It’s really beyond me why people think patina looks good on gold jewelry. To each his own, I guess. But when I wear my gold locket or my only-I-know-it’s-a-fake diamond and gold ring, I want the pieces to sparkle. Many jewelry stores offer free jewelry de-gunking, but the ultrasonic cleaners can cause small cracks or breakage in precious stones, including diamonds and emeralds. Save your favorite diamond and gold pieces from an unnecessary fate by cleaning them at home with some ultra-cheap cleaning products I’m guessing you already have lying around anyway.

***There is one important point I feel compelled to bring up before I lead you any further. Under no circumstances are you to ever, EVER clean your jewelry in or around your sink. Perform these cleanings in a bowl, unless you enjoy ripping apart your plumbing and digging through a disgusting drain pipe.

CLEANING GOLD

First you need the mixture to clean your jewelry. This is so cheap and simple, you’ll kick yourself for ever wasting money on specialty products. Just fill a bowl with 3 cups lukewarm water and 2 or 3 drops of liquid dish soap. Mix the dish soap into the water with your hands and soak the jewelry for 10 or 15 minutes. Once the soak is complete, lift the jewelry from the water, give it a good shake and gently scrub away all the loosened dirt, grime and years of body lotion goo with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse the jewelry under warm water and pat it dry with a soft towel. That’s it. About 25 cents worth of dish soap and a little bit of your time is all that’s required to make your gold jewelry shine.

CLEANING DIAMOND JEWELRY

I don’t know about you, but I’m obsessed with constantly applying hand lotion. After I first got engaged I was diligent about removing my ring before slathering my hands with Curel. That “honeymoon” period with my engagement ring is over, resulting in a lotion-encrusted piece of jewelry that isn’t too pretty.

To clean diamond jewelry set in gold, silver or platinum create a mixture of 2 cups lukewarm water and 1/4 cup ammonia. Slip on a pair of rubber gloves before submerging the diamond piece in the jewelry for at least 20 minutes. When the time is up, lift the jewelry from the soak and scrub the diamond gently with your soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse the jewelry under warm tap water and set it on a soft cloth to air dry.

CLEANING GOLD PLATED JEWELRY

Gold-plated jewelry is another story. Just to be safe, skip the toothbrush and dish soap soak and instead clean the gold-plated item with a mixture of 2 tablespoons baking soda and 1 tablespoon white vinegar. Rub the paste on the jewelry with a soft cloth and let it break down the gunk for around 10 minutes. Rinse the jewelry under cool tap water and let it air dry. Not sure if the jewelry is real gold or gold-plated? No problem. Just drop the ring, necklace or bracelet into a glass of water. If the jewelry floats, it’s probably a lighter, gold-plated metal. If it sinks, your piece is more than likely real honest-to-goodness gold.

This has been a guest post by Jaimie from Chippewa Falls, WI
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