4 Eco-Friendly Ways to Clean Your Jewelry

29th, 2012
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Whether it’s the stunning cut of those diamond earrings, or the memory of how you felt when you received that engagement ring, one thing is clear: your jewelry means a lot to you, and you want to keep it sparkling. But with so many abrasive chemical cleaners on the market, how can you care for both your jewelry and the earth at the same time? The secret is going DIY in a few surprising and creative ways.

1. Test Your Dishsoap

Just because it has the word “dishwashing” before it, doesn’t mean dishwashing liquid is only good for dishes. In fact, it’s one of the easiest DIY solutions for basic, everyday jewelry cleaning, especially for pearl, turquoise, lapiz lazuli, malachite, and coral. Just add a few pumps of dishwashing liquid to a bowl, fill it with warm water and let your jewelry soak for a few minutes. For a deeper clean, follow up your soak by scrubbing your jewelry gently with a mascara brush before patting it completely dry.

While store bought dishwashing liquid is more eco-friendly than strong chemical cleaners, those seeking the ultimate green solution might consider making their own dishwashing liquid at home by combining one cup of liquid Castile soap with one tablespoon lemon juice for an effective green clean.

2. Use a Toothbrush and Toothpaste

They clean your teeth, so why can’t your toothpaste and toothbrush clean your metals and stones too? Look for a natural toothpaste that’s free of all BPA, apply it to the brush and scrub away, using a damp cloth to clean metal bands. Then, for an even deeper clean, get out your Waterpick, set the pulse to medium and use the targeted jet to your cleaning advantage, rubbing your fingers over the stones to tease out any more dirt.

3. Try Baking Soda

From cleaning your bathtub to freshening up your fridge, it seems like baking soda can do just about everything, and now you can count cleaning jewelry among them. Rub baking soda into a damp, non-abrasive cloth and polish your silver to prevent tarnish. For your diamond rings, mix one cup of hot water with one to two teaspoons of baking soda, soak your rings for a few minute and then dry them with a damp cloth. Also, make sure to look at the website of the retailer you bought your ring from. Many, especially online-only retailers like Blue Nile, have ring care information. While most will suggest a professional clean, they also have good advice on jewelry storage that is worth heeding.

4. Gentle Boiling

For rubies, diamonds, and sapphires a gentle boil is a surefire clean. Gentle is the operative word here, as you want to avoid fracturing those stones through thermal shock. Add a little dishwashing liquid to a pot of water and suspend your jewelry in a strainer above the water. Then bring the pot slowly to a boil and watch it for the next ten to twenty minutes to make sure the boil never becomes too violent. Remove the pot from the burner and let it cool naturally until it reaches room temperature, at which point a final brushing, rinsing and drying is all you should need.

No matter what eco-friendly cleaning approach you take, keep in mind that the best cleaning method is often prevention. The more frequently and gently you clean and polish your jewelry, the longer it will stay with you for years to come. You’ll love the results, and the environment will, too.


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