If your gold and silver jewelry has lost its sheen and is starting to look dull and tarnished, it’s time for a good cleaning. Although you might be tempted to reach for a special product designed for stain removal, such as OxiClean, you can actually get very good results with items already in your cupboard.
OxiClean is a brand of stain removal products. One of the most useful is the OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover, which comes in powder form and can be used to remove stains in all areas of the home including laundry, carpets and hard surfaces. You might wonder whether this product can also be used to clean stains from gold and silver jewelry. According to OxiClean, the answer is no; the product is not designed for this purpose.
Cleaning Silver Jewelry
If your silver jewelry is tarnished or dull, you can make it look new again. Start by rinsing the piece in a bowl full of warm water. Next, blot it dry with a soft cloth. Grab a silver-cleaning cloth and rub the piece gently using a back and forth or up and down motion, as opposed to a circular motion. Keep moving to a clean area of the cloth as it becomes dirty. Continue until you notice that tarnish is no longer being transferred onto the cloth. If you are using a liquid silver cleaner, swish jewelry around in this. Pat dry with a cloth.
Intricate Silver Pieces
If your piece has very intricate details, a toothbrush and a silver cleaning paste can help. You can purchase a ready-made silver paste or make your own using three parts baking soda to one part water. Once the grooves are clean, use a cloth to clean the main surfaces. Rinse, blot and allow to dry. Don't soak silver for long periods of time in any type of liquid; this actually increases the amount of tarnish.
Cleaning Gold Jewelry
Brightening up gold jewelry is much simpler than cleaning silver. Put two cups of warm water into a medium-sized bowl. Add a couple drops of mild dish detergent -- make sure it contains no lemon or citrus additives -- and put the jewelry inside, allowing it to soak for 15 minutes. Remove the piece and use a soft-bristle toothbrush to scrub hard-to-reach areas. Swish the jewelry around in the warm water, then blot it dry and shine it with a soft cloth.
Chloé Baudin has been a health and lifestyle writer and editor since 2008. She has contributed to online and print magazines, covering personal finance, home decor, travel, preventative health, sports, science, technology, psychology and relationships.