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4 Things You Should Never Use To Clean Jewelry

Google “how to clean jewelry” and you’ll get a lot of different advice. Most of that advice is really bad. It would be impossible to tell you about all the bad advice out there so we’ll go over the four most common offenders.

Never use these 4 things to clean your jewelry.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is abrasive, which is why it’s great for cleaning sinks and toilets, but that abrasive quality can scratch gemstones and precious metals. So steer clear when it comes to cleaning jewelry.


Toothpaste is just as bad as baking soda for obvious reasons. First of all, it usually has baking soda in it. If your toothpaste doesn’t have baking soda in it, there’s likely something else abrasive that’s helping to scrub your pearly whites. Really, a good rule for jewelry cleaning is to avoid anything abrasive.

Plus, if you’re using a whitening toothpaste those whitening agents can also damage your jewelry.

Boiling Water

Boiling water might sound like a good idea, after all, it’s just water. The problem isn’t the water, it’s the temperature. Cleaning your ring by dropping into a bath of boiling water can cause the metal to expand and contract which can loosen gemstones. The boiling water can also cause cracks and fractures to form in gemstones. Bottom line. Don’t do it.


From rubbing alcohol to vodka, keep it away from your jewelry. Alcohol can dry out the natural oils in gemstones like opals and emeralds, which again, can cause them to crack.

How to Clean Your Jewelry at Home

So the obvious follow-up question is, how do you clean your jewelry at home? This video from Jewelers Mutual is perfection. This is how you clean your jewelry at home. Watch it. Live by it.