How To Whiten Jewelry


Whitening your jewelry can make it look like new again! Not only will it restore its original shine and sparkle, but it also helps remove discoloration and tarnish, keeping your jewelry looking shiny and beautiful. It’s an easy to do task that doesn’t require much time or effort, so you too can enjoy the benefits of beautiful clean jewelry.

The most common method of whitening your jewelry is to use a polishing cloth designed specifically for jewelry. These cleaning cloths are great for removing dirt, fingerprints and other contaminants from delicate metals. They can be used to quickly and effectively buff away any dullness or discoloration from your jewelry without damaging the surface. Many companies also offer specialized polishes designed specifically for different kinds of metals — silver, gold, brass — and these are usually gentle enough to use on more delicate stones such as pearls or opals.

Some jewelers also recommend soaking your jewelry in a solution made with equal parts hot water and dish soap overnight in order to get it sparkling clean again. This method is great if you don’t want to take the time to hand-polish each piece. You can then rinse off the solution with cold water the next day and dry with a soft cloth before wearing or storing your pieces again.

For more heavily tarnished items, professional ultrasonic cleaners are available which send a stream of tiny bubbles through the liquid which effectively remove dirt particles from complex areas on the jewelry while still being gentle enough not to cause damage to gems or softer metals. Ultrasonic cleaners come in many sizes so you can find one which suits your needs without taking up valuable space in your storage area.

Identify the Type of Jewelry You Have

Before you attempt to whiten your jewelry, make sure to identify the material it is made of. For example, if the jewelry piece features silver or gold, then it is a metal. However, if the jewelry also includes stones such as diamonds or pearls, these will react differently when exposed to a cleaning solution and must be treated with extra care. Similarly, other materials such as glass will also require different treatment than metals in order to achieve the desired results. It is essential that you identify the type of material before attempting to whiten the jewelry in order to avoid damaging it.

Evaluate the Level of Damage on Your Jewelry

Before attempting to whiten your jewelry, it’s important to evaluate the level of damage. Natural damage occurs over time when comes in contact with chemicals and even through everyday wear and tear. Cosmetic damage is any damage that appears from external sources such as scratches or marks from chlorine or other harsh cleaners. Depending on the extent of the material’s damage, there can be different strategies for restoring its luster. For example, some materials like silver may only require a few simple steps such as polishing with a cloth or a special silver cleaning solution to bring back its shine. Other materials may require more aggressive treatments such as an ultrasonic bath and even electroplating for a long-lasting result. It’s highly recommended to have an experienced professional evaluate any jewelry before attempting repairs yourself to avoid further damage.

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Gather Materials Needed to Brighten Jewelry

Making your jewelry look newer and brighter requires that you gather the right materials. Depending on how much you’re cleaning, it’s likely that you’ll need things such as baking soda, toothpaste, vinegar, a bowl or container large enough to hold the jewelry, a soft brush or cloth, and water. To mix a solution for cleaning silver and gold jewelry at home, combine one tablespoon of baking soda with two tablespoons of vinegar mixed into one cup of hot water in the bowl or container. If you are looking for an easier solution for whitening gold jewelry specifically, apply non-gel toothpaste to the piece and rub with a soft brush before rinsing well in warm water. Be sure to dry your pieces thoroughly after each cleaning session.

Home Remedies to Brighten Jewelry

Baking Soda Method: Create a paste from baking soda and warm water and use a soft cloth to gently rub the mixture into the jewelry. Let sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with warm water and buff dry with a soft cloth.

Vinegar Method: Pour white vinegar into a small bowl or container and submerge your jewelry item. Soak in the vinegar for 15 minutes, rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Lemon Juice Method: Squeeze lemon juice onto the piece of jewelry, then scrub gently with an old toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and gently pat the piece dry with a soft cloth.

Toothpaste Method: Cover all surface areas of your tarnished jewelry with regular toothpaste—not gel—and use an old toothbrush to work into crevices; let rest for a few minutes before rinsing clean. Finish by brushing any remaining residue off your jewelry before drying it off completely.

Professional Solutions to Brighten Jewelry

Jewelers: Taking jewelry to a professional jeweler is a great way to whiten jewelry. Jewelers are able to determine the best approach for cleaning and restoring luster and shine, depending on the type of metal used in the jewelry piece. This could include custom polishing, steam cleaning, and more.

Jewelry Cleaners: Jewelry cleaners are specifically designed to clean and restore silver, gold, and other precious metals. These are specialty products that remove dirt, tarnish and other debris without interfering with the jewellery’s structural integrity or strength.

Jewelry Polishing Kits: Jewelry polishing kits are an economical solution for cleaning and restoring luster to dulled or scratched jewelry pieces. The kits typically come with cotton swabs, rubbers erasers, polishing cloths or buffing cloths that have been treated with a special formula that targets tarnish and oxidation on silver, gold, platinum and other popular metals.

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Polishing Cloths: Polishing cloths are an excellent way of removing tarnish from jewelry pieces. These soft cloths contain special abrasives that help to quickly remove corrosion buildup while brightening otherwise dull parts of a piece of jewelry.

Tips To Help Maintain the Brightness of Your Jewelry

Proper Storage: To keep your jewelry looking its brightest, store it in a fabric lined jewelry box or pouch. This helps to minimize scratches and prevent tarnishing from occurring due to humidity, light and air exposure.

Regular Cleaning: Regular cleaning is an important step in protecting the shine of your jewelry. You can start by using a soft cloth such as cotton or microfiber and gently buff away any dirt or buildup on the surface. To remove more stubborn grime, you can brush the item with a soft bristle toothbrush and warm, soapy water. Alternatively, you could soak it in a specialized cleaner that is suitable for gold or silver items. Dry the jewelry carefully with a lint-free cloth and store it away in a clean pouch afterwards. If necessary, you can also use a jeweler’s polishing wheel to restore deeper levels of shine.


Prolonging the life of your jewelry begins with proper storage in a cool, dry place. Regular cleaning is recommended to maintain the original look. Careful maintenance can also save money compared to costly repairs or replacements. Do not wear any jewelry when swimming in chlorinated water, or when doing any type of manual labor like gardening, painting, or housework. Always remember to remove it before you go to bed and keep perfumes, lotions and other beauty products away from them.

The final step to keeping your jewelry looking its best is regular polishing. Polishing helps protect the finish by removing built-up dirt and residue and restoring it back to its original sparkle. There are a few ways you can polish jewelry on your own at home, such as using toothpaste and a soft cloth, or lemon juice and aluminum foil. If these methods are too abrasive for an item’s delicate finish then bring it in for professional cleaning every now and then so that it remains sparkling white for years to come. Finally, be sure to store pieces individually so they don’t rub together or scratch each other over time.

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