What Cleans Costume Jewelry


Costume jewelry is a great and affordable way to add some flair to your wardrobe. But like any other item that you use frequently, care must be taken to ensure it remains in top condition. To ensure the quality and longevity of your costume jewelry, you need to clean it on a regular basis. Fortunately, cleaning costume jewelry doesn’t take much time or effort; all you need are a few simple materials and a bit of know-how.

To clean costume jewelry, start by preparing a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap or liquid detergent. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub away dirt and buildup from the surface of the jeweled pieces. Rinse the pieces thoroughly with lukewarm water and then lay them on a soft cloth to air dry. Alternatively, you can also use commercial jewelry cleaners for greater effectiveness. Be sure to follow the specific instructions for each product as many require brushing with thick pastes before rinsing with lukewarm water.

Additionally, costume jewelry can also be soaked in white vinegar for about 10 minutes once a month for an even deeper cleanse – just make sure not overcrowd the container so the pieces are able to fully submerge under the liquid. Finally, never use abrasive cloths or paper towels on your costume jewelry as they can cause irreparable damage over time. Instead opt for softer fabrics such as flannel or microfiber clothes which will allow polish off grime without scratching up its surface finish. With proper cleaning and care, your beautiful pieces will continue glistening for many years!

Components of Costume Jewelry and Their Characteristics

Costume jewelry is generally made with a variety of materials, such as plastic, glass, ceramic, shell, and metal. Plastic components are typically lightweight and quite affordable. Glass elements may be faceted to increase their variety of reflectivity and color range. Ceramic works well for pieces that require sturdiness and hardness. Shell material is often used in the form of simulated pearls or intricate designs on pendants and earrings. Metal components come in many shapes such as rings and clasps – they are usually the strongest part of any piece of costume jewelry.

When it comes to cleaning costume jewelry, detergents should typically be avoided since they can remove the paint or corrosion-proof coating which can cause discoloration or tarnishing on some pieces. Instead, you can use a clean cloth dipped in warm water and wiping gently to remove dirt or dust particles. For more challenging grime build-up, a soft brush can be used together with warm soapy water using mild soap to create lathery bubbles. As for metallic elements, you may opt for a quick rinse with vinegar solution followed by warm water rinse for additional sparkle and shine restoration. When cleaning jewelry with gemstones such as jades and topazes which are highly porous materials – it is best to utilize delicate cleaners that can prevent scratches on the surface finish of these gems. Finally, after all cleaning has been done; remember to dry all pieces thoroughly before storing them away for later use again!

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General Maintenance Tips for Costume Jewelry

Cleaning costume jewelry can be tricky because some materials may tarnish or become damaged with certain commercial cleaners. To ensure the longevity of the pieces it is best to clean them using simple methods. The most important general maintenance tip is to avoid wearing costume jewelry when doing activities that can damage it such as swimming, bathing, exercising and yard work. While wearing clothing try to avoid items with harsh fabrics such as wool, sequins and jeans because these can also damage jewelry over time.

When cleaning your costume jewelry a simple solution works best — mix warm water with a few drops of mild detergent or dish soap and swish the items around in the mixture for five minutes or so. If needed, use a soft toothbrush to help remove dirt. Once you have done this rinse off all soap residue then dry all the pieces thoroughly before storing in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight. Jewelry boxes can be used to store different types of jewelry together or separate compartments should be used for necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings. Additionally cleaning with polishes specifically designed for costume jewelry as well as wiping each piece down with a soft cloth periodically also helps preserve their luster longer.

Appropriate Cleaning Products & Processes

It is important to use the right cleaning products and processes when cleaning costume jewelry, as some materials can be harmed by certain chemicals or methods. Generally, a quick wipe down with a soft cloth dampened with warm water will suffice. To remove grease and dirt buildup, you can try a more involved but gentle process of making a solution of warm water and mild dish soap (not detergent) and using an old toothbrush to scrub gently at the crevices. If the jewelry is particularly tarnished, you may want to try immersing it in this solution for several minutes before scrubbing. Once cleaned, rinse all the pieces thoroughly with water and immediately dry them off with another soft cloth afterwards.

Potential Problems with Costume Jewelry and How to Avoid Them

Caring for costume jewelry can be tricky because it is often made of weaker materials than more expensive, fine jewelry. While some people choose to ignore their costume jewelry, taking the time to clean and store it well can help it last longer and look better when worn.

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The most common issue with costume jewelry is tarnishing, which is caused by oxidation due to contact with air and moisture. To clean tarnished pieces, try wiping them with a damp cloth or rag or soaking them in a mild solution of water and dish soap or white vinegar. After cleaning, make sure all the liquid has been completely removed to prevent further tarnishing.

In addition to tarnishing, costume jewelry can be at risk for scratches and dull patches caused by contact with hard objects like keys in your purse or other tough materials like denim. To prevent these problems, consider investing in a soft-lined box or case to store your pieces separately. Additionally, avoid wearing your costume jewelry when doing activities that will leave it more vulnerable to being scratched or dirtied.


It is important to take good care of your costume jewelry. Keeping it clean helps maintain its beauty and value. Many costume pieces are delicate, so cleaning them requires special attention. Non-abrasive clothes, such as a soft cotton cloth, work best when cleaning your jewelry. Soap and warm water can be used for light cleaning, but many items require special cleaners or a professional’s touch. Also, always air dry your jewelry before storage to prevent tarnishing. Do not use harsh chemicals or commercial jewelers’ rouge to clean any type of costume jewelry.

By taking the proper precautions with your costume jewelry – handling it with care, protecting it from extreme temperatures, and storing it in an airtight container – you can enjoy the beauty and craftsmanship of each piece for many years to come. Professional costume jewelry repair shops specialize in refurbishment and repairs of both vintage and contemporary designs. Whether you just need a simple polishing or complex reconstruction, an experienced technician can provide expert advice and superior results that will help preserve the charm of your pieces for years to come.

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