Most gold jewelry can be easily cleaned at home with a soft toothbrush and warm soapy water. Or, if you are lazy like me, there are solutions that you can purchase. Never use harsh detergents or bleach. You can gently rub the piece with a soft, dry cloth too. You do not need to buy an at-home ultrasonic jewelry cleaner! Those devices can shake stones loose or break stones with hidden fractures. Leave ultrasonic cleaning to the professionals.
Soft and brittle stones such as coral, lapis, opal, turquoise and pearls need special care. Stick to the soft cloth for them or bring them to a jeweler.
Xenobia Ring © Wendy Brandes 2007-2008
Photo by John Muggenborg
Wright’s Jewelry Cleaner is a good product. The company has a list of guidelines for how to clean different metals and stones here. I use Hagerty cleaning products, while Blitz has cleaners that are a touch more expensive but still under $10. I was inspired to share these links after I noticed a jewelry designer selling a jar of cleaning solution for nearly $20. I’m not going to say who. Everyone’s got a right to make money and it would probably be a lot smarter if I started charging whatever I could get rather than basing my price on my cost. But it’s not my style to buy cleaning solution wholesale, put a label with my logo on it and resell it to my customers for ten times what I paid. Cleaning solution with a Wendy Brandes label is the kind of thing I’d give to a customer as a thank-you-for-buying-jewelry gift. Don’t get ripped off!