Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pinterest-inspired: DIY jewelry cleaner

Hey hey! I’m back today with a Pinterest-inspired post that I’ve been meaning to share for a while now. My plan is to start writing more of these posts – taking simple projects or helpful tips I find on Pinterest and showing how they turned out for me.

This one is super simple and cheap (free if you have the basics on hand). I found this DIY jewelry cleaner while pinning months ago and it’s actually from a food site here. Which is fitting because all of the “ingredients” are from the kitchen:

DIY jewelry cleaner

You’ll need one tablespoon each of salt, baking soda and dish detergent. Also, one cup water, a piece of aluminum foil and a bowl.

Just stick the water in the microwave for one to two minutes (I do two to get it nice and hot) and while it’s heating use a piece of foil to line the bottom of the bowl:

When the water is ready, pour it in the bowl, add the tablespoons of baking soda, salt and detergent in and watch it fizz:

That’s the fun part. ;)

Then you just place your jewelry in the bowl for five to ten minutes. The ingredients eat away at the grime and dirt and my rings come out sparkling! It’s amazing!

I feel like I commercial for dish washing detergent with all the SPARKLE but it’s true – this stuff really works well. I used to use jewelry cleaner from the store, but the brush that came with it fell apart after the second use. Since then I’ve used a soft toothbrush but I find I don’t really need to use it with this recipe.

If you’ve got some major gunk on there you may still need it. When I take my rings into my jeweler to be cleaned they look at me like I have three heads and ask WHAT IN THE WORLD I have been doing. I guess the spray paint, saw dust, paint, glue and all the other DIY messes stick around. ;)

This homemade version eats away at all that stuff and makes them absolutely shine. Love it. And the ingredients are so basic I always have it all on hand. If you are cleaning a bunch of jewelry you’ll want to make a new batch each time, according to the source.

I’ve also used this on more delicate jewelry like an opal ring – it worked beautifully. Some of the reviewers on the site I linked to mentioned it messed up sterling silver jewelry, but then others said it cleaned up their silver beautifully, so try it for silver at your own risk. Check out that link for reviews before you try something you are hesitant about!

I’m thrilled with it and highly recommend it – I’ll take an easy, cheap solution any day! :)

So have you found any great tips on Pinterest lately? I hope to share some of mine with you more often – good results and the bad. Cause it’s nice to actually DO something I’ve pinned on Pinterest, you know. ;)

42 comments:

  1. I use vodka heated for 30 seconds in the microwave, it works as well as any commercial jewelry cleaner I have ever used.

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  2. Awesome!! Jewelry cleaner can be pricey, and my wedding ring/band is diiiiirty. Thanks for sharing, Sarah!

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  3. did you put your wedding ring in it? I woudln't want to mess mine up, but it needs cleaned BAD!

    http://coffeebeansandbobbypins.blogspot.com/

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  4. Great tip! My wedding ring is gross. I can't wait to get home and try this out.

    A few things I have tried that I found on pinterest...dawn detergent and vinegar for shower cleaner (turned out awesome)and throw up carpet cleaner recipe (worked great).

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  5. Have you seen this post on the many uses of "Magic Eraser" sponges. I especially like the tip on letting one soak in the toilet to clean it! http://household-tips.thefuntimesguide.com/2006/01/magic_erasers.php

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  6. Whoo hoo! For real...I've been frustrated with the jewelry cleaners I've found on Pinterest because I never have all the ingredients. This I can do!! Thanks so much...my jewelry needs it. I have an amethyst ring that needs to look purple again. Thanks, Sarah! :)

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  7. WOW!! This worked AWESOME!!! Thanks so much for the tip!!

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  8. Wow...I need to try this one. Looks great! I just tried a Pinterest idea for organizing a couple of days ago and posted it on my blog. Simple and cheap -- love those! :)

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  9. I'm surprised the dish soap doesn't leave a film, but I'm definitely willing to give it a shot anyway. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. I have used this for years and yes it does work great for REAL sterling silver. It does NOT work on silver plating or costume jewellery, which is probably what the folks were trying to clean. I wouldn't use it on pearls or anything with pieces glued on(like costume jewellery). It actually does peel off a little bit of silver each time it's done so it's not a good thing to use every time but for the really intricate and nasty dirty stuff, it's better than not cleaned at all. A good silver cleaner protects the silver as well as cleaning it.
    Check for the 925 mark on your real silver jewellery. If it's not there, skip this method!

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  11. This is awesome. I have been looking for a cheap way to clean my wedding rings...this looks like it could be the perfect solution! Thanks
    Blessings, Joanne

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  12. I've been wanting to try this and was a little hesitant based on some of the comments I've seen. I figured it was fine for gold or good quality silver. I was afraid to try it on my opal ring (which really needs cleaned) but maybe I'll give it a go.

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  13. I used to work at a jewelry store and I used to clean rings all day long in the ultra sonic cleaner machine. I always loved how pretty it made my rings look. I will try this. Thanks for the tip! Cleaners are expensive, and this is cheap. Great post!

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  14. I've read about this but maybe I jut don't clean my jewelry enough, but I still have the tub of cleaner my mother in law bought me when i got engaged 9 years ago!

    I tried to make Larabars from scratch from a PInterest recipe and it totally failed, at least I tried:)

    Jessica

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  15. Another trick to try-thanks!

    I've gotten rid of commercial cleaners and gone back to vinegar, baking soda, peroxide-and a touch of Dawn; combos of these can clean everything in the house, and we are healthier for it.

    Martha Stewart touted them all back in the day, and Pinterest has lots of cleaning recipes to try-and most of them work well.

    My fave is to use vinegar in the fabric softener cycle-no need for dryer sheets any more! DS coat your clothes and dryer with chemicals that can aggravate asthma, etc.

    Love that we don't use them anymore.

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  16. I am definately going to try this jewelry cleaner! Susan is right about vinegar - it's a winner. Try dumping some baking soda in a stinky drain, then pour some vinegar over it and watch it bubble! No more odor (once the vinegar smell it gone, that is). This combo is great for cleaning almost anything. Google it for more cleaning tips.

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  17. I was just thinking that I really need to do SOMETHING with my jewelry. I'll definitely try this!
    Sarah

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  18. Thank you for sharing this!! I am totally going to have to try this out. I gave up on jewelry cleaner a while ago and just use a soft toothbrush from time to time now. This sounds awesome... I'm totally trying it!! :)

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  19. I'm slowly getting rid of commercial cleaners, too- vinegar, dawn, and lemon juice combos work great. I just tried furniture polish (vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice) and my coffee table is completely polished!

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  20. Ok, I've never commented on your blog even though I have been devouring it ever since I found it a few weeks ago. This one though, I had to throw in my 2 cents! I just tried this recipe and when I took them out of the bowl, they looked great...then, when I went outside in the sun??!!! Holy mother!! My wedding band set was sparkling so much I couldn't stop staring! I almost walked into something! Thanks for posting it :) love, love, love your house by the way!

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  21. I definitely wouldn't use this method on sterling silver, it removes any varnish/polish that's on it & takes it down to the raw silver.

    I use glass cleaner and a soft toothbrush on my jewelry. My mom used to work in a jewelry store & she said that's basically what they used, along with an ultrasonic cleaner (and all that does is jostle the crud loose).

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  22. Do you think this could be used on white gold?

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  23. ack... ladies, please don't use this on opals, pearls, turquoise... anything porus that will "absorb" liquid per say. It will ruin your stones.
    The safest thing to use on your jewellery is the solution as mentioned minus the foil. Leave it for 10-20 minutes and scrub the heck out of it with an old toothbrush. It's safe on all "real" metal, not plated costume pieces though. Just don't forget about it as it will leave a film. Nothing will polish the metal other than a polishing machine and compound (the stuff a jeweller uses), but it will clean the gunk out of the claws, under the stones etc....

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  24. Tried it and loved it. I posted the picture to Instagram of how it turned out check it out. Jujubee75

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  25. I actually have been using this, minus the soap, for over 12 years to clean my jewelry. Contrary to what I've seen posted here, I have had tremendous results out of cleaning silver, andd I pour the baking soda (NO salt) into a heap on the foil (placed shiny side up), then bury the item to be cleaned into the heap. Then I pour the boiling water onto the heap. It foams better this way and that is the magic behind this, no bristles method of cleaning your jewelry :)

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  26. Please, please, please, don't use any kind of jewelry cleaner on your opals, including this one. Opals are very soft stones and are so easily damaged. Also, a lot of opal jewelry is made by adhering a lower-quality stone onto a very thin sliver of a more colorful opal. Opals should *only* be cleaned by polishing them carefully with a very soft cloth.

    I once worked for a major (at that time) Chicago jewelry chain and we never, ever used any jewelry cleaner on our opals.

    I don't need to tell you to keep all kinds of jewelry cleaners away from your pearls, too, do I? :-)

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  27. I tried this about two weeks ago...it was the first time that I'd ever cleaned my engagement/wedding rings (in the 3 yrs that I've had them!). It worked fantastically--I couldn't believe how sparkly and shiny they were!!

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  28. This is perfect! I will be doing this very soon...my rings are in dire need of cleaning. Thanks for the review & post!
    Debbie :)

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  29. Great idea! I'm SO doing this! My wedding rings are looking pretty bad.

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  30. Cleaning without harsh chemicals; I like this idea!

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  31. Thanks for sharing this with us! I can't wait for more of these posts! :-)

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  32. Wow, I just tried this with my white gold wedding set and the results are amazing! I did 8 minutes, just in case, and did have to scrub the undersides of the diamond settings a bit to sweep away the gunk. I can't wait to see the sparkles in the daylight! (Ah, isn't Pimterest great when you can't sleep?)

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    1. Ha ha, PiNterest. Guess I should have slept a little longer!

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  33. Toothpaste and a brush works wonders, and make it all sparkly!!! Easy breezy!

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  34. Wanted to try this the other day but was scared to actually do it!! I didn't know if some random pin from a total stranger was going to mess up my jewels! So instead I decided to follow the blog post of a trusted stranger instead! :) My rings look great and I'm sure would have looked even better if I could have located a toothbrush! Thanks for the follow up on this pin!

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  35. wow!! I just tried it on my filthy diamond ring & a waterproof (fake) gold watch....amazing!! Thank you!

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  36. does a great job on white gold platinum and sterling silver! Very happy with the results...water was black when done!

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  37. Did a beautiful job on white gold,platinum and sterling silver! The solution was black when i finished and my jewelry sparkled!

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  38. Both of my wedding rings (gold with diamonds) looks as sparkly as the day we got them after using this method! Thanks :)

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  39. I was a little nervous about trying this on my wedding band and engagement ring (both rose and white gold with diamonds) but I'm so glad I did! They look amazing. I put water in for 2 mins but let it cool for just a little because I've read that even diamonds can crack in hot water. I will definitely doing this again!

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