The DIY Guide To Cleaning Your Jewellery At Home

It will even work on those 'gold' hoops you love...

street style image of jewellery and sunglasses

by Charlotte Pavitt |
Updated on

I'm the first to admit that I over-wear my favourite pieces of jewellery. So with more time on my hands than usual, now seems like the perfect moment to stop wearing them in the shower and start giving them a spruce.

It’s actually pretty easy to bring your baubles back to life – all that’s needed is a good scrub and knowing which cleaner to use. Trust me, I'm an expert.

Costume Jewellery

Cheap costume jewellery benefits from cleaning as much as more expensive metals. All it needs is a gentle scrub with some toothpaste - the baking soda is the dirt-tackling agent - and an old soft-bristle toothbrush.

After scrubbing the jewellery for five to 10 minutes, rinse with warm water and dry thoroughly with a dry cloth. Avoid gel toothpastes or ones that contain whitening or tartar-control chemicals, as they may damage the metal.


Over time, silver can develop a depressingly dull finish. The scrubbing method is a tad too abrasive here, but a surprisingly easy hands-free technique does exist: all you need is water, salt, tinfoil and bicarbonate of soda.

Cover a plate with a sheet of tinfoil and add one tablespoon each of salt and bicarbonate. Next, pour one cup of hot water (not boiling) over the mixture and stir gently to dissolve. Place your jewellery into the solution and leave for 10 minutes – the combination of salt, bicarbonate and aluminium creates a chemical reaction that oxidises the tarnish straight off your silver. Science is magic, see?

Street style jewellery


While gold doesn’t tarnish as easily as silver, it can accumulate grime and dirt with regular use. The toothpaste method works well here, but you can also use good old-fashioned dishwashing liquid. Squirt a few drops of detergent into a bowl of warm water and leave your gold jewellery to soak for 15 minutes. Scrub it with an old toothbrush and then rinse in warm water before blotting dry.


If your jewellery has stones glued into their setting (like most earrings), you’ll need to take extra care when cleaning. These shouldn’t be submerged in warm water, as this may loosen the glue and cause them to drop out. Spot-clean the gems by wiping them with a cloth soaked in some soapy water; next, wipe off the suds with a cloth dampened with water. Dry thoroughly.

While hard stones such as diamonds, rubies and imitation gems are pretty hardy, special treatment is needed for softer stones such as pearls. Check this chart for what kind of cleaning methods your precious gems require.

SHOP: Our Pick Of The Best Affordable Jewellery For The Next Season


The Chicest And Affordable Jewellery Must-Haves

Astrid & Miyu, Mystic Star Hoops, £591 of 8

Astrid & Miyu, Mystic Star Hoops, £59

Pandora, Pandora Me Link Bracelet, £702 of 8

Pandora, Pandora Me Link Bracelet, £70

Monica Vinader, Riva Circle Diamond Ring, £1503 of 8

Monica Vinader, Riva Circle Diamond Ring, £150

Daisy Jewellery, Aphrodite Pendant Necklace, £794 of 8

Daisy Jewellery, Aphrodite Pendant Necklace, £79

Missoma Necklace5 of 8

Missoma, Lucy Williams Octagon Coin Necklace, £98

Astley Clarke Earrings6 of 8

Astley Clarke, Stilla Arc Hoop Earrings, £95

Alighieri Necklace7 of 8

Alighieri, The Flashback Necklace, £140

Sylvia Toledano Earrings8 of 8

Sylvia Toledano, Candie rhodochrosite hoop earrings, £110

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