What To Do When Jewelry Turns Green


It is incredibly common for jewelry to turn green over time. The reason behind this is due to chemical reactions with the metal from our skin as well as from exposure to chemicals, such as pool water, perfume, and cleaners. This occurrence can be concerning because it may cause tarnishing and discoloration of the jewelry. It is important for readers to remember that certain metals are more prone than others to corrosion and discoloration from chemical reactions.

If readers are experiencing this issue with their jewelry, they should take action immediately by cleaning the piece with something mild like soap and water or a solution specifically made for cleaning jewelry. In addition, they should pay close attention to what the jewelry comes in contact with in order to prevent any further damage or discoloration. Finally, frequent cleanings and storing your pieces in an airtight bag can help reduce it occurring in the future.

Investigating the Causes

When jewelry turns green, it can be caused by chemical reactions between certain metals and atmospheric elements in the environment. A common culprit is copper, which reacts with oxygen and rain water in the air to form copper oxide. Other chemical reactions may be due to exposure to cleaning products that contain chlorine or sulfur, excessive perspiration, bath soap that contains synthetics, cosmetics such as perfume and hair spray containing alcohol, or even the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

To prevent jewelry from turning green, one should take particular care not to expose it to these substances or conditions. An additional step may include regular maintenance of jewelry items such as polishing them with a soft cloth or an appropriate cleaner depending on the metal and finish of the item.

When green discoloration does occur, one should first gently wash the affected piece with warm water and a mild dish soap to remove any residue from environmental sources. Then attempt removal of tarnish or corrosion using metal-specific polish for silver or brass items or optical grade cleansers for synthetic diamonds (if applicable). If this doesn’t work then one should consult a trusted professional jeweler for further advice.

Cleaning Solutions

DIY Hacks:

1. Soap and Water: Dip the piece of jewelry in warm soapy water and use a soft toothbrush or cloth to gently scrub the green areas.

2. Lemon Juice and Baking Soda: Make a paste out of lemon juice and baking soda, apply it to the green area, let it sit for several minutes, then rinse off with water.

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3. Vinegar Solution: Create a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, soak the jewelry in the bowl for 10-20 minutes, rinse off with water afterwards.

Professional Cleaning Courses of Action:

1. Ultrasonic Cleaners: Bring your jewelry to a professional jeweler who has an ultrasonic cleaning system; this will remove buildup from dirt, grease and other residues that are resulting in discoloration of your jewelry over time.

2. Steam Cleaners: Your jeweler may also have access to a steamer which is used to clean diamond rings and other fine pieces of jewelry; this will help to eliminate any grime or dirt that has built up on the surface.

Helpful Tips on Ways to Tell If Jewelry Is Turning Green:

1. Look closely at the metal parts of your jewelry where they make contact with your skin; if there is discoloration at these areas, this could be signs that your jewelry is turning green due to exposure to chemicals commonly found in lotions, perfumes or cosmetics.

2. Check under bright light or preferably daylight; look closely for changes in coloration or discoloration that wasn’t previously visible under dimly lit indoor conditions as these can hint at oxidation occurring which might indicate your jewelry is turning green as well as losing its shine over time.

3. Doing periodic skin tests by wearing certain pieces for an hour or two at a time can also help you identify early warning signs such as itchiness or discomfort indicating possible irritation caused by chemical reactions taking place between body oils and metals used in making some items of jewelry leading further oxidation occurring quicker than expected possibly resulting in colors changing such as turing green eventually if exposed continuously enough such reactions keep taking place over time!

Types Of Cleaners To Avoid:

1Avoid harsh household cleaners such as bleach, ammonia-based solutions, oven cleaner etc… These can damage your jewels beyond repair!

2Avoid abrasive scrubbing pads/brushes – while they may help clean up some areas quickly but be careful not to scratch any delicate stones set on the item being cleaned especially metals prone to corrosion due to their fragility when tampered with too excessively like gold jewellery! It’s best always just stick with simple soapy solutions when looking for DIY hacks for quick clean-ups instead & leave anything more complicated job b4 experts!.

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Preventative Care Tips

One of the most important steps to prevent jewelry from turning green is to properly store it. Always keep your jewelry away from humidity, as this can cause tarnish, water damage or verdigris (a greenish or bluish gray rust that forms on copper). It’s best to store your jewelry in a cool, dry place such as a jewelry box or lock-box with non-acidic materials. Avoid placement near windows, radiators and heat sources.

When not wearing jewelry items, wipe them down regularly with a soft cloth and avoid direct contact with perfumes, lotions and other cosmetics. Chemicals found in these products often interact with the metal components in jewelry and can alter the color. Never spray hairspray while wearing accessories as they can also cause discoloration.

In addition, be mindful of what you wear when not wearing jewelry as certain fabrics (such as latex) may react with the metal pieces and turn them green. If you’re outdoors a lot or swimming in chlorinated pools, remove all pieces before doing so to preserve their color and condition for long-term wearability.


When jewelry turns green, it is important to take action quickly. First, use a mild detergent and warm water to rinse the jewelry off and then pat it dry with a soft cloth. Next, try using an aluminum foil method to reduce the oxidation on the metal surface or consider switching to stainless steel jewelry which is more resistant against tarnishing. For advanced cases, you may need to apply a metal cleaner or seek professional help from a jeweler. Additionally, always store your jewelry in an airtight container and avoid storing pieces together as this can cause them to rub against each other and dull them over time. Finally, it’s always recommended that if you have any questions or concerns about how to clean your jewelry properly, consult with a certified jeweler for more advice tailored to your specific situation.

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