How To Clean Earrings With Different Household Items

Jewellery can signify many things. Some wear it for adornment, others see it as part of their heritage, and some even use it to make personal statements. As one of the most popular types of jewellery, earrings have been in use for more than 7000 years. If like us, you’re an earring enthusiast – you’ve likely run into some problems with your favourite pair. Regular use can lead to your earring looking dirty and lacklustre, which takes away from their appeal.

Golden earrings with white crystals and diamonds

Thankfully, you’ve got us to help you out. Whatever the earring type, be it gold, silver, or something else – our guide can help you clean it. Cleaning silver can be a walk in the park actually. We’ve also included several helpful tips to keep your earrings clean for longer – protecting your looks and ears. So, let’s get to it!

How to clean diamond earrings

We know your diamond earrings are undoubtedly dear to you. Seeing your favourite pair of earrings (the one you’ve spent a sizable amount of money on) turn dull through wear and tear, and grime buildup can be a downer. 

But, here’s some good news. You can clean your earrings bedecked with precious gemstones – without turning to a jeweller and in the comfort of your home. Here’s how. 

The soap and water method

A soapy water solution to soak your diamond earrings in can go a long way in eliminating oil and dirt. Plus, the only supplies you’ll need are already available at home, including dishwashing soap, warm water, and a toothbrush with soft bristles.

  1. Add one cup of warm water to one teaspoon of mild dishwashing liquid in a small bowl and mix the solution until the soap dissolves. 
  2. Soak your earrings in the solution for half an hour. Next, dip the soft toothbrush in the mixture and gently rub the back of the earring and the front to loosen any debris or grime. Make sure not to rub too vigorously, as this can damage the precious metal
  3. Once you feel the earrings are sufficiently clean, rinse them with water (warm), and dry them with a lint-free clothAmmonia in a bottle on a white table

The ammonia method

Ammonia can make an excellent cleaning solution for diamond earrings. However, if your earrings contain other types of gemstones, give this technique a miss. While this method doesn’t damage diamonds, the mixture of hot water and ammonia may harm other kinds of precious stones

  1. Mix six parts of hot water with one part of ammonia in a glass bowl. Allow your earrings to soak in the mixture for about 15 to 20 minutes
  2. Now transfer the earrings to a bowl filled with water (warm) and a teaspoon of dish soap. Gently scrub the earrings with a soft jewellery brush while submerged in water. Next, rinse the earrings and dry them with a soft cloth

How to clean gold earrings

​If your favourite pair of earrings happen to be made of gold but have lost their shine and sparkle due to dirt accumulation, here’s how you can eliminate the tarnish

  1. Start by cleaning your earrings with a cotton pad or cotton ball dipped in hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen Peroxide is a great disinfectant for jewellery and is safe to use with jewellery base metal – so there’s no danger of discoloration
  2. Next, fill a bowl with water (warm) and add a teaspoon of mild dish soap. Submerge your earrings in this solution and let them soak for around 20 to 25 minutes
  3. Grab a soft jewellery brush and gently scrub the surface of the earrings – front and back. Pay special attention to the areas that appear darker.
  4. Take the gold earrings out of the soapy solution and rinse with clean water (warm). Dab dry with a microfiber cloth and rub gently until the gold’s back to its gleaming state. Check this if you want to learn how to clean your microfiber cloth.

Gloved hands cleaning silver earrings

How to clean silver earrings

Looking for home cleaning products for sterling silver earrings? How about you trying this cleaning method that comes highly recommended from jewelry cleaners. 

  1. Grab a glass bowl and line it with tinfoil
  2. Lay your silver earrings inside the bowl and cover them generously with baking soda. Next, pour boiling water over the earrings, enough to create a paste-like mixture from the baking soda
  3. Use a jewellery brush and scrub the earrings gently to help rid them of dirt and oxidisation. Make sure you’re wearing gloves during this step to protect your hands from the hot water
  4. Next, rinse the earrings with water (hot) and dry them with a soft clean cloth. Don’t leave your silver earrings to air dry because this may cause the oxidation to return. 

How to clean pearl earrings

Pearls are as beautiful as they are delicate. For that reason, any home cleaning routine for earrings needs to be gentle enough not to cause the surface any damage. Here’s how you can go about achieving clean earrings made of pearls – at home. 

  1. Wet a soft cloth with warm water until it’s damp. Use the material to wipe the earrings clean gently. Next, use a dry cloth to rub the earrings dry gently.
  2. Place the earrings in a well-ventilated area to dry them off completely. Finally, store your earrings in a dry space that’s safe from dust and other household chemicals.

Hands cleaning pearl earrings with fabric cloth
How to keep your earrings looking brand new

Dirty earrings aren’t just ick to look at, but they can also cause ear infections. That’s why cleaning yours regularly is a must. Doing so will also keep your earrings looking clean and new. 

Here are a few easy to implement tips to help you on your earring cleaning journey. 

  • It’s always best to clean your earrings as regularly as you can, especially if you’ve recently gotten an ear-piercing. However, don’t take off your new earrings to clean them for at least six weeks after the ear piercings. In the meantime, clean your ears and your earring posts with alcohol swabs. This will keep your earrings clean and ward off infections. 
  • When your earrings are not in use, it’s best to store them in air-tight bags because constant contact with air can lead to oxidation and discolouration
  • To clean your earrings every week, dab some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and wipe their surface. If you wear pearl earrings for daily wear, clean these using a damp cloth
  • Avoid swimming or showering with your earrings on (unless you have new piercings). The chlorine present in tap water can lead to alloy disintegration over time.
  • Try not to work out with your earrings on. The mixture of substances like sweat, hair products, or perfumes can damage the metal and even cause harm to precious stones.
  • If your earrings haven’t been cleaned in a long time, try getting help from professional cleaners. Once your clean earrings are sparkly new again, be more mindful about cleaning them yourself regularly. 
  • Don’t try the clear nail polish hack on earrings – ever. Nail polish may include toxic ingredients that can be harmful to your skin in the long run. If you’re unable to wear earrings made from reactive metals – it’s best to stick to gold, silver, surgical steel, titanium, or plastic

How often should you clean your earrings?

Typically, cleaning your earrings at least once a week is highly recommended if you have sensitive ears. If you don’t have any troubles with reactive metals or don’t experience ear infections, you can push the time limit to twice a month, but no longer. Remember, cleaning your earrings is good for you and your jewellery. Proper care and maintenance will stop gunk from building up on your earrings and avoid problems like tarnish and dullness

Gold earrings on stones

We’ve reached the end of our how-to-clean-your-earrings guide and hope you’re much better informed on properly caring for your jewellery. Household cleaning your earrings isn’t at all challenging or time-consuming. And, in the long run, it can help extend the shelf-life of your earrings. What’s more, if you feel a deep clean is in order – you can always invest in a jewellery cleaning kit for the best results!

Next project: How to clean a Swarovski mesh bracelet at home.

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