it. Sprinkle baking soda onto each piece of jewelry so that each piece is covered. Boil a few cups of water and carefully pour onto the jewelry.

The foil collects the tarnish from the jewelry and picks it up and off to clean it. Use this method with a good homemade jewelry cleaner, and your silver will shine once again.

It is wise to do one side of your jewelry first, turn it over and then do the other side so that it cleans evenly. Use warm water to rinse and then dry gently.

Soap and Water

Good old water and soap work just as well on jewelry as it does on almost everything else for removing grime and dirt.

How to clean costume jewelry(kwangmoo/

This is an ideal cleaning solution for stones that are porous and soft, such as turquoise or pearls. Combine two cups of warm water and three drops of gentle laundry detergent or dish soap.

Dip the jewelry into the solution quickly and use a soft cloth to wipe and dry it. Before storing, allow jewelry to air dry for the day.

Conventional Jewelry Cleaner

There is always a commercial alternative to clean jewelry with an excellent jewelry cleaner. On our list of best cleaning products, the experts at completed a detailed review of jewelry cleaner wipes here. It’s worth reading.

Thank you for reading our information about cleaning jewelry with items you already have at home. Please share our tips for cleaning jewelry with others on Facebook and Pinterest so everyone can benefit.

June 23, 2021 by Justine Schwartz
shefinds | Fashion

How to clean costume jewelry

How to clean costume jewelry

Every woman wears fake jewelry, let’s be honest. There’s no shame in it, really! In fact, mixing in costume earrings or bracelets with your finer, more expensive pieces is a great way to stay on trend and express your personal style without going broke on diamonds. When you want to try out a new trend but aren’t sure how you’re going to like it (or how long it will be in style), fake jewelry is the way to go.

Unfortunately, the cheaper a style is, the more easily it can be damaged. Most costume pieces are even ruined after just a few wears. The thin silver or gold plating on fake rings and fake necklaces wear off fairly quickly, revealing the brass or nickel underneath, or discoloration or tarnishing occurs. We’ve all had rings that have turned our skin green by the end of the day, or “silver” that looks like a penny after wearing it just a few times. It’s a major bummer–and super annoying.

On one hand, this discoloration makes our precious metals seem more valuable, but in reality no one can spend $100 or $200 every time we want a new pair of earrings or a bracelet. Costume pieces will always be an essential part of our accessory routines, so it’s essential to know how to clean tarnishes, discoloration and grime.

How To Clean Fake Silver Or Gold Jewelry

Most people don’t know this, but you can clean off tarnish and re-plate cheap jewelry to make it look brand new again. And it’s really simple. You don’t need to be an expert to clean metals, and this simple trick will help you do it in very little time.

All you need to do is follow this amazing DIY recipe we found online (the internet is an amazing thing, isn’t it?). Where has this trick been all our lives?!

Follow the simple 8 steps below and you’ll be able to fix all of that “ruined” fake jewelry you own and get it back into your wardrobe mix ASAP! This hack will change your life. You’re welcome.

What you’ll need:

–an aluminum plate or aluminum foil

–access to a microwave

–your discolored cheap jewelry

1) First, you’ll want to collect all of your fake pieces that need to be fixed or cleaned. Take note if the jewelry contains any gemstones. If it does, you’ll want to be careful about getting that area too wet. Water can dissolve the glue under gemstones, causing them to fall off later on.

2) You’ll need a deep aluminum plate or bowl, like a pie plate. If you don’t have access to one, you can use a regular plate or bowl wrapped in aluminum foil. If you go with the latter, make sure the aluminum foil doesn’t tear.

3) Pour 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of baking soda on the plate.

4) Heat 1 cup of water in a microwave for less than 2 minutes. You want it to be hot but not boiling. Then, pour the hot water on to the salt and baking soda mixture.

How to clean costume jewelry

5) Stir the cleaning mixture completely so the ingredients combine and there are no clumps. Wait about 1 minute for the mixture to completely liquefy after stirring it.

6) Place your jewelry in the mixture. In this step, the salt, baking soda, and water mixture should oxidize the tarnish off the jewelry. The silver from the foil or aluminum plate should re-plate the worn spots on your fake silver jewelry.

7) When the tarnish is nearly all gone, remove the jewelry from the mixture. This may take a few seconds to up to two minutes. Just be patient. You should start to see your fake gold jewelry becoming shinier and your fake silver jewelry regaining its hue.

How to clean costume jewelry

8) Using a clean, dry, soft rag, remove the remaining tarnish by wiping it gently. Sometimes verdigris builds up on costume jewelry. This is the green gunk that often collects on cheap rings and other jewelry. Wiping it with a clean rag should remove it, after the salt and baking soda soak it just had.

Voila–Your cheap jewelry should look good as new! That wasn’t too hard, was it? This life hack will help save your favorite cheap rings and bracelets from needing to be thrown out–not to mention so much money on buying new replacements all of the time! So go ahead and wear that fake jewelry as much as your little heart desires–you can always go back and fix it later.

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How to clean tarnished costume jewelry

How to clean costume jewelry

Now that Fall is officially here, you’ve probably begun to think about the upcoming holiday season with its many parties and family gatherings. You may always wear the pearl necklace or earrings your aunt gave you for special occasions, but it may also be a good time to pull out some of your favorite vintage, costume jewelry and make sure they’re holiday-ready.

Unlike real gold, costume jewelry can tarnish, but that doesn’t mean it has to be thrown out! There are several reasons why jewelry becomes dull or dirty (like water, creams or lotions), but the most common problem with fashion jewelry that has been packed away, is that over time the metal is exposed to elements in the air which cause a chemical reaction, leaving them tarnished or discolored. But luckily it’s an easy fix. Whether they’re earrings, a flashy necklace or a bauble bracelet, here are our best home remedies for polishing off any tarnish to give your favorite vintage jewelry pieces new life!

Lemon juice. Mix one part water and one part lemon juice to create a soak for your jewelry. Place item in the bowl for 10-15 minutes. The magic element in this household hack is the acid from the lemon juice, however, if you find it hasn’t eaten all of the dirt and grime away, give your jewelry a quick rinse and place it back in the mixture for a few additional minutes. Once the shine has returned, rinse again with cool water (don’t douse it, use just enough) and buff dry with a clean cloth.

Baking soda, salt and aluminum foil. Line a plate or found pan with a sheet of aluminum foil, shiny side up. Lay all of your darkened costume jewelry on the foil. Mix one tablespoon salt and one tablespoon of baking soda and mix with one cup warm water. Pour into the dish. The mixture will create a chemical reaction with the foil and bubble as it cleans the jewelry. Rinse with cool water and buff dry with a clean cloth.

Toothpaste and an old toothbrush or Q-tip. Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste on to your tarnished piece of jewelry and smudge it with your finger. Once the jewelry has a thin coating, brush clean — working into the crevices — with the toothbrush. This is a great option because the slightly gritty texture of the toothpaste works hard to remove even the toughest dirt. Rinse with cool water and buff dry with a clean cloth.

Did you know we’re celebrating our 69th anniversary this month? If you’d like to elevate your options for holiday jewelry beyond those vintage pieces you’ve had for years, stop by Swierenga’s and find an elegant necklace or earrings you can wear all season — and for years to come!

Forget expensive engagement rings, rare diamonds, and shiny, 14-karat gold pieces for a second. Everyone’s got that favorite piece of costume jewelry found at a flea market, passed down by a family member, or given as a gift by a loving friend, and that bauble deserves just as much TLC as any real-deal gem. Because while they may not cost as much as a Cartier bracelet, they hold sentimental value and should still last you a long, long time.

Caring for faux gold can actually be just as difficult as caring for the real gold too because it can easily tarnish, and its color could potentially fade more easily if the wrong cleaning solutions are applied.

“I’ve often heard that household items like baking soda or Coca-Cola do wonders on cleaning gold,” says high-end jewelry designer Sheryl Lowe. “Unfortunately, I worry that those products could be too harsh or abrasive, especially if your gold has precious or delicate gemstones.”

So, what should you do instead? Here are a few tips and tricks to making all your costume jewelry shine.

First, figure out what’s real and fake in your jewelry box

Not sure if your gold is real or fake? It’s simple: Real gold never tarnishes, while faux gold—or gold-plated metal—does. If your jewelry needs to be cleaned, it’s not real gold. If you’re still not sure, take it to your local jewelry store for a little assistance in identifying what it’s actually made of.

Keep your cleaning solution simple

To clean your jewelry at home, Lowe recommends keeping it straightforward by soaking it in warm water mixed with just a few drops of mild soap. “I like Kiehl’s Coriander Liquid Hand Soap because it’s made from natural ingredients, so it’s going to be very gentle,” she says.

You could also try a bit of lemon juice, which can work wonders on oxidized jewelry. One more solution to try is a bit of white vinegar. It won’t only get your costume jewelry clean, but give it a high shine too.

If your jewelry has gemstones in it, you’re going to need to be a bit more careful. Ensure the water isn’t too warm as that could loosen the stones. Don’t soak it for too long either, since this could loosen the glue used to keep them in place.

No matter which solution you use, don’t forget to rinse your jewelry thoroughly in clean water afterwards to ensure there’s no residue or lingering scent of vinegar left behind.

Use gentle tools to scrub

To clean her jewelry—costume or otherwise—Lowe uses a soft-bristle baby toothbrush to remove any dirt. After cleaning, she suggests thoroughly drying each piece by patting with paper towels. It’s important to remember to use a new toothbrush and clean paper towels to ensure you’re not transferring dirt and germs back onto your jewelry. Another easy-to-use tool is a fresh Q-tip, which may also come in handy for swiping away grime from in between gems.

Get help from a pro if you need it

If something is really precious to you, or you’re just unsure of what the material may be, Lowe suggests bringing it to a professional cleaner instead of making it a DIY project.

“To really get your gold and gemstones to sparkle I often tell customers to have their pieces professionally checked and cleaned every six months to a year,” she says.

How to keep costume jewelry clean in the first place

To extend the time between cleanings, it’s critical to take care of your costume jewelry just as well as you do the real stuff. That starts with storing it correctly in its own little home in your jewelry box. To take extra care, try wrapping it in a soft cloth before putting it in its spot. You could take this a step further by storing it in anti-tarnish bags to really keep things clean.

Be careful what you put on your body alongside your jewelry too. Try to remember to spray perfume or apply lotion before putting on your jewelry. Getting ready in this order will limit how much of the substance in question gets onto the pieces. The same goes for sweat: Always take off jewelry before a workout.

How to clean costume jewelry

Costume jewelry turn to pretty and often cheaper than the real thing. We are sure that most of women possess a collection of costumer jewelry in their bedroom, which make their appearance unique and outstanding day by day. Along with the affordable price, each piece of jewelry becomes a special work of art that adds different styles whether you are in workplace or in supermarket. Think of how noble you look with the pearl necklace once attending a party, how young you are with a pink big necklace once hanging out with friends, or how professional you are with fake diamond bracelet once in an office room.

Hence, in order to prevent such items from turning funky colors or reducing their values, it is important to know how to clean costume jewelry by using many different methods possible. And we are here to help you solve this problem. Keep reading now!

Firstly, which type of tool do you need to scrub?

Both toothbrush and Q-tip are effective tools to remove any dirt. Regarding to how to clean costume jewelry using a soft bristle toothbrush, start by using it to reach any tiny cracks and creases on the items’ surface. Another easy-to-use and effective tool is a fresh Q-tip that can also come in handy for scrubbing away the grime from in-between gems. After cleaning, it is highly recommended to dry each piece by paper towels. Of course, using a new toothbrush, Q-tip and clean paper towels are always a smart option so as to ensure that you are not transferring any germ and dirt back onto your jewelry.

What to use to clean costume jewelry ?

How to clean costume jewelry

Use a dry cleaning method

After you choose the best tool to do this cleaning process, let’s carry out this task in a place with good lighting. A desk with a lamp and a clear counter in front of a window are our suggestion. Then, use your toothbrush to gently brush the costume jewelry’s surface.

To check whether your piece is left with any additional trapped dirt or not, let it be inspected with a magnifying glass. If this is a case, a toothpick will be the recommended tool, which can help to remove any dirt or grime you spotted with the magnifying glass.

The final step is to use a dry and soft cloth to polish the piece.

Use a gentle and simple cleaning solution

Simplicity is the best! Another way to clean your costume jewelry at home is to use the simple and gentle cleaning solution. You just soak it in warm water mixed with a few drops of mild soap. The reason is that harsher soaps can contain chemicals which definitely damage your jewelry.

If possible, try a bit of lemon juice that can work well on oxidized pieces. How about the white vinegar? Have you ever applied this solution before? Believe us! The solution not only gets your costume jewelry clean, but also gives it a shiny appearance.

For the items with gemstones included in them, you should take care of them with a bit caution. For instance, make sure that the water isn’t hot, which may even damage the stones. Furthermore, soaking it for a long time is not a good idea either, since this might loosen the glue which is used to keep them in place.

Okay, don’t forget the most important step: That is to thoroughly rinse your jewelry in clean water after cleaning so that no residue or lingering scent of vinegar is left behind.

>>>>>>>Best Sellers in Jewelry Cleaning

Preserve your costume jewelry

How to clean costume jewelry

Storing your pieces of jewelry correctly from the beginning is one of the greatest way to protect its shine and newness. Remove all rings and bracelets before washing your hands or applying moisturizers, lotions, and makeup. Also, be careful to what you put on your body, which can have an effect on your jewelry. That means it is better to apply lotion or spray perfume before putting on your jewelry.

The same goes for sweat: Take off your pieces before a workout and at the end of every day. Then, give each piece a quick wipe down using a clean microfiber cloth.

In addition, don’t forget to invest in a jewelry box. Such box surely helps to protect your items from scratching and scraping as well as limiting the oxidation process. Just following these few simple tips, and we ensure that you’ll feel free to enjoy your favorite costume jewelry for years to come.

Final Verdict

We do hope that these tips on how to clean costume jewelry will be exactly what you need to preserve the shine, brilliance, and beauty of your favorite statement pieces. No matter which way you choose, such cleaning solutions are relatively simple to apply. If you found these methods helpful, we highly appreciate if you share them with friends and family! Change your look every day with these types of costume jewelry instantly!

By Kelley Wilson · Published: March 10, 2015 · Last Updated: May 14, 2020 This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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I have lot’s of costume jewelry, let’s face it we can’t all afford real diamonds. I don’t wear it often so many times I go to pull it out, and it’s tarnished. You can’t use regular jewelry cleaner, meant for real stones and metals, on costume jewelry, or it will eat away the finish. I’m going show you how to clean costume jewelry safely and not ruin the finish.

I was getting ready to attend a school fundraiser for a friend of mine and pulled out this necklace and pair of earrings. They were tarnished with some green corrosion on them. Sterling silver and silver plate have copper in them, so they oxidize from air and body oils causing tarnishing.

I recently started using a few essential oils and love them for making homemade cleaners. Lemon is a great essential for cleaning and disinfecting. Take a small bowl and fill it with 1/3 cup of water. Put 3 drops of lemon essential oil in it. Place your jewelry in and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Don’t worry if you leave it in longer it won’t hurt it.

After they soak, get out an old toothbrush and a towel. Place your jewelry on the towel and scrub lightly with the toothbrush. You will see the tarnish start to come off onto the towel.

Rinse under clean water and wipe dry with your towel. You can see how much better they look now, and their gems are sparkly! By the way, the brown you are seeing in one of the earrings is the reflection of my hand.

If you’d like to try other cleaning tips with essential oils, you might want to try this homemade carpet deodorizer. It works great, you just sprinkle it on your carpet and vacuum it up. The best part is it won’t make you sneeze from the strong perfume smell!

Posted by Giving Tree Gallery | Feb 17th 2020

How to clean costume jewelry

You’re getting ready for a night out, you scan your jewelry box for the perfect piece to complete your outfit and you notice something – they’re all looking a little meh. What was once silver is now looking a little more gray, gems that were once twinkling are now kind of hazy. It’s time for a good clean, you guys!

How to clean costume jewelry

Have to cover this one thing first:

by far the easiest and best way to preserve your pieces is to keep them as clean as possible while you are wearing them. Sure, it can be a pain in the tushy to have to take off your pieces before you get in the bath, shower, ocean, or pools, but it really is worth the extra couple of minutes. Pools really are a torment for fashion or costume jewelry; chlorine and these pieces simply do not mix because plated metals easily degrade and tarnish.

How to clean costume jewelry

You should also do your best to avoid getting any soaps, lotions, or perfumes on your pieces as those added chemicals can tarnish plated metals and the icky residue collects around settings and dulls gemstones. If exposure is unavoidable, let your perfume dry completely and your skin absorb the lotion prior to adorning the jewels.

Now take a look over your pieces and get to know what they’re composed of. A lot of fashion and costume jewelry are composed of plated metals, at best sterling silver. If there are gemstones, check to see if they’re real or faux and how they attach to your piece. Understanding your pieces can help you keep them looking like new for longer.

How to clean costume jewelry

It’s important to get these facts down as the wrong method of cleaning can actually break down specific kinds of metals or stones. Once you get these things down you can be certain that the cleaning method you use is correct. We prefer to provide the most natural means of cleaning, preferably avoiding harder and more aggressive chemicals such as those in jewelry cleaner. If you are dealing with fine jewelry (14k gold, diamonds, etc.) please head to our guide for cleaning fine pieces !

Cleaning Sterling Silver Costume/Fashion Jewelry

How to clean costume jewelry

You’re going to notice a theme happening when it comes to costume or fashion jewelry, even sterling silver, and that is to never submerge them in liquids. Pieces of this quality require special handling and are often more sensitive to solvents, cleaners, and getting wet. Try a DIY solution of mild dish soap in warm water and a soft toothbrush, gently dipping the toothbrush and lightly scrubbing your silver. Use a clean, damp cloth to clean off the soap, and hang to dry. You can also try mixing one teaspoon of olive oil with half a cup of lemon juice in a nonreactive bowl, dip a soft cloth in the solution and use it to lightly buff your piece. Again, be sure to use a separate water dampened cloth to clean off all of the solution and either use a soft towel or hang to dry.

Cleaning Gold Costume/Fashion Jewelry

How to clean costume jewelry

When cleaning your gold jewelry pieces, you can use the same methods as above using mild dish soap and either a soft toothbrush or a gentle cloth. Another option is to use a simple baking soda toothpaste, such as Arm and Hammer. (Make sure that the toothpaste you’re using is the white paste and not gel.) Take a soft bristled toothbrush to gently scrub the toothpaste on your piece for about 5-10 minutes, then use a damp cloth in clean water to wipe off all of the toothpaste residue. Be sure to dry thoroughly once you’re done!

Shown right: VSA Designs

Plated Costume/Fashion Jewelry

This subcategory covers your plated pieces; gold or silver plated over bronze or pewter, etc. How do you know if your piece is plated? The easiest way to know is by checking the stamps in the clasp or the inside of your piece. To check if your piece is sterling silver, look for the stamps “S/S,” “.925,” “925/1000,” “Sterling .925,” or something containing those details – if you don’t see that, the jewelry is more than likely plated silver and not sterling silver. For gold, again, check the stamps on your piece – if you see the letters GP that means “gold plated” (you may also see GEP, RGP, HGE or HGP which also signify plating). You can also try using a magnet – if your piece attracts to a magnet then you know that it is not solid gold, as gold is a non-magnetic metal. That is not to say that it is for sure solid gold if it doesn’t attract a magnet, it may be plated over another non-magnetic metal. If there are no symbols, it doesn’t attract to a magnet, and you still aren’t certain if it’s a plated product the best way to tell is to take it to a jeweler and have them do an acid test. They take a miniscule sample from your piece and use acid to determine the metals contained in the sample – pretty cool stuff! Okay, now onto the actual cleaning part!

The most important thing to note here is to avoid using anything abrasive, and – you got it – do not dip your pieces in any solutions! Plated jewelry means that there is a thin veneer of silver or gold over a less precious metal. That veneer wears down over time and using solutions contributes to that decay, making the veneer disappear much faster than is intended or necessary. Instead opt for a soft, untreated polishing cloth and mild soap mixed with warm water. Always clean off remaining residue from your pieces with warm, clean water, and dry them with a soft towel or microfiber cloth.

How to clean costume jewelry Adorned Costume/Fashion Jewelry

The gems used in costume jewelry are, more often than not, glued on. Getting water behind those stones can encourage the glue to loosen and the gems to fall out of their settings. Use wipes or a damp cloth to spiff them up a bit and let them dry by hanging so that no moisture can pool behind the gem and make the glue unstick. You could also use a very lightly dampened q-tip to get around finer edges of settings, just be sure to blot all excess moisture on the q-tip before and to thoroughly dry your piece after!

Shown above: Coeur de Lion

As we said in the beginning, keeping your pieces clean while you’re wearing them really is the best way to preserve their beauty – and to avoid having to keep coming back to this guide, though we are very happy to have you 🙂 If you have fine jewelry to spruce up as well then head over to our handy guide on that subject. Happy cleaning, lovely people!

Costume How to clean costume jewelryjewelry is often delicate and requires more careful attention when cleaning. Often times, pieces are made of several different materials, it’s important to check your cleaner to make sure it’s safe for all parts of the piece. If your piece contains several different components (gemstones, metals, etc.) use this rule of thumb: Use only cleaners that are safe for the weakest component of your jewelry.

Choosing a Cleaner

Before we discuss how to clean your jewelry, it’s important to look what you can and cannot use to clean costume jewelry.

  • Avoid using alcohols or acids such as ammonia or vinegar.
  • Do not use soap and water to clean costume jewelry as it leaves a residue on the metal.
  • Windex can damage stones and finishes and should be avoided.
  • Vinegar can be harmful to gemstones and should also be avoided.
  • A jewelry cleaner is your best choice. Choose a cleaner that is safe for the type of metal used in your piece. If there are several, choose the cleaner that is safe for the weakest one. Some examples are Connisseurs Jewelry Cleaner or Goddard’s Jewelry Cleaner.

Costume Jewelry Cleaning

If you wear your jewelry daily or very often you will want to clean it weekly. If you wear it only for special occasions, you will want to clean it either after each wearing or before putting it back into storage. When cleaning costume jewelry, the driest method is the safest method so use as little liquids as necessary to remove the dirt and build-up.

All women enjoy wearing different kinds of jewelry. One of the most popular jewelry is rhinestone jewelry but to maintain the bling in your favorite pieces, rhinestone jewelry cleaning is very important.

How to clean costume jewelry

All women enjoy wearing different kinds of jewelry. One of the most popular jewelry is rhinestone jewelry but to maintain the bling in your favorite pieces, rhinestone jewelry cleaning is very important.

How to clean costume jewelry

How to clean costume jewelry

The glitz and glamor of jewelry has always enticed women towards them. No matter what type it is – diamond jewelry, pearls, gold jewelry, gemstones, or rhinestones, all women love the razzle and dazzle of jewelry. One of the most prized possession of many women is their rhinestone jewelry.

Rhinestones are artificial clear or colored stones made of high luster glass, paste or gem quartz, backed by foil that is intended to simulate diamonds. Earlier natural crystals from the bottom of river Rhine in Germany were substitutes for diamonds and hence the term rhinestones originated. However, like all jewelry, cleaning rhinestone jewelry is crucial for it to keep shining.

Like gemstones, it is not uncommon to see rhinestones shining in different colors. This variety of rhinestones are called Aurora Borealis (AB). These types of rhinestones have a special coating which is applied to the surface of a glass stone or bead due to which these rainbow colors are produced.

The term Aurora Borealis, as the name suggests, is derived from the Northern Lights Atmospheric phenomena. Usually the stone’s cut combined with the overall quality, determine the price. The higher the quality, the more the rhinestone sparkles. In our excitement of owning such beautiful pieces of jewelry, we often forget to maintain our prized possessions. In order to maintain them, jewelry cleaning is an important step.

Why Should Rhinestone Jewelry be Cleaned?

Due to the presence of foil backing, the greatest threat to the beauty of rhinestone jewelry is moisture. If moisture gets behind the rhinestone, it will result the foil to tarnish and stain which will take away the shine and spark from the rhinestone. And ultimately you will be required to replace it. This is the reason that cleaning of rhinestone jewelry is very important.

How to Clean Rhinestone Jewelry

Rhinestone jewelry needs to be cleaned on a regular basis and care must be taken that in the process of rhinestone jewelry cleaning, not to damage the stone itself. Cleaning rhinestone is very simple and the results are terrific.

Materials Needed

The following materials are needed for cleaning rhinestone jewelry.

  • Cotton or muslin cloth
  • Paper towels
  • Soft bristle brushes
  • Hatpin or similar style needle
  • Window cleaner
  • Hair blow dryer
  • Can of compressed air (which is usually used to clean computer parts)


The first step is to remove all the loose dust or dirt on the jewelry piece with the help of the can of compressed air. You can do this by using a soft dry make up brush for this step but be careful as bits of dirt can scratch the surface of the stones. Since one of the rhinestone jewelry components is glass, it makes perfect sense to use a glass cleaner like windex. Fold the paper towel until it is folded into a square with four layers. Squirt the paper towel with the glass cleaner.

Now take the brush and blot the bristles onto the dampened paper towel. Make sure the brush is not wet because you do not want any moisture seeping into the rhinestones. With gentle swirls of the brush, clean the rhinestone and the setting. Lay the piece onto the cotton cloth and use the hairdryer on low setting to dry it. Once you are sure that it is completely dry, leave it out for an hour for the moisture to completely dry and then pack it up in an airtight bag and store.

Rhinestone Jewelry Storing Tips

Now that you know all about cleaning jewelry, the following are a few tips for storing them, as they are just as crucial for maintaining the bling in your jewelry.

  • Never just jumble your jewelry together in one jewelry box. The pieces will rub against each other causing scratches in the metal, stones and the stones may even pop out. It is best to keep the jewelry in the box that it came in. If storing a pendant and earring set, make sure to fasten the earring and the pendant in their places so that they do not rub against each other.
  • Make sure that you store your jewelry in a place where you do not subject it to harsh temperature changes. The metal in the piece expands and contracts which may cause the rhinestone to become loose and fall out.
  • Do not store rhinestones in wooden jewelry boxes, as certain kinds of wood, like oak has certain chemicals that react adversely with the metals in costume jewelry.

These were some of the rhinestone jewelry cleaning and storing tips that will let you enjoy your favorite pieces of fashion jewelry in all its glory. Even though rhinestones are cosmetic jewelry, their beauty is something that is unique and exotic.

How to clean costume jewelry

Every woman has a different way of storing her jewelry. For some, it’s packed away in a shoebox. For others, there’s an entire drawer devoted to it. But we can all admit that there’s been a time when we our prized pieces turn into a jumbled, knotted mess. Learning how to clean and care for your costume jewelry is an important lesson for those of us who rely on it to complete our outfits every day.

“I recommend storing pieces in a clear ziplock bag once you’re done wearing them for the day,” suggests jewelry designer Aurélie Bidermann. “It’s best to avoid overexposing costume jewelry to the air and environment because it causes oxidization.” Since the metals used in costume and fashion jewelry vary greatly, it’s important to keep an eye out for tarnishing or signs of wear. “If you notice oxidization marks, you can clean the pieces with a silverware duster—[that’s my] secret trick!” she notes.

Bidermann also notes that when it comes to jewelry, there are certain caretaking myths that could actually ruin your favorite pieces. “I do not recommend brushing your jewelry with toothpaste,” she notes. “Also, don’t put your jewelry in a saucepan with soap and water at 180° or in a cup of Coca-Cola.” Any of these processes can end up causing more damage to your jewelry than anything else, Bidermann tells us—instead, she suggests gently brushing items with a toothbrush and soap under hot water.

Now that you have the tips for taking care of your costume jewelry, shop a few of our favorite styles!

How to clean costume jewelry

We all love costume jewelry with its creative designs and statement look. However, if you own a couple of these pieces, you should also know how to clean costume jewelry. Sometimes, this type of jewelry tends to be more fragile than fine jewelry and you need to be careful about it. If you want to avoid ruining some of your favorite jewelry pieces, read further. In this guide, we will teach you everything you need to know about how to clean costume jewelry.

How to clean costume jewelry with simple designs

If you own a copper bracelet or a beautiful pair of brass earrings with simple designs, it will be easier to clean them. Avoid using harsh soap or detergents. Instead, use a couple of drops of baby shampoo and a little bit of warm water. Mix them together and use a soft microfiber cloth which you can dip in the water.

The next step in learning how to clean costume jewelry is to pay attention to its design. Simple pieces will only require you to rub them gently with the microfiber cloth. Then, you can rinse them using another lint-free cloth and lukewarm water. Make sure you dry your jewelry, though. Many people don’t know how to clean costume jewelry and forget to dry it, which can lead to discoloration. Simply use a tissue or cloth to dry out the piece, then put it safely in your jewelry box.

How to clean costume jewelry with intricate designs

Yes, that statement necklace or that pair of chandelier earrings will be more difficult to clean. But don’t worry. We are here to teach you how to clean costume jewelry regardless of its design, so read on. You will need the same mix of baby shampoo and warm water but, instead of a microfiber cloth, use a very soft jewelry brush. This will help you reach the tough spots like the setting or the necklace clasp.

Be very careful when you rub the jewelry piece with the brush. Even though you are using a jewelry brush, costume jewelry can be rather fragile. If you want to learn how to clean jewelry like an expert, think about how you would clean a raw egg with a brush. Use the same pressure you would use with the egg and rub very gently. Afterward, rinse the piece using a lint-free cloth dipped in plain water. Dry it with a tissue and store it in your jewelry box.

How to take care of costume jewelry

Learning how to clean costume jewelry is not enough. You also need to know what to avoid when wearing it and how to store it.

Perhaps you may have noticed that some pieces have changed their color. There are a couple of reasons why this happens. Water is one of them. This is why when we wrote about how to clean costume jewelry we only referred to dipping a cloth or a jewelry brush in water.

We would never tell you to dip your jewelry in water as this is the no. 1 enemy of costume jewelry. When you take a shower or go for a swim wearing your costume jewelry, you expose it to water and chances are it will suffer discoloration. Or it can rust if it contains enough iron.

Sweat is also an enemy of costume jewelry, so never wear it while going to the gym or jogging. Last, but not least, there is a reason we said no harsh chemical when learning how to clean costume jewelry. Detergents, body lotions, and perfumes will react with the metals in your jewelry causing it to become dull.

How to store costume jewelry

When talking about costume jewelry, it’s important to wipe it with a lint-free cloth after you wear it. This will ensure the oils in your skin or perspiration won’t stay in contact with your jewelry. Another important thing, besides learning how to clean costume jewelry, is to store it in airtight plastic bags inside your jewelry box. This will prevent your favorite pieces from suffering discoloration.

Even your necklaces, which you usually hang from a necklace tree, will be better off in airtight plastic bags when it comes to costume jewelry. To prevent them from forming knots, be careful when you store them and make sure they are not in the same bag as other jewelry.

This is the crash course on how to clean costume jewelry. If you follow our advice, your pieces will look wonderful for a very long time. And guess what? We have more useful advice, as well as styling tips, on this blog. Read on for more articles about jewelry.

Also, don’t forget to visit Ana Luisa online jewelry shop. We have a great collection of unique fashion jewelry which you will fall in love with.

How to clean costume jewelry

Others interesting posts about this topic :

How to clean costume jewelry

How to clean costume jewelry

Let’s face it, there’s a lot of how to guides on the internet but how can you know if they work or they’re legitimate? We created a simple do and don’t guide to help you know which methods works best and what to avoid.

Fashion jewelry unlike gold or silver jewelry is often made with metals such as copper, brass, aluminum, nickel silver, and tin. These metals react with moisture, our skin, and perfumes which can result in funky smells, green jewelry, and/or tarnished or dull looking jewelry. No one wants that and why throw out the piece when you can clean it and see it live another day?


  • If jewelry is starting to look dull then clean it by filling a bowl with cool water, dropping 3-4 drops of Woolite, dipping the piece in the bowl and then use a clean cloth to wipe the piece off. If there’s nooks and cranny’s on the piece you may need to use a soft toothbrush or toothpick to get to them.
  • Costume jewelry can start to smell funny. Specifically, they start to have a funky metallic smell that no one wants. White vinegar is great to get rid of these smells by mixing vinegar and water and misting or dipping the jewelry and then patting dry. Still smells? Try leaving it in the mixture for a couple minutes.
  • Is your jewelry piece starting to look tarnished and smell? That’s okay because baking soda toothpaste is great to remedy this. Please don’t use the gel toothpastes because they won’t be effective and they’ll leave your jewelry a gummy mess. Use a small amount of baking soda toothpaste and a soft bristled toothbrush to gently brush the piece. Rinse it in cool water afterwards and pat dry.
  • Unlike fine jewelry, fashion jewelry tends to oxidize because of the metals used. Sometimes they may look dull or green as a result. To restore the metals squeeze a lemon into a bowl and add about 1 tablespoon of salt. Dip the jewelry in the mixture and then wipe gently. You should immediately see the difference.


  • Many sites suggest soaking the jewelry overnight etc. Don’t soak costume jewelry for prolonged periods of time because it can and will disturb the glue, which means you’ll be looking at crystal- or rhinestone-less jewelry.
  • Jewelry cleaner is easily available and oh so tempting because hey, it’s easy. For costume jewelry though this cleaner can be too harsh on materials used in the jewelry causing the piece to be ruined.
  • Rubbing alcohol and ammonia are great options for most fine jewelry. Unfortunately, for fashion jewelry both options can ruin the metal and embellishments used. That’s why substitute these options with the white vinegar, especially if you’re worried about disinfecting.
  • If you decide to use the toothbrush option or even just a clean cloth, don’t scrub the piece like you’re trying to shine a boot. Extreme scrubbing can cause scratches and damage the jewelry. This seems like it should be a given but better to be said explicitly.

Overall, these are great options on what to do and not to do when trying to clean fashion or costume jewelry. To prevent having to use these cleaning methods, avoid getting your fashion jewelry wet, wipe pieces down with a cloth after you’ve worn them, store them in an airtight space, and avoid the jewelry coming in contact with perfumes or lotions when possible. Ultimately, the more you know about your jewelry piece, the better you can care for it. It’s important to remember that quality pieces are both easier to clean and to care for. While more expensive than fashion jewelry, better quality pieces like demi-fine jewelry will last you longer, be made in a more ethical and sustainable way, and has a much longer life span.

How to clean costume jewelry

Search for “homemade jewelry cleaner” and you’ll get hundreds of recipes with varying ingredients and instructions on how to clean jewelry at home. How do you know which to choose?

Always consider the source when weighing the safety and effectiveness of any DIY cleaning solution. While an organization specializing in cleaning might be better than a resource for general fashion, the best source is a jewelry expert.

Luckily, we know just where to find one – more than one actually. We have a number of GIA Graduate Gemologists and AGS Certified Sales Associates on staff.

Here’s what they have to say about these common DIY jewelry cleaning solutions:

Homemade Jewelry Cleaners

Witch Hazel, Tea Tree Oil & Baking Soda

One popular site specializing in do-it-yourself natural remedies recommends the following:

  1. Put the jewelry in a glass mason jar.
  2. Cover with 1/2 cup of vinegar or witch hazel. Add one drop of tea tree oil and swirl to mix.
  3. Allow jewelry to soak in the mixture overnight.
  4. The next morning, coat with baking soda and scrub with an old toothbrush, then rinse with water.

Our Advice: Every element in this method has the potential to damage your jewelry. Both witch hazel and vinegar are slightly acidic and won’t agree with soft or porous stones or plated jewelry.

Baking soda is also slightly abrasive, which could scratch softer stones and metals.

Finally, using an old toothbrush is not the best recommendation either. Old toothbrushes will have toothpaste residue, which will scratch the jewelry.

Salt, Baking Soda & Dish Detergent

A prevalent resource for everything from fashion to food proposes the following to clean your jewelry at home:

  1. Line a bowl with aluminum foil and top with salt, baking soda, and dish detergent.
  2. Add hot water and drop in your jewelry, letting it sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Gently scrub with an old toothbrush.
  4. Rinse and pat dry with paper towel.

Our Advice: Again, there are potential issues with both the ingredients and methods in this suggestion.

You have abrasive baking soda, plus the instruction to scrub with an old, potentially contaminated, toothbrush. Steer clear of this method.

Hot Water & Baking Soda

A top cleaning resource suggests a simpler recipe:

  1. Let your rings sit for a few minutes in one cup of hot water with 1-2 tsp baking soda.

Our Advice: At least this recipe calls for fewer ingredients and no damaging tools. However, we still have the issue of abrasive baking soda, even in this simple solution.

Our Recommended Homemade Jewelry Cleaner

Dish Detergent & Warm Water

The best homemade jewelry cleaning solution is a mixture of a few drops of Dawn dish detergent in warm, not hot, water.

Let the piece sit in the solution for a few minutes, longer if it’s very dirty, then gently scrub with a new, baby-size, soft toothbrush. To rinse, place the item in a new container of lukewarm water.

Make sure the water isn’t too hot or too cold, as some gemstones do not take well to drastic changes in temperature.

You can dry the piece off with a paper towel or a regular cloth, as long as you’re careful not to snag the prongs on the fibers.

See this method in action:

Visit Your Jeweler for a Cleaning

While dish detergent and warm water is the best homemade jewelry cleaner, there’s no substitute for visiting your jeweler for a cleaning.

Skip the DIY cleaning entirely if your gem isn’t red, white or blue. (That’s rubies, diamonds and sapphires.) Many other gemstones have fickle properties that require specific care.

Your jeweler will know the proper procedures depending on the specific type of gemstone and metal, as well as check the item over for any damage beforehand. We always recommend a semi-annual visit to your local jeweler!

Wondering how much it could cost to insure that newly clean piece of yours? Get a quote in under a minute. No personal information required.

Want jewelry care, expert tips and insights straight to your inbox? Subscribe to the Jewelry Box Blog!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published April 16, 2015.

Cheap jewelry might look super cute on the first wear, but it can easily become tarnished, dirty, and significantly less shiny after just a few wears. It’s a bummer, because even if they don’t cost much, sometimes those gifted or flea-market-find costume pieces are just as cherished as the real 14-karat gold, diamond, gemstone pieces you may have. But if you want to keep your less-expensive jewelry looking its best, it actually takes just as much care as the real stuff does to keep it in tip-top shape.

That’s because the plating (whether gold, rhodium, or another metal) on costume jewelry is typically thin, so it can easily break down when it comes into contact with everyday liquids. This includes ingredients in beauty products like perfumes, lotions, or dyes as well as sweat and water. The only way to ensure that cheap jewelry doesn’t become tarnished is to put it on clean, dry skin and store it away from other pieces or in anti-tarnishing bags. Make putting on your jewelry the last step of your morning routine, and avoid wearing it in the shower, at the beach, or in the pool, as the excess moisture will break down the shiny facade. You may also consider purchasing a sealing spray (like this one) that helps to protect your metals from tarnishing and your skin from irritation.

However, life happens, so if your jewelry does get dirty, dull, or tarnished, there are some easy ways you can clean it. Just beware. As Kim Kanary, jewelry industry expert and vice president of engagement at JTV, tells us, “The internet provides a multitude of DIY remedies for jewelry cleaning, but be cautious when evaluating what is best for your jewelry.” Some commonly suggested methods may be too harsh or abrasive (like baking soda, for example), while others suggest using ingredients with high acidity (like ketchup!) that can actually corrode the materials, changing the look of your fake gold jewelry into a rose gold or copper finish. “It’s important to realize that any cleaning agent that can chemically attack the tarnish can also chemically attack the metal,” says Kanary. Instead, Kanary suggests you invest in a good soft-bristle toothbrush and try these simple methods that are gentle yet effective and safe on all types of affordable jewelry metals.

How to clean costume jewelry How to clean costume jewelry How to clean costume jewelryHow to clean costume jewelry

For anyone that’s unfamiliar, antique jewelry is any piece of jewelry that is more than 100 years old. That’s a lot of years for dirt to collect under gemstones, metal to patina, and for grime to take away from the inherent beauty of the heirloom. It’s tempting to pick up a polishing cloth and buff away years of unwanted residue. But wait! Before you do that…

There is a right way and a wrong way to clean antique jewelry. We’ve compiled some basic do’s and don’ts you must know before you potentially ruin your investment.

*Remember, this is a general guide for fine antique jewelry. Some antique jewelry like cameos or hair jewelry require special care beyond what is listed here.

D O N ‘ T

1. Polish away patina on old rose or yellow gold jewelry

Patina is something that takes years to form. Some reproduction jewelry will actually try to fake this patina in order to make an item appear older than it is. For Georgian and Victorian jewelry, it’s important not to go overboard with polishing. You don’t want the yellow gold to be so light and shine like the day it was made.

Be careful if you’re having your rings resized by someone not familiar with antique jewelry. The tendency is to take rings to a high polish once the sizing is done. Advise them only to lightly polish the portion where the gold has been added or taken away on the bottom of the ring shank.

2. Use ultrasonic machines

There are times when it is okay to put antique jewelry into an ultrasonic machine for a very quick clean, and I mean quick. But to err on the side of caution, avoid using them altogether. If you have a platinum and diamond engagement ring from the 1920’s, an ultrasonic machine might be okay if the stones are tight and the prongs are in good shape. Most of the time though, the subtle but intense vibrations from these machines can do more harm than good.

3. Submerge jewelry for a long period

Liquid can be detrimental to some antique jewelry, especially jewelry with cameos, opals, seed pearls, or any other soft stone. For fragile jewelry, it’s best not to completely saturate the piece with liquid at all. Instead, lightly clean with a damp brush or cloth.

4. Clean with harsh chemicals like ammonia

The internet will often tell you how wonderful ammonia is for making your diamonds shine. This might work (in moderation) for new jewelry, but antique jewelry deserves a much gentler approach. Avoid harsh detergents, ammonia, and please never use household cleaners containing bleach!


1. Make a gentle cleaning solution

Sometimes the best way to clean your antique jewelry is by making your own DIY cleaning solution. Most jewelry cleaners you find in the store will cost you a lot more money and may not even be as effective. They may even contain harsh chemicals.

To make your own solution, mix lukewarm water with a small amount of mild soap like Dove until it is sudsy. The key here is in the cleaning technique, not necessarily in the solution.

2. Use a soft toothbrush and lint free cloth

Once you make your solution, it’s time to clean your antique jewelry. You’ll either submerge the item for a few minutes to loosen grime, or if your item contains soft stones, you lightly dampen your toothbrush. Before you begin, make sure no stones are loose.

Then, gently brush your jewelry, paying attention to areas like underneath the stone and underneath the prongs. Use slow circular motions using only light pressure. If the piece is extremely dirty, don’t be tempted to use more pressure; instead, implement more patience. Submerge your jewelry into the solution again (if your jewelry can handle it) then gently repeat, repeat, repeat.

3. Make sure to rinse and dry thoroughly

You don’t want to give fragile jewelry a bath, but you want to be sure you remove any soap residue that might build up and defeat the whole purpose of cleaning your jewelry. Run the jewelry under lukewarm water and pat dry. For rings, take a polishing cloth and very lightly buff the shank, avoiding any area near stones or engravings. Let jewelry completely dry before putting it away.

4. Have the right expectations

Antique jewelry is never meant to look new. If this is your intention when cleaning jewelry, think again. Sure, you want to remove dirt, grime, bacteria, and all that other gross stuff. But you don’t want to take away years of character and patina. Is there a scratch in the gold? Leave it, don’t have it buffed away. Is the gold too dark for your liking? Consider a more modern replica like those from Arik Kastan instead.

How do you clean your antique jewelry? Any tips I missed? Let us know in the comments.

This post was contributed by:

Lauren Thomann | I: @agelessheirlooms | W:

How to Care for and Clean Costume Jewelry. Using a clean cloth, carefully wipe away any smudges or filth created by a sudsy solution of dish soap and water. After that, rinse with a moist towel dipped in plain water. Allow the pieces to dry completely before laying them upside down to prevent moisture from soaking into the setting.

How do you clean tarnished costume jewelry?

Baking soda, salt, and aluminum foil are all good options. Combine one tablespoon salt and one tablespoon baking soda in a mixing bowl with one cup warm water. Mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the dish. While cleaning the jewelry, the combination will cause a chemical reaction with the foil, causing bubbles to form. Clean with cold water and a clean towel to remove any remaining residue.

Can I use vinegar to clean costume jewelry?

Make a solution out of white vinegar and water and see if that helps. Using vinegar to clean faux jewelry may make the chains look gleaming. If the jewelry contains jewels, the soft bristle toothbrush might be useful in extracting the stones out of the cracks. You may clean the jewelry by simply applying vinegar on a sponge and wiping it down with it.

How do you clean smelly costume jewelry?

Costume jewelry can develop a foul odor over time. To be more specific, they begin to smell like a horrible metallic fragrance that no one enjoys. White vinegar works wonders for getting rid of unpleasant odors. Simply combine vinegar and water and spray or dip the jewelry in it before patting it dry.

Can you clean costume jewelry with hydrogen peroxide?

In addition to cleaning a wide range of home items, baking soda combined with hydrogen peroxide is a safe and effective solution for cleaning gold, silver, and costume jewelry, among other things. Make a solution by mixing baking soda with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide and gently rubbing it on your jewelry for the best results.

How do you clean costume jewelry with rhinestones?

Using an ammonia-based agent like as Windex or Glass Plus on a clean cloth, gently wipe away the rhinestones. Take care not to disrupt the prongs of the stones as you gently move over the top of them. Rhinestones contain foil on the back that can deteriorate (much like a mirror) if they are exposed to damp for an extended period of time.

How do you make cheap jewelry last?

Either soak the jewelry in a solution made up of three parts baking soda to one part water for 15 to 30 minutes, or put the cleaning solution to a cloth and massage it on the piece of jewelry. After that, rinse each item under running warm water and softly wipe with a soft cloth before allowing it to air dry entirely on a towel before wearing it.

How do you clean tarnished gold plated jewelry?

Instructions on How to Care for Gold and Gold-Plated Jewelry

  1. Warm water should have two drops of mild dish soap added to it. Dipped in the mixture are your gold jewelry pieces. Remove your item from the soapy water and rinse it under clean, warm water to remove any soap residue. Make light, gentle rubbing motions with a polishing cloth to restore the item’s sheen.

Is it OK to soak earrings in hydrogen peroxide?

When it comes to cleaning jewelry, hydrogen peroxide is an excellent choice. It has disinfecting properties and is effective at removing dirt. If your earrings are in need of a quick makeover, dab some peroxide on a cotton pad and use the pad to gently wipe all over the earring.

How do you get rid of smelly zippers?

Make use of Rubbing Alcohol. If the soap doesn’t work, try putting a little amount of rubbing alcohol to the zipper and then rubbing and wiping it off with a clean cloth. If the alcohol is strong enough, it should be able to loosen and remove any contaminants and residue from the zipper that may be the source of the smell.

Does clear nail polish prevent jewelry from tarnishing?

Clear nail polish is your buddy. Clear nail paint may be used to preserve costume and fashion jewelry from yellowing and chipping. Simply apply a thin coat of clear nail polish to the jewelry to provide protection. This will ensure that your less expensive jewelry remains in excellent condition!

By Victor Epand | Submitted On October 19, 2007

How to clean costume jewelry

Vintage jewelry really looks good, but have you ever thought of the cleaning procedure or wondered as to how you would keep your family heirloom or classic jewelry from fading? Do not worry; there are plenty of products specifically made for cleaning this type of jewelry. Classic jewelry frequently mimics fine jewelry if its crafted well by skilled craftsmen and it appears real at the first glance. Some classic jewelry is unsigned and nowadays well-known costume jewelry designers sell some exquisite collections.

People usually buy vintage or classic costume jewelry to look stylish or leave a strong impression. This type of jewelry is a beautiful and perfect accessory for any casual or formal wear. It can really dress you up. This type of jewelry is usually made from metals like gold, silver, brass, bronze, copper, stainless steel, and with stones like pearls, opals and other gems. It should be well maintained and cleaned, so that the luster does not fade away.

While cleaning costume jewelry, you should always be cautions and use brushes with soft bristles or wooden toothpicks, a hair dryer, cotton swabs and towels. You should never try to use water or high concentrated cleaning agents, as the safest method to clean vintage jewelry is also the driest method. If you wish to just clear the dust of your vintage collection, start by using dry baby brushes and if your rhinestone necklace has a fingerprint or smudge, then you can go ahead and use a cotton swab with some mild cleaning solution.

Do not use soap or water to clean vintage jewelry as soap leaves a residue over the metal and thus makes the metal and the stones look dull. Water damages delicate stones and the polish. Vinegar is also considered as a harmful cleaning agent. Do not leave your vintage jewelry wet, as it will lose its sheen. You must dry the pieces thoroughly before and after adorning it. Store your vintage jewelry in a dry place because dampness encourages rusts, verdigris, and other damaging conditions.

Be very careful while cleaning around enamel, as some old classic jewelry containing enamel coating will fade with destructive cleaning. You should also be extra cautious when it comes to cleaning colorful art glass because if you rub it aggressively then the coating might come off. Toothpicks are really good to clean small sockets or encrusted material; wooden toothpicks are safer than any metallic toothpick. So while hunting for a classic vintage set, be sure to understand its cleaning methods, as it is important to maintain it, it you wish to wear it daily or weekly.

Keep your classic jewelry in a jewelry box and never pull out jewelry when you want to wear them as they lose their luster, rubbing against each other. Always clean your vintage jewelry before and after you wear it and store the pieces back in the boxes. To avoid scratching, you must always store your vintage jewelry separate and not with other jewelry items. You can even store them in separate pouches if you do not have a jewelry box.

How do you clean pearl costume jewelry?

To clean pearls gently, start by laying the strand on a soft cloth. Dip a clean, small makeup brush into a mixture of warm water and a little shampoo, and go over each pearl. To finish, rinse the pearls with a clean, well-wrung damp cloth. Let the strand dry flat to prevent the string from stretching.

How do you clean old faux pearls?

Cleaning and Storing Your Vintage Faux Pearls The best way to clean your vintage imitation pearls is just to give them a gentle spray with some very mild detergent diluted with water in a spray bottle, then a light rinse under cool water.

How do you clean pearls that have yellowed?

If your pearls are visibly stained, you can mix a solution of lukewarm water and mild dish soap, dip a soft cleaning cloth in it and wipe the pearls. Do NOT submerge a pearl necklace in water, as it will weaken the silk thread.

Do fake pearls turn yellow?

Fake or imitation pearls almost always never turn yellow, as they are made of materials such as plastic and ceramic. Yellowing generally means that your pearls are organic and subject to change.

Can I use vinegar to clean jewelry?

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.

How do you clean vintage pearl costume jewelry?

Topaz, Onyx, Chalcedony: Use a soft brush and soapy water. These stones can be rinsed, albeit quickly. Pearls: Wipe your pearls as soon as you take them off. If the pearls are cultured, you can wash them in mild soapy water.

How do you whiten yellowed fake pearls?

of mild liquid hand soap with 1 cup of warm water in a small bowl. Stir it well to combine. Mild dish soap may also be used. Place the yellowed pearls into the soapy water and use a soft cotton cloth to clean them gently.

How do you clean an old mother of pearl?

The best way to clean ornaments and decorative items is with a museum suction cleaner and soft brush. For more stubborn dirt, a cotton bud with a very small amount of soapy water can be used, but make sure you wipe the area again with a second bud with just water on it, and then dry immediately.

How do you care for fake pearls?

Wipe your faux pearls with a soft, dry cloth, such as an eyeglass cleaning cloth, after wear to remove any dirt or smudges. Do not submerge your faux pearls in water or a cleaning solution. If necessary, use a slightly damp cloth to clean any problem areas.

Do pearls die if not worn?

That pearls ” die ” in obscurity and retain their luster and value when worn frequently, is a fact that has always to be borne in mind by the owners of jewels. If you take a pearl necklace and lock it up you will find that in the course of years the pearls become dull and lose the sheen that makes them so valuable.

Will vinegar damage pearls?

Besides being soft, pearls are easily damaged by chemicals like perfume, vinegar and lemon juice. Heat can turn pearls brown or dry them out and make them crack. Dry air can also damage pearls.

Which color Pearl is most expensive?

Which color pearl is the most valuable? The most valuable and expensive pearls on the market today are the South Sea pearls, which naturally occur in shades of white and gold.

Do fake pearls turn yellow with age?

Yellow pearls typically indicate that pearls are real since artificial pearls don’t normally change color. While natural white pearls can yellow with age, there are such things as naturally yellow pearls. These iconic fashion accessories usually turn yellow as time passes because they dry out.

When should you not wear pearls?

Pearls can always be trusted to be proper, so they are allowed out at any time of day or night. It is diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds that have time restrictions. They should not show themselves in daylight, unless they are respectably set in engagement or wedding rings.

How do you restore luster to pearls?

To help maintain the pearl luster, put a drop of olive oil on your pearl cleaning cloth. Have your pearls been sitting around dirty for a while? If so, you can clean them with a pearl cleaner. If the task is too difficult, your local jeweler can clean them for you.

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Vintage rhinestone jewelry ranges from $50 to over $1,000 depending on its quality, age and whether it has a hallmark. Hallmarks are unique symbols placed on a bracelet/necklace clasp or tag or inside a ring identifying the jewelry maker, date the jewelry was made and other related information. Having a hallmark doesn’t guarantee the jewelry is authentic nor does not having a hallmark mean it’s a fake. Hallmarks can be copied. Additionally, the jewelry designer may have forgotten to affix a hallmark it or may have made pieces they didn’t see the need to mark.
Read on

* Third Eye and Crown Chakra Jewelry
* Colored Gemstone Fall Trends
* Characteristics of Costume Jewelry

Caring for Rhinestone Jewelry

Over the years, rhinestone jewelry made with clear rock crystal may start to yellow. This is caused by the deterioration of the glue holding the rhinestone to the foil. As the cause of the yellow cast is underneath the rhinestone, it is impossible to remove by surface cleaning the jewelry. The only alternative is to have a jeweler replace the rhinestone – a simple process.

Jewelry cleaning camps are divided on how to best clean rhinestone jewelry or any costume jewelry for that matter with foil backings. Some say it’s okay to use soap and water brushing off the surface dirt with a toothbrush and rinsing the jewelry under running water.

Others say getting the foil wet causes it to turn black, ruining the appearance of white and light colored rhinestones. An alternate method to the above is to dunk a toothbrush into soapy water, shake until the brush is barely wet and carefully clean the rhinestones, taking care to keep any moisture from getting into the setting.
Online Rhinestone Jewelry Resources:

Product links on YLF sometimes contain affiliate codes. If you follow one of these links and make a purchase, YLF might earn a commission. Read more about how YLF makes money.

Welcome! Read about what to wear and how to wear it on the YLF Blog. Join the YLF Forum to ask specific questions or just chat about fashion and personal style. Or check out the curated list of things we love in YLF Finds.

How to clean costume jewelry

I am wondering if anyone has any tips on this. I have recently gone back to my ballroom dancing and when pulling out my dance costume jewelry that has been stored for couple of years I have discovered that a lot of the pieces have oxidized and thus become black. They are mostly silver tone metal with a lot of rhinestones, mostly clear but some are colored.

Thank you very much!

Hmm. that’s tough. Sometimes when costume jewelry oxidizes like that, it’s permanent because it’s usually due to your skin reacting with the metal. But maybe try warm soapy water and rub very gently to make sure none of the finish comes off as well. There may be some product out there to clean costume jewelry as well. Let me see what I can find.

Thanks Ana! I have googled it and found advice on how to clean the stones themselves. However, nothing on the actual metal of the pieces. Maybe someone will have some ideas.

I’m stumped. It’s tricky. I’ve brought pieces to Nordstrom to clean up before and they did a good job.

Thanks Angie, I do that with a few of the best pieces, and try to do something with the rest myself. Now, if there weren’t any stones, just simple silver colored metal that turned black, how would I go about cleaning that?

Tanya, I don’t have much to add because I only have experience cleaning silver jewelry (with these felt cloth thingies). I just wanted to comment that I’m excited about you resuming ballroom dancing. Big yay. Good for you!

I’m thinking about signing up for private Pilates instruction in January. I used to take classes and do it at home, but fell behind and frankly got out of shape. I’m thinking about taking an introductory package with private classes to relearn proper technique and then get into group classes which are cheaper. Plus it will motivate me to exercise more in general. And actually I was surprised to learn that it’s not as expensive as I expected (around the cost of one BCBG dress for 6-8 weeks of classes).

By Ian Pennington | Submitted On August 07, 2008

Maintaining the brilliance and shininess of your jewelry is important as it enhances its longevity. How to clean costume jewelry is easy as long as you are willing to spare time for your beloved diamonds, Swarovski crystals and gemstones to consistently glitter. Their delicateness are fragile so you must handle with extreme care as you clean them.

How to clean costume jewelry can be done by using different cleansing products that are primarily intended for fine pieces of luxury. Finding out if the cleaner doesn’t have any vinegar, ammonia, alcohol or acid is necessary. Make sure of your cleansing product’s components for your jewelry’s safety no matter what your jewelry is made of-bronze, silver, gold, copper, chrome, stainless steel, aluminum, pearls, marble, gemstones, opals, Swarovski.

It is not advisable to use soap and water with regards to how to clean costume jewelry. Soaps tend to leave a mark on the surfaces of a metal or cause the stones to look boring. While vinegar is lethal to precious gems, Windex is also detrimental to the delicate finishes of jewelries. The types of cleaners you can use are chemical, toothpaste, natural and cloth. Of these, it’s the toothpaste that’s been famed to be low-priced yet effective. It is surely not causing your jewelry any threats at all.

You can just use a very soft cloth as to how to clean your costume jewelry that’s dusty and dirty. Cleaning your necklaces and bracelets can be safely done by just using a jewelry cleaner that doesn’t contain any harmful ingredient. Bracelets have the tendency of losing its color and texture. Sometimes they get scratched or distorted. After immersing your jewelry into a jewelry cleaner, you can dry it up by using a soft jewelry wiping cloth to restore back your jewelry’s shimmering state.

To effectively maintain orderliness of your finest pieces, adopt a good practice of how to clean your costume jewelry. You can segregate the old sets of jewelry you have from the newer ones. Categorize them in compartments in your jewelry boxes so that they don’t get entangled. Usually, one of the frustrations that jewelry wearers encounter is untangling an entwined necklace. It is better that you hang your necklaces so that they are safely placed.

After you have thoroughly do the basics of how to clean your costume jewelry, you are to dry it up before placing back to the jewelry box. Get rid of moisture from dwelling on the surfaces of your bracelets, watches, necklaces, earrings and anklets. A damp jewelry can get tarnished and rusty leading to further damages and scratches. If you wear your jewelry on a daily basis, it’s suggested that you groom it weekly. If you just wear it occasionally, clean it right after usage.

Ian Pennington is an accomplished niche website developer and author.

How to clean costume jewelry

How to clean costume jewelry

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How to clean costume jewelry

The Spruce / Sarah Lee

All that glitters is not gold—at least not solid gold. Many fashion necklaces, bracelets, and rings are gold plated to meet the aesthetic desires of consumers but keep the jewelry more affordable.

Gold jewelry is most often sold as solid gold, gold filled, or gold plated.

Solid gold

Pure gold (24-karat) is a soft metal that can be easily scratched. So, most “solid gold” jewelry is 18-karat, 14-karat, or 10-karat gold that has been mixed with other alloys or metals to increase the hardness and durability.

Gold filled

Gold-filled jewelry has a layer of gold pressure-bonded to another metal. The thickness of the layer is usually reflected in the selling price of the jewelry, but most pieces are durable enough to be worn daily for up to 30 years.

Gold plated

The least expensive type of gold jewelry, gold plated, is made with a very thin layer of gold adhered to a base metal like silver or copper by using electricity or chemicals. The layer may be as thin as 1/1000 to 3/1000 of an inch. Gold plating is a good choice for a trendy jewelry item that will only be worn for a short time. Eventually, the base metal molecules will transfer into the thin layer of gold breaking it down and causing it to tarnish and rub off.

Even if your favorite piece is gold plated, you can still keep it looking its best for as long as possible with proper cleaning.

Click Play to Learn How to Clean Gold-Plated Jewelry

How Often to Clean Gold-Plated Jewelry

Gold-plated jewelry should be wiped down with a damp cotton ball or microfiber cloth after every wearing to remove smudges and surface soil. A more thorough cleaning should be done after exposure to chlorine, alcohol, acids, and sulfur compounds that cause the base metals to tarnish.

The best thing you can do to help gold-plated jewelry keep its luster as long as possible is to take preventative measures to reduce damage.

  • Make sure your hands are free of lotions, make-up, and soil before handling gold-plated pieces.
  • Do not apply make-up, perfume, or hairspray while wearing gold-plated jewelry.
  • Remove any gold-plated rings and bracelets while preparing acidic foods.
  • Do not swim in chlorinated or salt-water pools while wearing gold-plated jewelry.
  • Remove gold-plated pieces before exercising or when sweating profusely to prevent salts from damaging the gold.
  • Don’t carry gold-plated jewelry tossed in a purse or mingled with other pieces to prevent scratching.
  • Store gold-plated jewelry separately in small boxes to prevent damage.

What You Need


  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Warm water


  • Small bowl
  • Microfiber cloth or jewelry cloth
  • Cotton ball
  • Cotton swab

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The Spruce / Sarah Lee


Wipe Down After Each Wearing

To remove body oils and soil, use a damp cotton ball, microfiber cloth, or jewelry cloth to wipe down gold-plated jewelry after each wearing. Allow to air-dry before storing.

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The Spruce / Sarah Lee

Mix a Cleaning Solution

If the jewelry has visible soil or feels sticky, it should be cleaned with a warm, soapy solution. In a small bowl, mix one cup of warm water and two to three drops of dishwashing liquid.

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The Spruce / Sarah Lee

Soak the Jewelry

Unless the jewelry has embellishments like gemstones, pearls, or enamel, place the jewelry in the cleaning solution and soak for about 10 minutes. Clean only one or two pieces at a time to prevent scratching.

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The Spruce / Sarah Lee

Tackle Embedded Soil

For pieces that are intricately carved, use a cotton swab to remove any soil from small crevices. Never use a sharp implement like a knife or paper clip to remove the dirt because they can scratch away the gold plating.

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The Spruce / Sarah Lee

Rinse, Dry, and Buff

When the piece is clean, rinse the jewelry in warm water. Dry with a soft, lint-free cloth and buff gently to return the shine.

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The Spruce / Sarah Lee

How to Clean Embellished Gold Plated Jewelry

If your gold-plated jewelry is embellished with precious or semi-precious stones, it is best to avoid soaking the pieces. On some less expensive gold-plated jewelry, the embellishments are simply glued on and soaking can loosen the glue. Instead of soaking, use a cotton ball dipped in the dishwashing liquid and water solution to clean the pieces. Rub gently and then rinse, dry, and buff.

How to Correct Cleaning Mistakes on Gold Plated Jewelry

If you have used toothpaste, silver polish, or another cleaner and the jewelry looks dull, mix the dishwashing liquid and warm water solution and submerge the jewelry for five minutes. Use a soft cotton cloth to wipe away the film left by the cleaners. Rub gently to prevent removing the gold!

If the worst has happened and the gold plating has worn away so that the base metal is exposed, you can have jewelry replated. Consult with a reputable jeweler about the costs and the feasibility of replating your piece. It is difficult to replate chains and the jeweler must be skilled in preparing the base metal surface of any piece before replating.

Because of how busy I am whenever I come home I put any jewelry I was wearing into a dish next to my laptop. I’d forgotten that earlier this month I’d bought a salad and it came with single serve packets of dressing. I didn’t use one packet so I left it on my desk on top of the jewelry. ( I know, I know)

Anyway I didn”t even notice until maybe a week or two later that one of my pins punctured the packet. Now all the jewelry is sticky and greasy. I don’t know how to clean it off. I tried Dawn and some Dial hand soap. It will feel fine while it’s wet, but after it dries it’s sticky/greasy again.

Some of it is sterling and some of it is costume. My mom told me to use Goo Gone, but I’m afraid it might take some of the tarnish off of some of the silver I’d rather have it tarnished. Any ideas on how to clean this residue and the awful smell will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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For years I have used a solution of Dawn Dish detergent, ammonia, and water to clean my jewelry. It does not remove the decorative tarnish from silver or other metals. Mix 1 T detergent, 1 T ammonia, and enough lukewarm water to cover the jewelry in a small container.

You can clean your jewelry very easily with warm water, laundry detergent and a toothbrush. Get the jewelry wet, put soap directly on toothbrush and scrub both sides of jewelry. Then rinse with water until soap is gone. To make sure you catch any loose stones that may fall out, put a strainer in the sink hole or a towel over drain

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    • cup for soapy water
    • q-tips
    • toothbrush
    • toothpick
    • soft cloth
    • gentle dish washing liquid
    • steel wool
    • enamel paint
    • clear fingernail polish


    To clean rhinestones use gentle soap and water. Use a q-tip to gently scrub the dirt away. To make the whole task easier we use a foaming soap dispenser. One dollop of bubbles in a cup is enough to clean a few pieces. Be careful not to use too much water. Rhinestones are usually held in place with water-soluble glue and too much water can loosen the stones. Sometimes even clean rhinestones look less than brilliant. Scratches can dull their shine but a little clear nail polish on the dry surface of the stone can bring your costume jewelry back to life.

    Painted Beads

    Over time painted surfaces can lose their color, sealant, or become scratched and chipped. To clean and repair your beads, wash your jewelry with soapy water and a q-tip to see if repainting is in order. If you can repaint the design on the beads, or paint a complimentary design, or paint one or a few of the beads a complimentary solid color, then you can bring new life to your costume jewelry. In order to repaint, dry completely, sand with steel wool, then wash and dry again. Use enamel paint to repair or redesign the surface. Testor enamel paint is a good choice for color and durability. You can find the Testor brand online and in hobby stores. Let dry overnight and seal with Testor sealant or clear fingernail polish the following day.

    Coated “Pearls”

    Costume pearls are not real: They are painted beads. In the center of a genuine pearl is a grain of sand. When sand is trapped in an oyster it becomes an irritant. Slowly the oyster covers the grain of sand in layers of nacre to prevent further irritation. In costume jewelry the nacre-like paint provides a similar lustrous finish to an acrylic or plastic bead. When the paint applied to your costume pearls begins wearing you can repaint them or replace them. By the time the paint is chipping it is probably time to restring the pearls. You can use dental floss, but let’s save that for another post. To clean and repaint your pearls use soapy water and a toothbrush, sand any chipping paint to create a smooth surface, wash and dry again. In a well ventilated area, hang the pearls by one end and spray thin coats of iridescent enamel paint evenly, in thin coats, until you reach the desired luster finish. Rust-Oleum Pearl mist is a nice color, as is Testor’s Pearl White airbrush paint. It is possible to brush paint your pearls, but very difficult to avoid brush strokes. If spray paint is out of the question, then wait 24 hours after each coat, to sand with steel wool, rinse, and dry before applying the next coat of paint.

    Plated Surfaces

    Costume jewelry is typically made of a base metal, and often the surfaces of vintage costume jewelry appear to have chipped plating. More often than not, that plating is really paint. If the paint is chipped, remove all loose debris, sand with steel wool, wash with gentle soap, and dry thoroughly. Apply metallic paint (Rust-Olium and Testor have many colors to choose from), making sure to sand, wash, and dry between coats.

    The Crevices

    When cleaning costume jewelry it can be difficult to get into the crevices between settings. A toothpick can come in handy. Dip the end of the toothpick into a little soapy water and use it to loosen the grime and gunk trapped in the crevices. Bonus tip: Toothpicks are also good at reshaping settings. Use a toothpick to bend the settings back into shape.

    If you have a question about cleaning or repairing costume jewelry, ask us in the comments below. Remember to subscribe so you never miss a post from Pendant and Ring!

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    Make a solution out of white vinegar and water and see if that helps. Remove jewelry from solution and gently brush it with a soft toothbrush to get into the nooks and crevices. Using vinegar to clean faux jewelry may make the chains look gleaming. If the jewelry contains jewels, the soft bristle toothbrush might be useful in extracting the stones out of the cracks.

    How do you clean tarnished costume jewelry?

    Baking soda, salt, and aluminum foil are all good options. Combine one tablespoon salt and one tablespoon baking soda in a mixing bowl with one cup warm water. Mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the dish. While cleaning the jewelry, the combination will cause a chemical reaction with the foil, causing bubbles to form. Clean with cold water and a clean towel to remove any remaining residue.

    How long do you soak jewelry in vinegar?

    It couldn’t be much easier to clean your gold and gemstone jewelry when you use white vinegar. Simply place the jewelry in a container of vinegar and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring it every now and then. If required, remove the bandage and clean the area with a soft-bristled toothbrush.

    Can you clean jewelry with vinegar?

    Vinegar. Listed below are some tips on how to clean jewelry so that it shines like new again: Allow for two to three hours of soaking time in a solution made up of 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 teaspoons baking soda for your pure silver bracelets, rings, and other jewelry. After rinsing them under cold water and carefully drying them with a soft cloth,

    How do you clean smelly costume jewelry?

    Costume jewelry can develop a foul odor over time. To be more specific, they begin to smell like a horrible metallic fragrance that no one enjoys. White vinegar works wonders for getting rid of unpleasant odors. Simply combine vinegar and water and spray or dip the jewelry in it before patting it dry.

    How do you take care of fake jewelry?

    Instructions on how to properly care for your fashion/costume jewelry


    Does vinegar remove tarnish?

    Using vinegar, water, and baking soda, you can restore your jewelry or dinnerware in a matter of minutes. This cleaning product is an excellent choice for a variety of tasks, including cleaning tarnished silver. In a basin of lukewarm water, combine 1/2 cup white vinegar with 2 teaspoons baking soda until well combined. Allow about two to three hours of soaking time for the silver.

    Will vinegar hurt diamonds?

    Diamonds may be cleaned in a variety of ways and with a variety of cleaning methods. One of the approaches is to clean diamonds with vinegar, which is one of them. Vinegar, on the other hand, cannot be used to clean diamonds, gold, or pearls. It has the potential to harm jewels and metals, as well as disintegrate pearls.

    Can you clean jewelry with malt vinegar?

    Vinegar. You may use any inexpensive vinegar for this recipe. I love malt vinegar; I use it to clean a variety of items around the house, and it can be purchased in bulk for pennies per gallon of vinegar. White vinegar, which is usually used for cleaning, can also be employed in this situation.

    Does vinegar harm gold?

    Gold is unaffected by vinegar since it is a stable metal that does not react with oxygen when exposed to air. This indicates that it will not change color, produce crystals, or dissolve under normal conditions.

    Is hydrogen peroxide good for cleaning jewelry?

    In addition to cleaning a wide range of home items, baking soda combined with hydrogen peroxide is a safe and effective solution for cleaning gold, silver, and costume jewelry, among other things. Make a solution by mixing baking soda with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide and gently rubbing it on your jewelry for the best results.

    Can vinegar and baking soda clean silver?

    Place the silver pieces in a basin of adequate size and cover them with white distilled vinegar to prevent tarnish from developing. Pour in the baking soda into the bowl — the approximate quantities are 4 teaspoons baking soda for every cup of vinegar in the recipe. Allow the silver to soak in the liquid for one hour. Cleanse well with clean water and dry thoroughly with a soft cotton towel.

    How do you get rid of smelly zippers?

    Make use of Rubbing Alcohol. If the soap doesn’t work, try putting a little amount of rubbing alcohol to the zipper and then rubbing and wiping it off with a clean cloth. If the alcohol is strong enough, it should be able to loosen and remove any contaminants and residue from the zipper that may be the source of the smell.

    After years of wear, you might not even notice that your jewelry has lost its shine. Dirt, debris, and daily grime build up over time, making jewelry look dull. Luckily, there are many easy solutions for cleaning jewelry. You don’t need a professional cleaner or expensive jewelry polish to breathe life back into your favorite gems. These easy-to-use home jewelry cleaners feature budget-friendly ingredients you likely already have on hand.

    Keep in mind that some hacks work best for certain types of jewelry. Soft gemstones, for example, can’t stand up to the harsher cleaning methods designed for gold and platinum. Make sure you know exactly what materials your jewelry is made of. And if you have any uncertainty, err on the side of caution and have your jewelry examined by a professional.

    1. Put a Toothbrush to the Test

    A clean, soft-bristle toothbrush is the perfect weapon for fighting dirty jewelry. Tiny bristles make it easy to access tough-to-reach nooks and crannies. For light spots, consider using water to scrub away the grime. For tougher buildup, dilute toothpaste with water, then scrub onto the jewelry. Rinse with water, then wipe clean with a microfiber cloth. Let jewelry dry before putting it away.

    2. Let It Bubble with Baking Soda

    If you’re not in the mood to scrub, let a chemical reaction do the work for you. Both baking soda and effervescent heartburn tablets cause a chemical reaction when mixed with water. This reaction produces bubbles and fizz that eagerly attack the buildup on your jewelry. Simply place your jewelry in a small bowl, cover with water, and add an active ingredient. Let the jewelry soak for a few minutes, then remove it from the bowl and wipe with a cleaning cloth. Let jewelry dry before putting it away. This method is best suited as a diamond ring cleaner, silver jewelry cleaner, or gold jewelry cleaner—do not use the technique on pearls or soft gemstones.

    3. Keep It Simple with Soap and Water

    Soap and water is a classic cleaning combo for a reason. This simple solution makes quick work of spots, stains, and general grime without causing damage. To clean jewelry, mix a few drops of liquid dish soap with a few cups of water. Mix together, then place jewelry in the mixture for a few seconds. Remove, then use a clean cloth to wipe dry and buff out any spots. Let jewelry dry before putting it away. Keep in mind that this method is best for mild stains, tarnish, or general wear-and-tear, like those you’d find when cleaning sterling silver. It likely won’t be strong enough for major spots, rust, or buildup.

    Editor’s Tip: This will help your jewelry retain its shine, and you’ll sanitize the posts and reduce your chance of infection.

    4. Bring to a Boil

    Hot water is an easy (and cheap) cleaning solution for hard metal jewelry. Steam and heat cause dirt and debris to loosen from the jewelry, making it a snap to wipe away. Simply place jewelry in a heatproof container, then slowly pour boiling water over it until covered. Let jewelry sit for a few minutes or until the water has cooled. Remove jewelry from the bowl and wipe away grime with a clean cloth. Let jewelry dry before putting it away. Keep in mind that this method will not work with pearls, opals, and many other gemstones. Reserve the technique for silver, gold, platinum, and diamonds.

    5. Use Antibacterial Cleaner

    You don’t need a fancy jewelry cleaner to make your bling sparkle. Look no further than a multipurpose antibacterial cleaner. Start by unscrewing the bottle lid and pouring a few inches of the liquid cleaner into a glass bowl. Add your jewelry and let it sit for five minutes. As you wait, the buildup should begin to fall off the jewelry and to the bottom of the bowl. Once time is up, remove jewelry and gently scrub with a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse under cool water, then pat dry with a clean cloth. Let jewelry dry before putting it away.

    Need to clean your gold earrings? Polish your pearl necklace? Shine your silver bracelet? Here are some tried and true tips for cleaning your jewelry with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and other household items.

    How to clean costume jewelry

    Baking soda

    Easy DIY jewelry cleaner

    Baking soda mixed with hydrogen peroxide is a great cleaner for lots of household objects, and it’s also a safe and effective cleaner when it comes to cleaning gold, silver, and costume jewelry. For best results, make a by adding drops of hydrogen peroxide to the baking soda, then rub gently on your jewelry. Rinse off and wipe dry. It gets rid of dirt, grime, and body oils, and leaves your gold and silver sparkling.

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    How to clean costume jewelry

    How to clean costume jewelry

    Quick and easy way to clean silver jewelry

    If your silver jewelry is starting to look a little dull or needs polishing, stick it in a bowl with a few tablespoons of baking soda and a square of aluminum foil. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, then wipe clean. The aluminum acts as a catalyst for ion exchange, a process that will make the tarnish transfer from your silver to the baking soda. This is the magic of science, folks!

    Dishwashing detergent

    Gem-polishing potions

    Wondering how to keep your beautiful jewelry looking like the first day you wore it? Gentle dishwashing detergent and water plus a soft cloth can clean rubies, amethysts, citrines, emeralds, sapphires, and garnets. Diamonds can be washed similarly: Fill a small pot with a cup of water, plus a teaspoon of dishwasher detergent. Add your diamonds, bring the water to a boil, then turn off the heat and let the pot sit until it cools. Once it’s cool (but not before), carefully remove your jewelry and rinse.

    Just make sure to wash each piece separately to avoid chipping.

    Classic jewelry cleaning recipe

    Here’s the recipe that we received from reader Madelyn Jessup, which her mother always used to wash her gold jewelry: Mix 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid with ½ teaspoon ammonia and 1 cup warm water. Dip the jewelry into the solution for 10 seconds, and use an old toothbrush to brush off any marks. Your gold will look sparkling new!

    . And other household items

    Another easy clean for gems

    The easiest way to clean emeralds, diamonds, rubies, and sapphires may be with club soda. Place your jewelry in a glass of it overnight and they will shine like new in the morning.

    Get sparkling pearls with vegetable oil

    Because they’re so fragile, pearls shouldn’t get wet—and can’t be cleaned with normal jewelry cleaners. Instead, use vegetable oil. Dab some oil on a soft cloth, then gently rub on each pearl. Let the vegetable oil dry overnight, then buff with a soft cloth to remove dust and oils that can make pearls look dull over time. The best way to care for a pearl (or coral) necklace is to wear it regularly—oils from your skin add a gentle luster.

    Quick clean for costume jewelry

    Clean costume or inexpensive jewelry by dropping two Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass of water. Immerse jewelry for about five minutes and pat dry with a clean towel.

    These stones should never get wet: Since turquoise, opals, amber, and marcasite are porous stones, never immerse them in water. Instead, polish them with a soft, dry chamois (clean claws with a soft bristle brush). Wipe with sweet almond oil to remove any grease marks, if desired.

    For more cleaning tips from all around the internet, check out our Cleaning Tips board on Pinterest. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

    About the Author

    Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends’ refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.

    Since the pandemic started, I haven’t been wearing a ton of jewelry. I put some minimalist pieces in my ears and around my neck and have been wearing them pretty much constantly. If you’re like me, you might be looking at your untended jewelry stash after a long period and noticing it has some green junk on it.

    This is verdigris.

    Verdigris is what happens when copper, brass or bronze is weathered and exposed to air or seawater over time. Verdigris has been used as a natural blue-green pigment throughout history, and is even used as a patina to protect copper or bronze objects, especially in art and architecture, like the Statue of Liberty or The Spirit of Detroit.

    Verdigris on jewelry can be passed from one piece of jewelry to another, a good reason to pay attention to and remove verdigris when you see it.

    The bad news is that evidence of verdigris is evidence of damage. The affected metal is compromised. Verdigris on prongs means they may not have the strength and structure hold stones in place. The damage means that functional parts like bails and clasps may come apart due to brittleness.

    The good news is that it’s easy to remove, and it’s easy to remove from costume jewelry and fine jewelry alike. All of these methods use home materials with an acid base to break down the verdigris, then you gently pluck and clean the green away, then your pieces should be dried thoroughly to prevent more verdigris from coming back.


    • Pearl jewelry: If you’re dealing with real pearls, pay for a professional restoration.
    • Rhinestone jewelry: Rhinestones should never be soaked in vinegar or lemon juice, because the liquid will damage the foil backs of the stones.
    • Stanhope jewelry: Any exposure to liquid will dissolve the tiny images in Stanhope jewelry.
    • Silver and silver-plate: These pieces can be cleaned with soap and water, polished with a silver-polishing cloth, or polished with a silver polish you can find at the grocery store in the cleaning section. Here are some tips on identifying silver jewelry.
    • Gemstones: “Gemstone” and “metals” are huge categories, so do a little research to ensure the hardness of the thing you’re cleaning is amenable to your chosen cleaning method. Here’s a handy chart showing some of your gemstone cleaning options.

    Three easy methods for removing verdigris from jewelry:

    Lemon juice

    Lemon juice is great for glass, metal, and copper jewelry. Lemon juice has the bonus of smelling nice, but it can turn sterling silver black which will create more clean up for you later. Soak your pieces in the liquid for 15-20 minutes, then (gently!) use a toothpick, q-tip and soft toothbrush to remove the remaining verdigris. Dry your pieces thoroughly when done.

    White vinegar

    Vinegar is quite acidic and can also be used on jewelry as you would lemon juice. It is a fine choice for glass beaded jewelry and metal jewelry if you can stand the smell of it. As with lemon juice, soak your pieces in straight vinegar for 15-20 minutes and use a toothpick, q-tip or soft toothbrush to get into tight areas. Sterling silver and some gemstones should not be soaked in vinegar, so be sure to identify your metals and gemstones and do a quick google if you need to.


    The biggest benefit of ketchup is that is doesn’t move around like a liquid – it pretty much stays wherever you put it. This means you can dab it in sensitive and small areas with a toothpick and not worry too much about damaging surrounding materials. It is a bear to clean up, but use a soft toothbrush to scrub it out of tight places, rinse, then dry your pieces thoroughly.


    Once your jewelry is cleaned, dry, dry, dry, dry it off and store it in a clean, dark, dry (dry!) place, like a jewelry box. Verdigris happens on jewelry due to exposure to a mixture of moisture and makeup and skin oils on metals, so it’s important to clean and dry (!) that jewelry when you put it away.

    If you catch verdigris early and keep it clean, you can keep nature at bay and enjoy your pieces for a long time.