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How to Clean Antique Jewelry

By Ryan on Jan 29, 2023
Clean Antique Jewelry

Any piece of jewelry that is over 100 years old is considered an antique. That would be a long period for grit to accumulate beneath gemstones, metal to tarnish, and dirt to impair the heirloom’s natural beauty. It’s seductive to fetch a cleaning pad and wipe away years of unattractive deposits. The best way to maintain the elegance of your antique jewelry is to clean it frequently. The jewels could begin to lose their luster and dazzle if they are not cleaned regularly. Furthermore, since these antiques are so old, you would like to retain them in fine condition so that you may pass them down to your family and prolong their lifespan.


Tips for Cleaning Antique Jewelry

Clean Antique Jewelry

Protecting your antique jewelry and retaining it in the finest condition possible is important. This enables you to maintain its worth and save a piece of history for succeeding generations. If jewelry is treated carefully, both its durability and worth are enhanced. Some cleaning techniques, such as ultrasonic jewelry cleaning, are not suggested to be practiced at home, whereas others are believed to be safe and should not damage your antique piece if handled carefully cautiously and carefully. Before getting started, you should first consider the material, structure, and age of your item. For instance, a silver diamond ring would be treated differently than a pair of gold pearl earrings.


Softer stones such as pearls should be skillfully cleaned because they’re more susceptible to damage by chemicals and even water. On the other hand, harder stones such as diamonds, sapphires, and rubies could be cleaned at home. If you are confused about whether you would do well to clean your antique jewelry at home, consult a professional or an expert for satisfactory advice. It’s better to be cautious than regretful. There are a few tips and a simple guide to perfectly clean your antique jewelry pieces at home.

  1. Select an appropriate cleaning solution based on the type of metal and stone

Since different metals have unique chemical compositions, the impact of various cleaning solutions varies from metal to metal. For example, gold may grow dim over time. You can fix this by cleaning the piece with a dilute solution of ammonia. Jewelry made of platinum can also be cleaned in the same manner. But it is important to keep in mind that ammonia is extremely strong and, if the object is left in the solution for too long, it might get permanently damaged. To minimize the risk of being damaged, we suggest utilizing professional cleaning solutions specially formulated for gold or platinum jewelry. On the contrary, silver is not as strong as gold or platinum, therefore it can be cleaned using a diluted solution of baking soda which is applied very delicately. Before utilizing any cleaning solution, you should first carry out proper research and careful consideration. Do not experiment with a new cleaning solution hastily as it might destroy your antique jewelry items. Most often, if the jewelry piece doesn’t have any gems, it can be cleaned with mild dishwashing soap and water. Though sapphires, diamonds, and rubies can resist heat and even be cleaned with much stronger solutions, it is recommended to seek the advice of a professional. The perfect method to clean jewelry that has pearls in it is to simply wear them. Your skin’s natural oils can merely be used to preserve their dazzle. The pearls can also be cleaned by using a soft cloth and a few drops of olive oil. While keeping all of these factors in mind, ensure to use a cleaning solution that is suitable for the metal and stone types on your antique jewelry piece.

  1. Look for debris and use a soft brush to clean

Clean the piece and use a soft brush to clean away any dirt before using any cleaning fluid. Because you don’t want these particles to damage any of the sides of your jewelry, you must do this very carefully. It may be helpful to use a lens or magnifying glass because the dirt or debris can sometimes be difficult to see with the naked eye. Easily clean it out with a soft toothbrush or gentle brush if you see any debris. Thoroughly clean your jewelry, being careful to pay attention to areas like the region under the stone and the space between the studs. Apply light pressure while slowly moving in a clockwise direction. Minimize the chance to use more pressure if the item is very dirty; instead, practice more patience. This will ready the item for the use of any solution or liquid.


  1. Use a soft cloth and jewelry cleanser

It’s time to refurbish the antique item to its original glory after selecting the ideal cleaning method and removing any dirt or debris. Use a soft cloth along with some of the cleaning agents to carefully rub the surface. Ensure that the cloth is not very wet. Just a small amount of moisture will do to keep the surface clean. Use a soft Q tip if the piece has small cracks that are difficult to clean with a cloth. You might also choose to let the piece soak, based on the cleansing solution. For instance, you can let dishwashing detergent soak in a container for a longer period if you want to use it.


  1. Make sure to properly wash and dry the item

Although you shouldn’t completely wash sensitive jewelry, you should make sure to clear any detergent residue that might negate and destroy the entire purpose of cleaning your jewelry. Less moisture is required to clean and dry the sensitive jewelry. When cleaning the base of rings, be cautious to avoid any regions that are close to gemstones or engravings. Before keeping jewelry, let it completely dry.


  1. Polish the Antique Jewelry 

Polishing the items with a special cloth is the final and the most important procedure you can perform to finalize the cleaning procedure. You can purchase appropriate polishing cloth or material online or in a store. They can help restore some sparkle and shine to an antique piece and are relatively inexpensive.


Avoid these techniques while cleaning antique jewelry at home


  1. Using an ultrasonic equipment

Antique jewelry can sometimes be cleansed incredibly quickly by using an ultrasonic device. But choose the option of safety and avoid a lot of using these devices. If the gemstones are tight and the studs are in good condition, ultrasonic equipment could be able to fix your jewelry. The vibrations from these machines can occasionally be beneficial, but the majority of the time they can be detrimental as well.

  1. Keep jewelry soaked for a long time

Some antique jewelry can be damaged by moisture, especially if it contains cameos, seed pearls, or any other sensitive stone. It’s ideal to avoid completely soaking fragile jewelry in liquid. Instead, use a damp brush or cloth to gently clean.

  1. Use strong chemicals like ammonia

The internet will often promote the advantages of ammonia for letting diamonds shine. For new jewelry pieces, this might work, but for antique jewelry, a much gentler approach is needed. Never use strong chemicals containing bleach, powerful detergents, or ammonia




If you have antique jewelry that needs to be cleaned, try to take the most gentle approach. If you are not getting the results you desire or scared of hurting your jewelry, you can go to and create a service request to receive quotes from multiple, trusted, verified, skilled jewelers to professionally clean and service your jewelry.