How to Make a Homemade DIY Jewelry Cleaner

Jewelry on a tray next to DIY cleaning materials

The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 10 - 15 mins
  • Total Time: 20 - 45 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $3 to 5

Keeping jewelry clean, especially pieces that you wear frequently, is easy with a homemade DIY jewelry cleaner. You probably have all you need to clean gold, silver, stainless steel, tungsten, and gemstone jewelry in your cleaning pantry.

With a homemade jewelry cleaner and a few minutes, your jewelry will sparkle.

Before You Begin

Before you clean any type of jewelry, try to determine the type of materials used in creating the piece. Is the metal gold or gold-plated? Are the gemstones real or glass? Are the embellishments glued on or held in place with metal? If you suspect the piece is valuable, consult a professional before doing any cleaning beyond rinsing in warm water. You don't want to cause any permanent damage.


While a piece of pearl jewelry can be cleaned with a homemade solution, it should never be left to soak in the solution. Soaking pearl necklaces or bracelets in any type of solution can damage the silk threads used to string the pearls.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 2 small bowls
  • 1 to 2 microfiber cloths
  • 1 small, soft-bristled brush


  • 1 container dishwashing liquid without bleach
  • warm water
  • 1 box baking soda
  • 1 bottle distilled white vinegar


Overhead view of materials needed to make DIY jewelry cleaner

The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

How to Make and Use a Homemade DIY Jewelry Cleaner

  1. Mix the Cleaning Solution

    Pour one cup of warm water into a small bowl and add two to three drops of dishwashing liquid.

    Mixing a DIY jewelry cleaning solution

    The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

  2. Clean the Jewelry

    • Add one or two pieces of jewelry to the cleaning solution. Do not overcrowd the bowl.
    • Allow the jewelry to soak for at least 10 minutes.
    • Use a small, soft-bristled brush (an old toothbrush works great) to gently scrub the jewelry, being sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Take your time on rings and bracelets to make sure you're getting all the lotion, grease, and dirt out. 
    Using a toothbrush to clean the jewelry

    The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

  3. Rinse and Dry the Jewelry

    • Fill a second bowl with hot water.
    • Rinse the jewelry well to remove all traces of the soapy cleaning solution.
    • Use a lint-free microfiber cloth to gently dry and buff the jewelry to a sparkling shine.


    If you are tempted to rinse freshly cleaned jewelry under a running faucet, make sure the stopper is securely in place in the sink to prevent losing the piece down the drain.

    Rinsing the jewelry after cleaning

    The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

How to Make a Homemade Solution to Remove Tarnish from Jewelry

If silver, copper, or brass jewelry is darkened from tarnish, use this DIY cleaner to remove the tarnish before cleaning the entire piece.

  1. Make a Tarnish Removing Paste

    In a small bowl, combine one tablespoon of distilled white vinegar or lemon juice with two tablespoons of baking soda. The mixture will fizz as the ingredients react!

    Mixing a tarnish remover paste

    The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

  2. Coat the Jewelry

    When the fizzing stops, coat the tarnished jewelry with the paste. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and spread the paste on all the tarnished metal surfaces. Let the piece sit for about 30 minutes.

    Using a toothbrush to apply tarnish removal paste to the jewelry

    The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

  3. Rinse, Dry, and Buff

    The paste will be dry so rinse it away with warm water and use the toothbrush to loosen it from tight spots. Dry the jewelry with a lint-free microfiber cloth and buff it to a polished finish. If the tarnish was heavy and traces remain, repeat the steps.

    Rinsing off the jewelry

    The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

Additional Tips for Cleaning Jewelry

  • Use a soft cloth or jeweler's cloth to wipe away smudges and body soil after each wearing.
  • Do not use harsh or abrasive cleaners like ammonia, bleach, or scouring powder when cleaning jewelry.
  • Store jewelry in a soft, cloth bag to protect it from scratches from other pieces in your jewelry box.
  • Can I use hydrogen peroxide to clean jewlery?

    If you would like to disinfect your jewelry, hydrogen peroxide is safe to use on solid gold and platinum jewelry. Clean the jewelry first with a soapy solution and then pour fresh hydrogen peroxide into a small bowl. Add the jewelry, let it stay for one to two minutes, and remove. Dry with a microfiber cloth.

  • What else can I use to clean jewelry at home?

    To add a quick sparkle to gemstones like diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds, fill a small bowl with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. Add the jewelry and let it sit for a few minutes. Remove the piece and buff it to a shine with a microfiber cloth.

  • Does vinegar clean jewelry?

    Distilled white vinegar works well to remove tarnish from metal jewelry. It can also be used on solid gold or platinum pieces to remove dulling body soil. However, costume jewelry or plated jewelry should not be soaked in vinegar because the acid may dull the finish or weaken glues holding embellishments.