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How to Properly Clean Your Fine Jewelry

November 8, 2016

Woman cleaning jewelry with soap and water


Many of us are guilty of seldom or never removing our fine jewelry from our bodies. For fear of forgetting to put them back on, losing them, or simply being without them for a period of time, many people shower, exercise, cook, and do other compromising activities while wearing jewelry. Over time, these activities cause dirt and grime to accumulate, making fine pieces appear dull and even causing irreversible damage to them. It’s important to clean your fine jewelry on a regular basis in order to keep them clean and in their best condition. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for polishing jewelry, however, which is why we’ve put together a guide for cleaning all types of materials that your favorite and most special pieces are made of.




Pearls are softer than other gemstones, which makes them more susceptible to damage from chemicals and certain atmospheric conditions. Because they are so delicate, pearls should always be handled extremely carefully. To clean them, mix warm water with a mild soap. Dip a soft cloth in the mixture so it becomes damp and gently wipe the pearls. To dry, wipe the pearls with a clean, soft cloth. Never submerge the pearls in water, as it can damage the outer coating and weaken the silk threads.



Silver is notorious for tarnishing over time, so it’s important to frequently clean these pieces to keep them shiny and beautiful. If you do some research, you’ll find countless DIY techniques for cleaning silver jewelry, but our recommendation is to soak your pieces in  a professional jewelry cleaning solution. There are many inexpensive options available and they can be purchased at most jewelry and some drug stores.



To clean gold jewelry, fill a bowl with warm water and add a few drops of mild, detergent-free dishwashing soap. Allow your jewelry to soak in the solution for several minutes and then gently scrub them with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Rinse the piece(s) under warm water and dry with a clean, soft cloth. Note that this method should only be used to clean pure gold pieces- gold plated jewelry should never be scrubbed or soaked.




Sapphires, emeralds, rubies and other precious stones can be susceptible to scratching depending on their hardness, so it’s important to be careful when cleaning these pieces. Generally, a basic glass cleaner is enough to clean the surface of these stones so they can shine and reflect light to their full potential. Be weary of the type of band or chain these pieces have and clean those parts accordingly.



Regularly cleaning your jewelry is the best way to prevent damage and keep your pieces as sparkly as they were the day you bought them. If you’re uncertain about cleaning your fine jewelry yourself or still feel like they’re not as clean as you want them to be, stop into any Sartor Hamann location to have them polished and inspected by our professionals!