Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cleaning Your Jewelry On the Cheap

Those of you who know me at all know I'm always broke. There's never an extra nickel to be found around here most days. Imagine my delight when I found I could make my own jewelry cleaner instead of doling out big bucks for it at the department store. Even chain stores are on the expensive side when you have tons of jewelry to clean! Here is how I now keep those little gems you ogle over on
Etsy sparkling.

First mix 2 cups of water with 1 tsp of household ammonia and 1 tsp of your favorite dish detergent. That's it. I found all the ingredients right under my kitchen sink! You can adjust the strength if you would like, but don't add too much ammonia. For one thing, it stinks! It will also damage your items if you get it too strong. Some recipes call for only 1/2 tsp. I find a full tsp works better. It is entirely up to you. Because I use so much jewelry cleaner I purchased a cheap bottle of dish detergent instead of using the good stuff. It all works just as well on the jewelry.

I put the mix in a pint jar with a lid and drop the jewelry in to soak for about 5 minutes. Sometimes it takes a bit longer. Using a SOFT toothbrush I scrub each piece to be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Then I rinse and dry. It's as easy as that.

This works on just about any jewelry. Don't use it on silver lined beads though. It eats the silver right out of the bead and you will end up with a mess. Ask me how I know... Also, don't use it on pearls, imitation pearls, opals or any of the softer stones. I've done it successfully before I knew I shouldn't do it. You can easily damage the softer stones. I wouldn't try it on cheaper dyes stones either. You will risk the chance of bleaching out the color.

I've used it on Sterling Silver and it will clean it as long as it isn't too tarnished to begin with. Copper comes out shining like new. Gold loves a bath in it too.

If you are making jewelry and want to shine it up and harden the metals at the same time, you can put the mixture into your tumbler instead of water. It works wonderfully as long as you remember what stones can and can not be put into the ammonia.

Wishing you happy cleaning and sparkling jewels!


LittleGemsbyKari said...

very cool

Stef H (Glitterbabe) said...

and your jewels DO sparkle. what a great tip. now here's a tip for you.... check the sofa cushions. there's usually some lose change ini there - LOL.

Sandy said...

Stef - No one who comes to our house has any money to loose in the sofa. I guess I should invite richer friends - if I had any!

Anonymous said...

Neat! I'll drop this onto my FB wall.

Cheryls Purple Cow said...

Thanks for the tips. This is one that I really needed.