Blog / Jewellery

Cleaning your jewellery at home

Sunday October 4, 2020
Stephen Sutton

Whilst we continue to wash our hands frequently and use hand sanitiser at every shop entrance, we mustn’t forget to keep our jewellery clean too.

An ideal time to start writing this blog, with ‘Wash your hands’ ringing in our ears, there is a lot more soap, hand cream and bread dough going into your jewellery – well in our house at least! We are often asked the best way to keep your jewellery clean at home and we have for many years, answered with the same answer:


You don’t need to buy any special cleaners or dips, you have all you need under the kitchen sink.


Please don’t use gin; it’s much better in a glass this evening once you’ve finished cleaning your jewellery.

cleaning equipment required

Equipment required:

  • Kettle
  • Bowl / mug
  • Old toothbrush
  • Sieve, (For security)
  • Kitchen towel
  • Cloth, (not a duster)
  • Washing up Liquid

cleaning - soak the ring

The Soak

OK, so boil the kettle, you only need a small amount of water, enough to fill a third of the bowl or mug.

Once boiled, tip into the bowl or mug to a third full then drop a few drops of washing up liquid in and drop your jewellery in.

*Tip allow the water to cool a little, don’t burn yourself.

**NEVER put emeralds, opals or pearls into boiling water!
(for pearls see final section)

Do not put too many items in at once; diamonds & sapphires are very hard and will scratch other gemstones if they rub against one another.

Leave them to soak for between 8-15 minutes, depending on when you last had them cleaned.

The Clean

Once they have soaked, use the toothbrush to gently clean the underside of the rings gallery – this will remove the build-up of soap and cream etc.

Repeat the soak if the jewellery is still looking dirty.

Once clean, place in a sieve, put the plug in the sink and run under warm water. Cleaning gemstone rings can often identify other underlying problems – so we use the sieve and keep the plug in to stop anything being washed away. We can reset gemstones fairly easily, but it’s much harder to find matching gemstones – so better to be safe.

cleaning - sieve jewellery

The Polish

Once rinsed, dry off with the paper towel and then use the soft cloth to buff up.

Although not essential, you can use one of the many types of polishing cloths (used for different metals) that are available.

If you are interested in purchasing a polishing cloth, we highly recommend (and have used many times) these two companies:

Connoisseurs UK
Town Talk Polish

This will brighten up gold or silver – however, platinum is so hard you may not notice much difference.

Now, your jewellery will look much brighter and more importantly, will be cleaner (and not harbouring any dreaded viruses).

If you don’t want to do it yourself

Cry for the Moon has always offered complimentary jewellery cleaning, and we would love to see you to help with yours. We do not charge, but ask that you make a small donation to one of the Charities we support: Salvation Army, Red Cross, Scope or Shooting Star Children’s Hospice.

We do also offer a more thorough clean and polishing service which that requires a few days in the workshop, subject to workload. This service is charged from £25.00 per item. Please ask for more details with regards to white gold and rhodium plating.

Pearl Cleaning

Pearls are perhaps the one gemstone that dislikes water. When I say ‘dislike’, this is because they are formed/grown in water and thus can still be affected by any type of liquid they are placed in.

So, we also suggest that the best way to keep them clean is to not get them dirty (yes, far easier said than done), but the one thing to remember with pearls of any type is ‘last thing on, first thing off’.

Perfume, makeup, creams and moisturisers will all affect the nacre of pearls, changing the colour or attacking the surface.

If you have pearls that are dirty, a damp cloth is the best way to protect them whilst removing any dirt. The majority of pearls are strung on silk, which is naturally strong and not as tough on the drilled holes – but, silk again is not great in any liquid and will discolour very quickly.

We do recommend that pearls are restrung at least once a year, even if not worn as the silk will stretch and weaken over time.

Stephen SuttonHead of Sales