Cleaning Your Old Jewellery the Right Way

Summary: Be sure that you clean your jewellery the correct way or else some serious damage can occur.

You are now the owner of a small box full of antique engagement rings. You would obviously want an appraisal to seek out their value. Knowing that an appraiser also factors in the condition of your rings, you’d want to clean them. You can do this several ways. You can buy jewellery cleaning solutions, take them to a jeweller to undergo an ultra sonic cleaning, or clean them yourself. For the DIY enthusiasts out there, here is a quick guide on how to safely and effectively, clean your old jewellery using a homemade solution.

The items you need to clean your jewellery include: a soft-bristled toothbrush, some cotton tips, a wooden toothpick and some mild ivory soap.

Before creating your solution it’s important to note that certain precious stones such as opals, emeralds, and pearls are delicate to the touch and should be handled with care. Avoid using warm water and an ultrasonic cleaner as they will damage the stones. Because of their ability to be scratched fairly easy, you’ll want to choose a soft cloth without any synthetic fibers.

Mix the soap with some warm water and set it aside in a small bowl. You won’t need too much of this. Grab your cotton tip and slightly dip it into your solution. Work over your gemstone extremely carefully and lightly so the gem does not get soaked. Enough moisture could damage the stone in its entirety.

Your wooden toothpick will now be used to get all of the encrusted dirt and dust from the small pockets. Again, be sure that you do this with extra care as you do not know the condition of enamel. Many times people aggressively try to scrub off a marking and end up popping the stone out because the enamel has decayed too far.

Use your baby toothbrush to gently scrub the base. If it is a ring, try not to put all of the pressure entirely on the gem while holding it. Don’t rush it. When it comes to precious items like estate jewellery, a simple mechanical error can lead to a broken and useless item.


Bio: Cynthia Findlay Antiques is a trusted leader in antiquities. With a variety of specialties in the jewellery industry, be sure to check out her collection which includes the finest custom jewellery in Toronto.