• 05/10/2024

How To Clean Earrings: 4 Ways To Bring back Their Brilliance

a pair of hoop earrings with stars --how to clean earrings

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Earrings are a tiny part of your outfit, but these pieces of jewelry elevate your look significantly. It can take your appearance from basic to glamorous and upgrade your overall appeal. Proper jewelry maintenance is essential to keep them clean and sparkly until you can no longer use them or pass them on to your children as heirlooms. Learn how to clean your earrings safely and preserve their quality for years. 

What Is the Best Way To Clean Earrings?

The best way to clean earrings is by using solutions recommended by the jewelry manufacturer. Earrings can be made of silver, gold, platinum and other metals with additions of hard and soft gemstones, like diamonds, rubies and emeralds. They can also be high-end pieces or casual trinkets. These distinctions make their cleaning process varied. It’s best to refer to your jeweler for the best methods to clean your treasured items. 

Many manufacturers sell polishers with an ammonia-free formula that suits silver, gold and other metal materials. It comes with instructions on how to clean earrings at home. If you follow them, you can always keep your jewelry dazzling.

How Do You Clean Earrings That Turned Black?

Pure gold is a tarnish-resistant metal, so it won’t turn black even after years due to its low reactivity rating. It’s one of the noble metals that can resist corrosion and oxidation in moist air. 

However, it’s a different story with gold alloys. A considerable drawback of pure gold is its softness. You can’t create jewelry made of 100% gold. That’s why manufacturers add hard metals with higher reactivity like silver, copper, zinc and iron in different percentages to enhance their strength and form rings, earrings and necklaces. 

However, these metals cause red, brown or black discolorations on your ornaments. Thankfully, you can clean them to restore their majestic appearance.

What Are the Different Ways To Clean Earrings?

Before you grab any cleaning material, you must identify your earring materials first. If they’re embellished with gemstones, know that semi-precious ones like amethyst, aquamarine and garnet have hard properties, making them durable and easy to clean in water and many household ingredients. 

However, soft, porous ones like pearl, turquoise, coral and opal can discolor when submerged in water because they absorb the liquid. They’re sensitive, so they’re rarely cut in facets and mostly come in rounded shapes. For instance, opal has only a 5 to 6.5 score on the Mohs Scale’s hardness compared to diamond, with a 10 rating. Using a damp cloth is the best way to clean stud earrings with gemstones. 

That aside, here are four methods to polish your earrings and make them look like you newly bought them.

1. Rubbing Alcohol

Can you clean earrings with rubbing alcohol? Yes, particularly those made of gold. It’s a bit abrasive, but it does the job well. Moreover, it also disinfects it while cleaning. Skip this homemade mixture if you think it will cause some damage to your earrings. This isn’t recommended for antique, fragile or high-end pieces with great value.

Create a 50/50 solution of warm tap water and rubbing alcohol in a bowl. Allow your earrings to soak for a few minutes. Take it out and wipe it dry with a soft cloth. 

2. Neutral-pH Detergent

Another option is to clean gold earrings using a pH-neutral detergent. The steps below are ideal for pieces adorned with hard stones, like diamonds.

pH measures the acidity level of any product. Detergents usually have a pH of 12, which is acidic. Refrain from using this to clean stone-embellished earrings. Instead, look for supplies with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5 or neutral properties. This information should be indicated in the product’s packaging.

To create the mix, combine a few drops of neutral-pH detergent with warm water in a bowl, preferably around 100°F temperature or a few degrees above this. Submerge the jewelry in the solution for a few minutes. Using a new soft-bristled brush, gently clean each side until all grime and dirt clear away. Rinse with fresh, running water and wipe with a dry microfiber cloth or chamois leather. Lastly, allow it to air dry. 

Use a new brush because your old one might have food scraps or dirt stuck on it, which can scratch the jewelry. Additionally, never use paper towels, as some kinds are abrasive. 

3. Washing Soda

Apart from removing laundry dirt, this powerful powder can polish plated or solid silver earrings exceptionally and at an affordable price. In a couple of minutes, your pieces will bring back their immaculate look. Buy it online or from your nearest grocery store and follow these steps to polish the jewelry.

First, use aluminum foil to line the bottom of a deep, non-metallic container. Add hot water, filling it almost to the brim and a handful of washing soda. Drop your silver earrings, ensuring they touch the foil. 

You’ll be surprised at how good this solution is at dislodging the dirt and accumulated grease. After two minutes, remove the earrings and use a soft towel to erase the clean marks and restore their shine. 

4. Salt Water

This mixture is effective at polishing brass earrings. If you keep a few pairs for casual use, a dip in a salt bath can make them beautiful again. 

First, boil two cups of water and transfer it to a bowl. Stir in a tablespoon of salt, allowing for a few minutes until it completely dissolves. Next, grab a sheet of aluminum foil, cut a few pieces and drop them in the bowl. Place your brass earrings to wash them. 

Aluminum combined with salt reacts with brass, stripping away the dirt and grime that tarnishes the jewelry to reveal a shiny surface. 

Can You Use Hydrogen Peroxide To Clean Earrings?

Like baking soda and vinegar, hydrogen peroxide is quite abrasive and may do more harm than good if you use it to polish the metals or precious stones in your earrings. Experts don’t recommend them as cleaning agents for jewelry. Your safest bet is to use what your jeweler recommends. 

Clean Your Earrings To Restore Their Dazzle

Some natural and best ingredients to clean your prized earrings can be found at home. When removing tarnish on luxurious pieces, consult a jewelry expert on recommended solutions. They’re too expensive and valuable to leave the polishing to homemade mixtures. For durable casual items, any of these methods may suffice. Consider the materials before dipping your treasured accessories into these DIY concoctions. 

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