Generally, cleaning stainless steel jewelry needs the use of different homemade cleaners prepared with commonly seen household items like vinegar or soap. Understanding how to care for your jewelry is vital to keeping its quality, enabling you to wear your favorite accessories for a long time.
Stainless steel jewelry is the most basic type of metal to clean. It can be quickly revived, look new again, and keep its shine with regular maintenance.
Read more about how to clean stainless steel jewelry to explore simple, cost-efficient cleaning methods involving readily available items that will preserve the original beauty of your stainless steel jewelry. We will also give you tips on how to preserve your accessory.
Is it difficult to clean stainless steel jewelry?
Stainless steel is a durable and affordable metal that is resistant to corrosion, scratches, and rust but can dull over time.
Its durability and beauty make it one of the most cherished metals for jewelry, yet cleaning is still necessary.
When you wear jewelry, it touches your skin. Meaning it’s exposed to sweat, salt, oils, and dirt that covers the skin, needing frequent cleaning. The methods for cleaning your stainless steel rings, cufflinks, bracelets, or necklaces are somewhat the same.
This is your lucky day because stainless steel is the simplest type of jewelry to clean. We will demonstrate to you some of the most proven and tested methods in a little bit.
How to Clean Stainless Steel Jewelry?
Did you know you can clean your stainless steel jewelry with household remedies? You can also use some recipes to clean your stainless steel appliances like refrigerator doors, dishwashers, and other surfaces.
You cannot soak them in a cleaning solution, but you can easily use the mixture on a cloth and wipe those bigger stainless surfaces to make them shimmer.
You don’t need to buy expensive cleaners when you can make easy DIY solutions for a fraction of the price. Also, there are no smelly fumes to worry about.
Method #1. Homemade cleaner
One method that offers a deep clean to your stainless steel jewelry and leaves a good shine is using a homemade cleaner that only needs an ingredient in your pantry: club soda.
This technique will only need two ingredients: dish soap and club soda. It will restore your accessory’s luster and will return the shine to gemstones in your jewelry like turquoise, diamonds, and sapphires.
The carbonation removes the dirt from your pieces, while the soap eliminates grime and oil at the same time.
- Mix two cups of club soda with 10 drops of mild dish soap. Make enough solution to submerge your jewelry. Make sure you pick a dish soap that eliminates grease to guarantee oils and dirt are eliminated.
- Let the accessory soak in the solution for 5 to 15 minutes. If your piece is soiled, you might leave the jewelry in the solution overnight.
- Stir the cleaning solution to free any remaining grime.
- Remove the jewelry from the soap and club soda mixture.
- Use the soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub the jewelry and remove the leftover dirt. Ensure you don’t clean roughly, as that can result in unpleasant scratches.
- Wash the jewelry with cool, clean water.
- Dry your jewelry with a clean microfiber cloth and put on a soft towel to eliminate any lingering moisture.
Method #2. Toothpaste
Just as your gel toothpaste can clean hard-to-reach areas inside your mouth, it can also clean hard-to-reach areas in your stainless steel jewelry.
Did you know that toothpaste is an efficient cleaning agent that is good for a spot cleaning agent that is good for spot cleaning as it’s not too abrasive for the metal? Unfortunately, it won’t work for polishing because of its lack of abrasiveness.
You can use vinegar or baking soda in that case. This method needs gel toothpaste, water, and a soft-bristle toothbrush.
- Use a tiny amount of gel toothpaste into your jewelry. Stop using toothpaste with tarter or whitening control agents or silica. That’s because harsh chemicals can stain and damage stainless steel items.
- Brush your accessory with a soft bristle toothbrush until clean, and prevent brushing over any gemstones that might loosen them for their setting.
- Wash the jewelry under warm water until clean. Make sure you eliminate all the toothpaste. Even a tiny amount of leftover toothpaste can corrode the piece.
- Dry your item using a smooth, lint-free cloth by cleaning along the grain. Your accessory must be refurbished to a shimmering shine.
Method #3. Aluminum foil
This method mixes the use of aluminum foil along with baking soda such as sodium bicarbonate to create an easy DIY jewelry cleaning solution. The process utilized is baking soda ionization, which is just a chemical reaction breaking down oils and dirt and removing them from the jewelry.
That cleaning solution needs a dish or bowl, a soft-bristle toothbrush, hot water, salt, dish soap, and aluminum foil. It’s also considered a safer option than the vinegar and baking soda mixture discussed later, as the solution is reactive and less acidic.
- Line the dish or bowl with aluminum foil.
- Add equal parts of soap, salt, and baking soda. Remember that the amount of mixture made depends on the amount of stainless steel jewelry being cleaned. Double it up if you have many pieces to clean.
- Add enough warm water to submerge the stainless steel jewelry fully.
- Submerge the jewelry into your cleaning mixture and let it soak for at least fifteen minutes.
- Gently scrub the whole piece of accessory with the grain after soaking, not across it, to prevent scratches.
- Wash the jewelry with warm water.
- Dry with a soft, lint-free cloth by going with the grain.
Method #4. Baking soda
Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda is a multi-purpose kitchen item that is highly versatile outside of the kitchen. It’s a strong cleaning agent that is difficult on dirt and can be utilized to preserve that like-new shine to your favorite stainless steel jewelry items.
For this solution, you will need warm water, a bowl, baking soda, a soft lint-free towel, a soft bristle, and water or vinegar.
- Make a baking soda paste by combining three parts of baking soda along with one part of vinegar or water. The quantity of paste made will depend upon the quantity of jewelry being cleaned.
Create more mixtures if you wish to clean numerous stainless steel pieces. Remember that vinegar is an astringent cleaning agent intended for dirty jewelry. That’s why it needs a stronger cleaning.
If using vinegar, make sure you are extra careful when combining due to the bubbling reaction that happens. You can use water if your jewelry item has light grime or dirt.
- Dip a soft bristle toothbrush into your paste. Scrub the whole piece of accessory, paying careful attention to heavily grimy regions. Scrub lightly to prevent any scratches. Let the mixture of your jewelry for at least three minutes.
- Rinse your jewelry in warm water and eliminate the baking soda entirely.
- Dry your freshly cleaned stainless steel accessory with a soft, lint-free towel. Make sure you eliminate all liquid. The luster of your jewelry must return in all its former shine.
Method #5. Vinegar
You like to use the vinegar solution for a stronger cleaning that doubles as a disinfectant from your stainless steel piece by removing dirt.
For this method, you have two options that will both need water, white vinegar and a soft, lint-free cloth. The first option will need a bowl and is great for deep cleaning.
The second option will need a spray bottle, and it is good for spot clothing. Both of these methods will get rid of tarnish on your accessory.
- Combine equal parts of water and white vinegar into any container.
- Follow all the steps listed under your selected method:
Option 1 – Bowl Method
- Pour the water and vinegar mixture into a bowl.
- Soak the stainless steel item in the mixture for fifteen to thirty minutes. The dirtier your jewelry, the longer it needs to be soaked in the solution.
- After waiting for fifteen to thirty minutes, remove your accessory from the mixture.
- Rinse your item using the highest water pressure from your sink to eliminate any visible dirt particles.
- Finally, you can use a lint-free, soft cloth to wipe your piece. Dry it carefully with the grain to prevent scratches.
Option 2 – Spray Bottle Method
3. Pour the water and vinegar mixture into a clean spray bottle.
4. Spray a lint-free cloth along with the mixture.
5. Rub the piece with the cloth while going with the grain and not against it. Make sure you scrub lightly any sticky areas or dull areas to restore the sparkle of the jewelry.
6. Dry your piece with a dry section of the soft cloth or a new cloth if needed.
Method #6. Water and soap
This is the most straightforward technique to use to remove light grime and dirt from your stainless steel jewelry and get rid of its dullness.
Anyone can use this solution, as it only needs ingredients you already have in your kitchen. This method involves a soft cloth (microfiber or terry cloth), soap, and warm water. It works best for stainless steel jewelry with minor grime and dirt.
- Fill your two bowls with warm water.
- Pour four drops of mild soap (Joy or Downy) into one bowl of warm water. Pick one made to work on grease for whatever soap you plan to use.
- Soak your stainless steel item in the bowl with the water-soap solution for at least three to five minutes. Soaking will help soften the grime accumulated from numerous uses and make removing it simpler.
- Remove the item from the bowl of the mixture and dip it into another bowl with warm water.
- Rub it with a soft cloth to eliminate grime and dirt. Ensure you avoid causing scrapes by drying along the grain and not across it.
- Wash your piece under running water to eliminate any remaining dirt.
- Dry your jewelry with a soft, lint-free cloth. Make sure you set it on a dry towel to let it air dry. The shine of your jewelry must be magnificently restored.
How can you maintain your stainless steel jewelry?
You can do many things to keep the shine of your stainless steel jewelry. Here are some tips you can consider.
- Polish your jewelry when needed.
Does your stainless steel accessory need more polishing to bring out its shimmer? You can add a drop of olive oil to a microfiber cloth and rub it gently on the jewelry. That easy solution will preserve the metal to a beautiful shine and luster.
- Avoid using chlorine or bleach.
Such harsh chemicals will only stain your jewelry and could cause corrosion because the metal isn’t reactive.
- Store your jewelry properly
Stainless steel is unlikely to rust or tarnish, but proper storage is essential to maintain its cleanliness and prevent a lackluster appearance and scratches.
Store it in a fabric box it first came in or in cloth pouches if you no longer have the package. Keeping it in sealed zip-lock bags is another good option if you don’t have cloth pouches.
Ensure you don’t store it with other pieces of jewelry made of different metals, as every metal has a different hardness.
Proper care is essential to keeping your stainless steel accessory shimmering like new. Along with the steps to clean a dull item, you can take steps to avoid dullness and corrosion to your favorite pieces by keeping correct maintenance.
You can enjoy your stainless steel jewelry for many years with enough cleaning and maintenance.
If you need more guides on taking good care of your copper jewelry, consider checking our guides here.