A simple ammonia solution can boost the brightness of both gold and silver. Mix 1/2 a cup of clear ammonia with a cup of warm water (tap water should be fine). Add the gold and silver items to the solution. Soak them for around 10 minutes. Remove them and wipe them clean with a soft cloth, then leave them to dry. You should notice an immediate difference. We do not advise that you use this method for anything containing pearls, as it could potentially damage their delicate surface, but everything else is fine - it works great on diamonds!
Over time, silver will pick up a tarnish that dulls its appearance. However, a simple solution using baking soda and aluminum foil can get it shining like new! Boil enough water in a pot to comfortably cover the silver jewelry you need to clean.
Shred a sheet of foil and add a tablespoon of baking soda. You should see some bubbling and smell an odor of rotten eggs as the sulfuric gases react and evaporate. Use a plastic or wooden utensil to gently move the jewelry items around in the mixture, ensuring that they come into contact with the foil. Repeat the process for as long as necessary, and when you remove the jewelry, you will notice that it is bright and shiny once more. It is best to only clean solid silver items using this method in case the solution loosens any jewels in rings or necklaces.
Diamonds are one of our most loved precious stones, but unfortunately, they are also magnets for dirt and grime. Over time, that beautiful diamond wedding ring or favorite necklace can lose some of its special sparkle. There is an easy solution though - a humble window cleaner found in your cupboard!
Fill a small bowl with window cleaner, enough to cover the entire diamond item. Leave the item to soak in it for at least ten minutes. Use a soft brush (a child's toothbrush is ideal) dipped in the solution to carefully brush away any dirt and grime, paying special attention to the back of the diamond where grime builds up. Finally, soak the diamond in boiling water (you can add some mild detergent to the water if you wish). Rinse thoroughly under a hot tap and then allow the item to dry naturally. You will be left with a diamond that dazzles once more!
Ketchup works well when used to shine tarnished silver because the natural acid found in tomatoes is a great metallic cleaning agent. If your item has a smooth surface, you can simply dunk it in a bowl of ketchup for three or four minutes, then clean thoroughly.
If it has a tooled surface with lines or crevasses, use a soft brush to work the ketchup into the cracks. Again, repeat the trick for a few minutes, without leaving the ketchup on longer than is necessary, before soaking it in a bowl of water and working off any excess residue with your hands. It's an eco-friendly and effective (if slightly bizarre) trick that really works!
A simple solution composed of soda water mixed with a small amount of gentle soap is effective for cleaning your precious stones, such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, as well as restoring the glisten of your gold. It costs next to nothing and is free of any chemicals, yet is as successful as most expensive cleaners. The carbonated water's fizz removes dirt and smudges that have built up over time, ensuring that your jewelry looks glorious once more.
Beer is a great way of restoring a bit of shine to your gold and silver. You need to make sure you don't use a dark ale, so lager and amber-colored beers are the ones to go for. Simply open a bottle and splash a small amount on to a soft cloth and rub it repeatedly across your ring or bracelet. The results should be noticed pretty quickly. You only need to use a small amount as well, so you can celebrate by drinking the rest of the bottle!
Vodka is actually something of a super-cleaner (and you can find more uses for it here) but one of its most handy properties is its ability to clean jewelry, including metals and crystalline gemstones such as diamonds, emeralds, and rubies, etc (you should not use vodka for your pearls and opal). Dip a napkin or cloth into a cup of vodka and use it to clean around larger items, or just drop your ring into the cup and leave it for a few minutes (we prefer the cloth method as you will feel a bit better about drinking the vodka afterward!).
Toothpaste is another surprising multi-purpose cleaner and its success in cleaning jewelry is becoming increasingly well-known. You need to make sure you pick the right kind of toothpaste - the old-style white paste is best, as clear 'gel'-style solutions do not work and will not rub in properly. You also need to avoid toothpastes with specific whitening agents and powerful tartar control. The standard, cheap versions of the top brands will be great though.
Again, use a soft cloth smeared in paste to wipe over the jewelry item. A soft-bristled brush can be used to effectively clean between the crevasses of detailed jewelry. Rinse the jewelry in warm water and wipe over with a dry cloth and voila, your item is twinkling again!
Alka-Seltzer is an essential addition to any home medicine cupboard, but it can also double up as a jewelry cleaner. The famous 'fizz fizz' promised in the advertising campaigns over the years is a powerful way of loosening hard-to-remove grime from rings, earrings, and bracelets. Two tablets of Alka-Seltzer dissolved in warm water should do it. Leave the jewelry in the solution for around two minutes before draining, then wipe dry with a soft cloth.
Vinegar and Baking Soda mixed together make for a powerful agent that can restore your silver's sparkle. Take a half cup of white vinegar, add two tablespoons of baking soda and drop your dirty jewelry in for two to three hours. You can leave them to soak - just give them the occasional gentle prod and stir. Once the three hours are up, remove and, as always, dry them thoroughly with a soft cloth. This tip should be used for solid silver. Avoid putting your gemstones into a solution this powerful.