When you want to keep your diamonds sparkling or your class ring in tip-top shape for the upcoming reunion, a great jewelry cleaner can polish them all while protecting them from damage. The best jewelry cleaner for your pieces will be made to clean their specific materials and stones, and to target dirt and grime that build up over time.
We asked Laura Elizabeth, owner and designer of Laura Elizabeth Jewelry, for her expert tips on jewelry cleaning. She recommends periodic cleaning and maintenance for all pieces, especially those with sentimental value. “I recommend getting the prongs on your wedding band checked often. The last thing you want to do is look down and see you’re missing it!” she says. “Also, I would check cleaning instructions before cleaning any semi-precious or precious metals. Pearls, too!”
With Elizabeth’s advice in mind, our top pick is the Simple Shine Complete Jewelry Cleaning Kit. It cleans most types of jewelry in just a few minutes with minimal scrubbing. Below, you'll also find cleaning solutions, ultrasonic cleaners, steam cleaners, and polishing cloths to keep your favorite pieces looking like new.
Best Overall, Liquid Solution
Simple Shine Complete Jewelry Cleaning Kit
Works on multiple jewelry types
Cannot be used on plated jewelry
While a variety of jewelry cleaners and methods are on the market, a thorough hand cleaning can produce a beautiful, sparkling piece of jewelry. When we tested this Simple Shine kit at home, we found the process of using this jewelry cleaner to be easy and stress-free for restoring our favorite pieces to their former shine. This cleaner can be used on gold, silver, platinum, and treated gemstones. However, we would not recommend using it on soft porous gemstones like pearls, opals, or emeralds—such stones should not be submerged in water, so we would avoid submerging them in any cleaning solution, no matter how gentle.
All in all, we think the Simple Shine Complete Jewelry Cleaning Kit is a great option if you’re looking for a jewelry cleaner that takes just a few minutes to use. This cleaning kit includes a jar of premixed solution; a drop-in plastic tray for your rings, bracelets, earrings, and more; and a small brush to gently but thoroughly loosen any build-up. The formula is also biodegradable, and you don't have to worry about harsh chemicals irritating your skin. After you’ve dipped your jewelry in the solution, scrubbed it free of dirt, and rinsed it, you can use the soft polishing cloth to remove tarnish and restore shine. Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t use the polishing cloth on plated jewelry, since it may have an adverse effect on the finish.
Price at time of publish: $29
Type: Liquid | Amount: 6 ounces | Uses: Gold, platinum, sterling silver, treated gemstones, and more
Best Overall, Ultrasonic
Magnasonic Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner
Works on lots of different jewelry
Doesn’t use chemicals
Timer and auto shut off
Won't remove tarnish
Not safe for porous gemstones
One perk of this machine—which we tested at home and reviewed—is that it doesn’t use chemicals. The fancy Magnasonic Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner surprisingly uses plain-old tap water and 42,000 Hz ultrasonic sound waves to get dirt and grime off of everything from diamond and gold wedding sets to eyeglasses. An ultrasonic cleaner can also be ideal for cleaning stainless steel jewelry with intricate designs that might be hard to scrub manually. An ultrasonic cleaner can also come in handy for cleaning coins, flatware, and even dentures, razors, and toothbrushes. You shouldn't use it to clean porous gemstones or other delicate jewelry, though, as those materials can be susceptible to damage.
The brand advises users to allow ten minutes in between rounds to preserve the life of the device. However, we found you can easily clean multiple items at once. Bonus: You can also set the cleaner on a timer based on the type of jewelry and soil level. Choose among 90, 180, 280, 380, and 480 seconds. It cleans without you having to stand by and monitor, and it automatically shuts off when it’s done. You can even place your jewelry in a basket so tiny pieces, like an earring stud or a small necklace charm, can be cleaned without worry. One note: This machine takes up more space than most liquid cleaning solutions, so be prepared to make some storage room for it.
Price at time of publish: $40
Type: Machine | Amount: 20 ounces | Uses: Gold, silver, platinum, glass, metal, certain non-porous stones
Brilliant Jewelry Cleaner
Creates a brilliant shine
Brush and tray included
May require scrubbing
Polish cloth sold separately
Brilliant’s liquid jewelry cleaner is appropriately named, because it really does bring a brilliant shine to gold, platinum, and non-porous gems, such as diamonds and sapphires. It also doesn't contain harsh bleach or ammonia, so it’s safe to use on many types of jewelry—without irritating your skin.
Choosing a gentle formula may mean more manual scrubbing to eliminate built-up grime and older dirt. But for $15, the kit includes a tray for jewelry to sit in the solution (for up to three minutes) and a small brush to get into all the nooks and crannies. The brush even fits into a slot in the tray for easy storage when you’re done cleaning. For the best sparkle, Brilliant recommends using a soft polishing cloth after rinsing, which you’ll need to purchase separately.
Price at time of publish: $15
Type: Liquid | Amount: 8 fluid ounces | Uses: Gold, platinum, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and non-porous gemstones
Best Polishing Cloth
Sabrina Silver Polishing Cloths, 12 x 15 inches
Works on multiple jewelry types
Cannot be washed
A soft polishing cloth can be an easy way to restore sparkle to your metal jewelry that could use a light cleaning. This set from Sabrina Silver is designed for sterling silver, in particular, but you can also try it on solid gold, brass, and other metals. You'll get three 12-by-15-inch cloths, which feature two sides—a cream-colored side for cleaning dirt and grime from your jewelry and a blue-colored side for restoring shine and luster. You won’t need any cream or liquid to complete the cleaning process for many types of jewelry—just polish away with a little elbow grease.
We appreciate that these clothes are much larger than most polishing cloths, but they cannot be washed once they become covered in tarnish and grime. However, since they come in a pack of three, that should last you months or even years before you'll need to restock with additional polishing cloths. We wouldn't recommend using these to vigorously scrub plated jewelry, as doing so could remove the finish.
Price at time of publish: $16
Type: Polishing cloth | Amount: 3 cloths | Uses: Sterling silver, gold, brass, some other metals
Steamfast SF-1000 JULE Steam Jewelry Cleaner
Heats up quickly
LED light to inspect pieces after cleaning
Not safe for all jewelry
Another chemical-free option is the steam jewelry cleaner from Steamfast. It uses four bars of pressurized steam to lift dirt and grime from your jewelry. A steam jewelry cleaner can be a helpful option for removing grime from solid metal pieces, but we would exercise extreme caution when using this cleaner on any gemstones, as many types of stones can be damaged by heat or excessive moisture. Steamfast provides a guide that addresses whether certain stones might be cleaned using steam (for example, steam cleaning may be suitable for diamonds), but you should always check your jewelry's cleaning instructions before attempting to steam them.
The machine holds up to 12 ounces of water and can provide 15 minutes of continuous steam. You can also opt for burst mode. The steam only takes four minutes to heat up, which is indicated by a ready light on the top of the unit. The machine also features an LED light near the basket so that you can do a thorough inspection after cleaning. While it's undoubtedly a pricey machine, it can be convenient if you have a collection of solid metal jewelry to clean.
Price at time of publish: $80
Type: Machine | Amount: 12 fluid ounces | Uses: Platinum, gold, certain non-porous gemstones
Best Liquid Solution
Connoisseurs Dazzle Drops Advanced
Enough solution for up to 80 cleanings
Doesn't require reusing solution
Not best for larger pieces
Not compatible with porous gemstones
These Connoisseurs Dazzle Drops Advanced are the brand's latest iteration within their extensive line of jewelry-cleaning products. Unlike past formulas, these drops are ammonia-free, so you won't have to worry about skin irritation or wear on your pieces from long-term use of the ingredient. To use this kit, you simply fill the included cup with warm water and add 10 drops of the solution. Then, place your jewelry in the dip tray and drop it in the solution for 30 seconds, brush your jewelry, and rinse and dry it for a good-as-new sparkle.
We love that this kit offers enough of the concentrated solution for up to 80 cleanings. You can also feel good making a fresh batch every time you need to clean your jewelry rather than wondering what grime may be lingering from past cleanings. Unfortunately, as with other liquid solutions in our roundup, this kit is not ideal for larger pieces and should not be used to clean soft, porous gemstones. However, we still appreciate the mix-on-demand formula and easy-to-use design that makes this kit well worth the affordable price tag.
Price at time of publish: $9
Type: Liquid | Amount: 1 fluid ounce | Uses: Platinum, gold, non-porous gemstones
Best for Silver
Weiman Jewelry Polish Cleaner and Tarnish Remover Wipes
Cleans and removes tarnish
Protects against future tarnish
Very easy to use
Not great for large items
Not all cleaning solutions are effective on tarnished silver, which is why you'll need a specific silver polishing product for it. Weiman Silver Wipes are an easy-to-use option for cleaning and polishing your silver jewelry, and the ammonia-free formula is gentle enough to use on silver settings that house gemstones. That doesn't mean you should use them to clean the stones, but the wipes can give you more control to work around stones than a liquid solution. You can also use them on silverware and any other silver-made items. We love how the wipes leave behind a protective coating that helps keep tarnish from forming in the future.
These wipes are easy to use but relatively expensive. They come in a resealable container, and each wipe is only for single use. They also don’t cover large areas, so we recommend a different cleaning method for larger silver items, such as serving trays and silver decor. However, for smaller jewelry, they’re ideal and easy to use.
Price at time of publish: $8
Type: Wipes | Amount: 20 wipes | Uses: Silver, gold, gemstones
Our top pick is Simple Shine Complete Jewelry Cleaning Kit, because it is compatible with many types of jewelry and requires minimal scrubbing. For an even more budget-friendly option, consider Brilliant Jewelry Cleaner. Neither of these formulas contains harsh bleach or ammonia, ingredients that can damage certain jewelry materials and cause skin irritation.
What to Look for in a Jewelry Cleaner
Application and Method
As seen in this roundup, jewelry cleaners are available in a variety of formulations, including liquids, wipes, cloths, machines, creams, and sprays. While many formulas are designed to be effective and friendly for a variety of metal and non-porous gemstones, we recommend paying close attention to both your jewelry's care instructions and the manufacturer's list of appropriate surfaces before using a product.
Liquid jewelry cleaners are relatively affordable options, but they're often best for dainty jewelry pieces like earrings, bracelets and pendant necklaces. The containers they come in typically aren't large enough to clean watches, chunky chain pieces, or large medallions. Many liquid jewelry cleaners come with a small brush to agitate dirt and grime out of crevices in your pieces. The chemicals in these formulas are not always safe for all stones and can irritate your skin, so it's important to closely adhere to the manufacturer's instructions for usage.
Wipes are great for on-the-go cleaning, but they can be pricey per use, and they can also contain the same chemical cleaning agents as liquid cleaners.
Ultrasonic and steam machine cleaners are chemical-free and can give your fine jewelry that fresh-from-the-jewelers clean, but they are more expensive and take up more room on a countertop or under a sink. They can often be used with a wide range of jewelry, but, again, they can damage delicate gemstones.
It's best to keep in mind that every metal and gemstone will require different care. While we have tried to recommend products that are compatible with a range of metals and gemstones, some application methods and formulas won't be suitable for softer metals, plated metals, or certain gemstones.
Ammonia is a common cleaning agent in jewelry cleaning solutions, but it is a harsh chemical. Ammonia can damage certain metals and stones, and even when diluted, it can irritate skin. While ammonia is helpful for fully removing dirt and grime from small crevices in a jewelry piece, it will not remove tarnish from silver jewelry and is too strong to be used on plated metal pieces. All of the cleaning products in our roundup are free from ammonia.
Pearls, amber, opals, and other porous stones should receive extra-special care when cleaning, because harsh chemicals can damage them, and exposure to water can cause disruptions in their color patterns. We recommend cleaning stones like pearls with only a soft cloth or warm soapy water.
Steam and ultrasonic cleaners are two chemical-free ways to clean your jewelry. An ultrasonic cleaner will ensure that all dirt and grime is lifted off your jewelry, and it is compatible with gold, platinum, glass, and stainless steel. Steam cleaners (such as the Steamfast JULE Steam Jewelry Cleaner, our "best steam" pick) are another alternative for solid metal pieces. However, we recommend keeping all your gemstones away from steam cleaners, as heat may damage them.
It's also important to keep ingredients in mind when cleaning around your house while wearing rings or bracelets. “Keep your jewelry away from harsh chemicals like bleach!” cautions Laura Elizabeth, owner and designer of Laura Elizabeth Jewelry. The best jewelry cleaners use mild ingredients that are safe for your pieces. Our "best budget" pick, the Brilliant Jewelry Cleaner, is ammonia-free and safe for most metals and many non-porous gemstones, and it shouldn't irritate your skin.
If your jewelry came with care instructions, you should follow those directions strictly. Otherwise, every jewelry cleaner includes a recommended use list that details which materials are compatible and safe to treat with it. You should also consider the size of your pieces, especially if your jewelry cleaner solution uses a tray to keep the pieces in place. Delicate chains and small earrings may slip through larger slots.
Storing fine jewelry correctly can keep it from getting dirty in the first place. It’s especially important to store silver pieces with care, because they can become tarnished easily. Pearls and other porous stones are also fragile and require special care.
How do you clean jewelry to make it sparkle?
It's important to follow the instructions on your jewelry cleaner. The directions almost always explain how to submerge the piece in a cleaning solution or put it into a machine that uses sound waves or steam. You can use a small brush to clean intricate designs, although you should look for a soft-bristled brush made specifically for jewelry cleaning. After cleaning, rinse your piece and enjoy the sparkle!
While a jewelry cleaner can simplify the cleaning process, Elizabeth also recommends a three-step DIY process for cleaning your silver jewelry and removing tarnish. “Add a few drops of liquid dish soap, like Dawn, to warm water. Mix until bubbles form. Soak jewelry in the solution for anywhere from five to ten minutes,” Elizabeth says. Depending on your jewelry, you may need to shorten the soaking time.
“Use a soft bristle brush, such as a toothbrush, to clean any crevices,” Elizabeth suggests. “Rinse jewelry in warm water. Dry by gently patting with a microfiber towel. Do not use paper towels; they are too rough.”
Can you wash a jewelry cleaning cloth?
Jewelry cleaning cloths have polishes embedded in them that make them effective for cleaning and polishing jewelry. Washing these items removes the polish. For some brands, you can continue to use a jewelry-cleaning cloth multiple times. Once you see that it no longer shines and polishes your pieces, it’s time to replace rather than launder. If your polishing cloth gets dirty, you’ll need to replace it.
How do you make a homemade jewelry cleaner?
Baking soda is an effective cleaning agent to remove tarnish and dirt from silver jewelry. To clean silver jewelry in a DIY manner, line a baking dish with foil, and fill it with water. Add baking soda and your silver jewelry, and then watch the bubbling action lift up any dirt and remove tarnish. You can follow up with a polishing cloth for the best shine and sparkle.
We don't recommend using baking soda on gemstones or softer metals, as it may scratch them. It’s best to use a cleaning solution designed for the specific material of your pieces, if you aren’t aware of an at-home solution.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Katie Melynn, a freelance writer who specializes in home and family products. She has been writing for The Spruce since 2019. Melynn also talked to Laura Elizabeth, owner and designer of the luxury jewelry line Laura Elizabeth Jewelry, which focuses on sustainable materials, ethical production, and elegant style.
Emma Phelps, an updates writer for The Spruce, refreshed this roundup to include further shopping recommendations and additional product options.