How To Shine Tarnished Costume Jewelry


Tarnished costume jewelry can be unsightly and tedious to restore. However, with the right tools and techniques, almost any piece of jewelry can be brought back to its former shine. This guide will cover everything you need to know about restoring tarnished costume jewelry, from simple household cleaning solutions to professional services.

First, let’s consider at home solutions. For simpler items such as silver or gold plating that has lost its shine, a good way to start is by using baking soda and water paste. Mix baking soda and water into a paste-like substance and apply it gently with a soft cloth across the surface of the metal. After letting this sit for about five minutes, rinse off the remainder of the solution and dry the item off with a dry cloth. In more extreme cases, products designed specifically for cleaning jewelery may be necessary; these are available commercially at craft stores or online retailers.

For pieces that have become heavily tarnished over time–such as antique jewelry that has been exposed to air for many years–professional restoration services may be required in order to properly restore them back to their original condition. The process consists of targeting particular metal types in order to achieve best results; common metals used includes brass and gold plating along with silver ones as well. Professional restoration services take into account factors such as age, markings on metal pieces and other aspects of the piece before they initiate further steps in restoring the object so they make sure they do not damage or ruin it completely while working on it. A trusted jeweler should have all necessary experience in dealing with restoring tarnished items like heirloom necklaces or wrist watches making them look like brand new once again!

Specific Cleaning Methods for Different Types of Jewelry

There are several ways to clean tarnished costume jewelry. The type of cleaning method you should use depends on the composition of your jewelry. If the pieces contain sterling silver, for instance, you should use a specific technique that won’t corrode the silver. If it has a plated or enameled finish, treat it like any other type of metal jewelry — soak it in warm, soapy water and scrub with a soft-bristled toothbrush, or rub it gently with baking soda. For items made of gold or brass, rubbing them with a soft cloth and an appropriate solution can usually return their luster. Genuine gemstone accents should never be soaked; instead, wipe them down with a slightly damp cloth and some mild soap or window cleaner. Depending on how severe the tarnishing is, some costume jewelry may require more involved approaches. A round of polishing with toothpaste followed by buffing with a chamois cloth can help restore shine to most pieces; just be sure not to take any abrasive measures that could risk further damage.

Removing Tarnish with DIY Solutions

For those of us who don’t have access to professional jewelry cleaning services, there are a few DIY solutions we can use to help make tarnished costume jewelry look just like new again. The most common and simplest solution is to clean costume jewelry with baking soda paste. To create the paste, mix three parts baking soda to one part water until you have a thick consistency. Apply the baking soda paste evenly onto the entire surface of the jewelry piece, leaving it on for around five minutes before wiping it off with a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and buff dry. This method is very effective in removing tarnish from costume jewelry without damage or abrasives. For tougher situations – such as when heavily-tarnished silver is present – you can use white vinegar instead of water for added effectiveness.

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Another effective homemade solution for removing mild tarnish from costume jewelry is toothpaste. Apply the toothpaste directly onto the surface of the jewellery item, scrubbing in circular motions for about five minutes before rinsing off with warm water and buffing dry. Using this method works best on gold-plated jewelry as it is generally easier to clean than silver-plated pieces due to its softer moisturizing agents that help dissolve dirt particles more effectively while protecting the base layer of plating underneath.

In addition, you can also remove minor amounts of tarnish in costume jewelry by using materials such as aluminum foil and laundry detergent detergents. For aluminum foil, place your costume piece into a small bowl lined with crumpled up foil, fill with hot water and add a teaspoon of laundry detergent liquid soap. Allow the Jewelry sit in this aluminum foiled bath for around 15 minutes, then rinse under running tap water before drying off with a soft cloth or cotton swab dipped into rubbing alcohol or white vinegar.

Utilizing Professional Cleaning Products and Techniques

Tarnished costume jewelry can be quite a nightmare, from taking away its shine to giving it an unsightly appearance. Yet, with the right professional cleaning products and techniques, you can restore it to its original condition. One of the most potent solutions is jewelry specific cleaner or polishing products available at local stores or online. You’ll want to follow the product’s guidelines carefully and make sure that the material your jewelry is made of won’t react negatively with the cleaning solution before proceeding. For example, using a cloth impregnated with jewelry polish on gold plated items will likely strip off some of the finishes. Similarly, be aware that some stones may not react well to certain cleaners either.

For more delicate costume jewelry pieces such as heirloom pieces from years past or ones that feature fragile stones such as emeralds or opals, you might consider taking them to a professional casino jeweler for a deep cleanse and shin. Even if you’re able to do this yourself successfully at home perhaps using ultrasonic cleaning devices and other tools specific for jewelers, there’s a chance of damaging one design element or another unintentionally by mistakes in execution which is why it’s often best to leave it to those who possess knowledge and experience. And finally, once you’ve given your costume jewels their original shine again, it will certainly pay off in maintenance if you commit yourself to proper storage after use in order to preserve its brilliance continuously over time.

Tips for Minimizing Tarnish Formation

Maintaining tarnished costume jewelry does not have to be a tedious chore. Taking a few preventive steps can help you avoid tarnish and keep your costume jewelry looking sparkly and new.

One of the best ways to prevent your jewelry from turning even slightly dull is by regularly cleaning it with a soft cloth or soft-bristled brush. This will help you maintain its brilliant luster. Also, people often allow other metals to come into contact with their costume jewelry which can cause an allergic reaction and impact the metal’s shine. Wear protective gloves when handling any metal that may be unfamiliar.

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Additionally, remember to take your time and store it correctly in appropriate holders or pouches when not wearing it. Be sure to keep it away from heat and sun exposure as much as possible; heat and sunlight can cause costume jewelry to discolor quickly and drastically reduce its lifespan as well. Avoid harsh chemicals such as detergents and hairsprays when wearing your costume jewelry too, since these substances are abrasive corrosives that can damage the metal’s finish. Lastly, don’t leave your Costume Jewelry submerged in water for long periods of time; this may cause the pieces to rust or warp over time.

Maintenance Advice for Keeping Jewelry Looking Good

When it comes to keeping costume jewelry looking its best, there is no substitute for regular cleaning. To avoid tarnish and keep stones sparkling, it’s important to clean jewelry every one to two weeks. Begin by wiping down each piece with a clean soft cloth—this will help rub off grime, dirt and dead skin particles that can build up over time.

For tougher stains, create a solution of warm water and mild detergent or a few drops of ammonia. Mix the cleaner together in a small bowl and use an old toothbrush to gently scrub the jewelry until all of dirt is removed. Allow the pieces to sit in the cleansing solution for five minutes prior to thoroughly rinsing them off with lukewarm water. Make sure all suds are completely eliminated before drying the pieces with a microfiber cloth or paper towel.

To keep costume jewelry from oxidizing, it’s advisable to wrangle away any moisture afterpieces are cleaned as this will prevent tarnish buildup on metal surfaces and settings. A fast and effective way of achieving this is to use an air compressor or hair dryer at low heat setting—move the tool back and forth until each item is completely dry of moisture. In addition, store cost me jewelry in individual pouches or sealed containers when not wearing them; this will keep dust particles away while ensuring your pieces stay looking beautiful.


When your costume jewelry looks tarnished, it can be a real eye-sore and you may think it has seen its last days. But, with just a little effort, you can make your old jewelry look almost brand new again. Using things you probably already have in your home, such as baking soda, aluminum foil or a gentle cloth, you can restore the shine on any metal-based costume jewelry. Simply follow the steps listed above and you will be well on your way to bringing back your jewelry’s natural luster. You may soon discover that instead of buying something new, those dull pieces you had forgotten about become a standout accessory once again! With a simple cleaning process, some old jewelry can look fresh and modern for many more years to come.