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How to Clean Tarnished Jewelry?

How to Clean Tarnished Jewelry

The gleaming shine of nicely polished gemstone looks stunning and eye-pleasing to the spectator. But after using a period, there will be a natural buildup of skin oils, everyday dirt, and environmental grim due to regular use.

But just because it has tarnish on your jewelry does not mean you have to throw them at the back of the drawer and never use them. Instead, you can bring back its sparkle by following our detailed information about how to clean tarnished jewelry. 

If you follow our simple tricks and tips to effectively clean them, then it will greatly benefit you and keep precious stones and metals sparkling for a longer period.

Why Does Tarnish Occur in Jewelry?

When dirt, oil, and grime accumulate on the surface of metal or stones, the jewelry loses its brightness and gets tarnished. Here are some of the key reasons it can happen:

  • Metals like silver, copper, brass, and bronze may tarnish when exposed to oxygen in the air. As a result, a layer of grime and dimness will form on top.
  • Normal use and exposure to skin oils, lotions, and ordinary dirt and dust may also cause gold jewelry to tarnish and grow dull over time.
  • The oxidation process known as tarnish makes jewelry seem worn and unclean, despite being a normal occurrence. Metals and gemstones lose their natural luster and beauty as a result.
  • Wear and tear causes it over time, but exposure to sulfur-based compounds (found in certain skincare products, pollution, and home cleaners) may cause it quickly.
  • When left untreated, tarnish will grow from its initial buildup in cracks and etchings to cover the whole surface.
  • Tarnish is mostly an aesthetic problem, but it may damage metals if not cleansed regularly.
  • Cleaning procedures and solutions may readily restore the luster of tarnished jewelry.

Click Here: How to Appraise Jewelry Yourself?

How to Clean Tarnished Jewelry Properly?

If you want to effectively clean tarnished jewelry, then all you have to do is follow the methods given below properly:

  • Assess the tarnish: Inspect the tarnished jewelry carefully before deciding on a cleaning technique. Keep in mind whether the metal is gold, silver, platinum, or anything else. Also, see whether the item is adorned with any precious stones. When cleaning jewelry, it’s crucial to know what kind of metal it is and whether there are any particularly fragile stones in it.
  • Make a paste with baking soda and water: Create a thick paste by combining baking soda with adequate water. Use a toothbrush or a cotton swab to apply to jewelry. Leave for two to three minutes, then wash. The baking soda removes the tarnish in a non-abrasive manner.
  • Use vinegar or lemon juice soak: Mix in some fresh lemon juice or white distilled vinegar in some hot water. Soak in water for 15 to 30 minutes any silver or copper that has been tarnished. After rinsing, pat the item dry. The acids play an important role in dissolving the tarnish.
  • Using an aluminum foil and baking soda pouch: Put some baking soda on the foil and then place it in the basin. Place the tarnished jewelry on top, then wrap it in foil and seal it. After letting it sit out for the night, unwrap it in the morning and then wash and dry it.
  • Using store-bought silver cleaner: Look for cleaning solutions that are specifically formulated for dipping and soaking silver. Observe the instructions and use extreme caution while working with jewels. It is simple to use and produces quick results.
  • Using jewelry cleaning cloth: When you clean jewelry using a re-moistened or impregnated cloth, the cleaning solutions in the fabric work to remove the tarnish. Excellent for emergencies when there is no time to soak.
  • Using sunshine cleanse: Wrap a basin with aluminum foil, then pour in warm water and one teaspoon of baking soda. Place jewelry inside, then expose the container to bright sunshine for a half-hour to an hour. Baking soda becomes active after being exposed to ultraviolet radiation.
  • Using ultrasonic cleaner: For a deep cleaning on a professional level, ultrasonic waves generate bubbles that work to forcibly loosen and remove dirt and oils. It is important to follow the guidelines, depending on the type of metal you are cleaning.
  • Scrubbing with a soft toothbrush: Use a toothbrush and a cleaning solution such as vinegar to give engraved regions and the area beneath jewels a light scrubbing. After that, be sure to completely rinse and dry it.
  • Store your jewelry properly: Put individual pieces of jewelry in separate bags, steer clear of chlorine and strong cleansers, and always remove jewelry before engaging in intense physical activity.



Is my jewelry tarnishing?

Silver, copper, brass, and bronze jewelry may tarnish when they come into contact with sulfur or oxygen in the air. The metal’s surface acquires a dark, dull covering as a result. Over time, gold may get tarnished from contact with bodily fluids, lotions, and grime.

How do I know whether my jewelry is getting tarnished?

The colors of tarnished jewelry will be deeper and more muted. This might cause the metal to seem mottled or worn rather than shiny. The first places tarnish appears on metal are in engravings, fissures, and raised surfaces.

What precautions to take while cleaning my jewelry?

  • Know your stones’ properties before attempting to polish them. Pearls, opals, and emeralds should not come into contact with abrasives.
  • Always use caution while cleaning jewelry or using an ultrasonic cleaner near delicate stones.
  • It’s best to test cleaning products in a hidden spot before using them elsewhere.

What precautions should I take while cleaning my jewelry?

Expert jewelers use equipment like ultrasonic cleaners and steam machines to give precious metals and stones a thorough cleaning. However, in between professional cleanings, modest care at home may help maintain the shine of frequently used items.


In conclusion, with several basic cleaning techniques, tarnished jewelry may shine like new again. Identify any valuable metals or stones, and then clean them using homemade pastes, soaks, pouches, or rags without damaging the surface. When not in use, be sure to properly store and care for the item. Your precious metals and stones may retain their luster for as long as you put in the time and care they deserve.