Whether you’re looking to polish your precious metals or revive that gorgeous crystal gem, jewel cleaner can help you get the job done right. This handy at-home product can make your jewelry shine like new, but it’s important to use a formula that’s safe for the pieces you want to clean, as well as to follow all care instructions carefully.
Choosing the best jewel cleaner can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a number of options to choose from, including liquid cleaners and steam machines. Liquid cleaners are generally suitable for dainty pieces such as earrings, bracelets and pendant necklaces, and may include a small brush to agitate hard-to-reach crevices. However, the containers can be too small for larger watches and chunky chain pieces, and the chemicals used in these cleaners can harm some gemstones.
To avoid this, opt for a non-toxic, biodegradable cleaner that’s specially formulated for jewelry. This solution will typically work well for most metals and non-porous gemstones. It’s also important to store your jewelry properly, to prevent tarnishing and other damage. Storing silver pieces in a tarnish-preventive bag or wrapped in a soft piece of felt will protect them from scratching.
A steam cleaner can give you the polished look of a jeweler, without the cost and wait time of taking your pieces to a professional. This type of cleaning machine heats a water tank, and you place your pieces inside a basket that sits in the bottom. The process typically takes 30 minutes or less, and when it’s done your jewelry will be shiny and new. The drawback to this method is that it won’t work on pearls, opals and other porous stones.
Another option is a commercial ultrasonic jewelry cleaner, which uses vibrations to break up dirt and grime particles. This kind of cleaner can be used on all metals, but it’s particularly suited for gold. It can also be used on diamonds, sapphires and other precious stones. The drawback to this method is that the machines are expensive and can require a bit of setup and maintenance.
In addition to these methods, you can try using household items to clean your jewelry, such as toothpaste or salt. Be sure to rinse the pieces thoroughly afterward to remove any excess cleaner, and don’t rub jewelry with cloths or other surfaces that could scratch them. Taking good care of your fine jewelry is easy and inexpensive when you know the proper cleaning techniques, and can keep them looking their best for years to come. The New York Post Shopping team has compiled a list of the best jewel cleaner products, along with expert tips on how to use them. We’ve factored in a product’s biodegradability, non-toxicity, ease of use, effectiveness, safety and total cost to choose the best picks. Click through the gallery to see our top picks, along with a buying guide that can help you decide which type of jewelry cleaner is best for you.