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How to Clean Earrings

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Woman wearing turquoise earring

Things You Need:

  • Two bowls
  • Soft toothbrush
  • Mild dish soap
  • Non-abrasive cleaning cloths
  • Towel

Whenever you buy new earrings, you probably plan on wearing them more than once. You might have diamond studs that you wear every day or multiple pairs you can match to different outfits. The earrings must be cleaned regularly to look good and be hygienic. You'll always have clean earrings to wear if you follow these tips.

Cleaning Earrings:

  1. Mix the cleaning solution. Fill two bowls with lukewarm water. Add three drops of mild dish soap to one bowl and mix it with the water. The water in the other bowl is for rinsing, so don't add anything to it.

  2. Prepare your earrings. Clean earrings at least once or twice a year; consider more cleansings for the pairs you wear frequently. If you're washing several pairs, divide them into groups by metal and gemstone type. You'll want to clean only one or two pairs at a time to prevent the precious metals and gems from getting scratched by accidental contact with one another. Open the clasps and remove the nuts or screws from post earrings.

  3. Clean earrings that have porous gems. Porous, organic gems tend to absorb liquid, which can damage their structure, so they shouldn't be soaked in the cleaning liquid. These gems include pearls, mother-of-pearl shell, turquoise, coral and lapis lazuli. To clean these materials, dip a section of a cloth in the dish soap mixture and then wash the earrings with it. Carefully scrub the metal sections with the toothbrush if the cloth leaves behind dirt and oils. Finish the task by wetting the cloth with clear water and wiping the soapy residue from the earrings. Use this method to clean amber earrings, too, but clean with clear water without soap.

  4. Clean the other earrings. Soak earrings made of metals, diamonds and non-absorbent gemstones -- such as rubies, sapphires, emeralds, amethysts, citrines -- in the cleaning solution for 10 to 15 minutes. Soak the backings from post earrings, too. Use the toothbrush to scrub the earrings if you think the soaking wasn't sufficient. Concentrate on the clasps and posts, but be gentle to avoid scratching the metal. Dip the earrings in the bowl of clear water to rinse off the cleaning solution. .

  5. Dry the jewelry. After rinsing the earrings, rub them with a cloth to remove water drops and lay them on a towel to dry. You can hang earrings with hooks on a jewelry tree. After the pieces dry, lightly buff the metal with a soft cloth to remove any remaining water spots.

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