How to Clean Earrings
- Two bowls
- Soft toothbrush
- Mild dish soap
- Non-abrasive cleaning cloths
Mix the Cleaning Solution
Fill two bowls with lukewarm water. Add three drops of mild dish soap to one bowl and mix it with the water. The water in the other bowl is for rinsing, so don’t add anything to it.
Prepare Your Earrings
Clean earrings at least once or twice a year; consider more cleansings for the pairs you wear frequently. If you’re washing several pairs, divide them into groups by metal and gemstone type. You’ll want to clean only one or two pairs at a time to prevent the precious metals and gems from getting scratched by accidental contact with one another. Open the clasps and remove the nuts or screws from post earrings.
Clean Earrings That Have Porous Gems
Porous, organic gems tend to absorb liquid, which can damage their structure, so they shouldn’t be soaked in the cleaning liquid. These gems include pearls, mother-of-pearl shell, turquoise, coral and lapis lazuli. To clean these materials, dip a section of a cloth in the dish soap mixture and then wash the earrings with it. Carefully scrub the metal sections with the toothbrush if the cloth leaves behind dirt and oils. Finish the task by wetting the cloth with clear water and wiping the soapy residue from the earrings. Use this method to clean amber earrings, too, but clean with clear water without soap.
Clean the Other Earrings
Soak earrings made of metals, diamonds and non-absorbent gemstones — such as rubies, sapphires, emeralds, amethysts, citrines — in the cleaning solution for 10 to 15 minutes. Soak the backings from post earrings, too. Use the toothbrush to scrub the earrings if you think the soaking wasn’t sufficient. Concentrate on the clasps and posts, but be gentle to avoid scratching the metal. Dip the earrings in the bowl of clear water to rinse off the cleaning solution.
Dry the Jewelry
After rinsing the earrings, rub them with a cloth to remove water drops and lay them on a towel to dry. You can hang earrings with hooks on a jewelry tree. After the pieces dry, lightly buff the metal with a soft cloth to remove any remaining water spots.