How to Clean Your Jewellery Naturally

We think of our homes as a refuge, where we feel safe from the outside world. But the truth may be the opposite. The average home today contains over sixty-two chemicals. Curiously that’s more than a circa-1900 chemistry lab.

So when you are wanting to clean your jewellery, simply go natural. Most of your favourite jewellery can tarnish when it comes into contact with certain environmental pollutants. The alloy metals are often reactive with oxygen, chlorinated water, sweat even sunlight. 

Jewellery polish does exist but the fumes are dangerous and the solvents in the polish are detrimental to the environment. Constant usage of polish will remove coatings, resulting in jewellery tarnishing faster. Below are a few simple recipes for making your jewellery look new again.

The home is the bottom line of life, the anvil upon which attitudes and convictions are hammered out. It is the single most influencial force in our earthly existence. No price tag can adequately reflect its value. No gauge can measure its ultimate influence … for good or ill. It is at home, among family members that we come to terms with circumstances. It is here life makes up its mind. Chuck Swindoll

How to Clean Brass

A gentle way to remove built-up tarnish and stubborn grime is with this all natural deep clean rub with 3 simple ingredients – salt, flour and vinegar. I also use 100% cotton old t-shirts for my jewellery cloth. Might as well recycle.

Once the colour has changed back to a brassy look, rinse and dry the item thoroughly.

Mix 1⁄4 cup of white vinegar with 1/2 tsp of salt and stir until the salt is dissolved.

Then add about 1 tsp of flour, or enough to make a paste. Some people make a thicker paste. I like it a bit more runny.

Rub it onto the jewellery or soak a cloth and wipe it on. After a minute or so of rubbing, rinse in cool water. Polish with a cloth.

How to Clean Silver

I use toothpaste as a quick fix for cleaning chunky or patterened silver jewellery.

Squirt a bit of  toothpaste on a piece of t-shirt cloth and rub on the jewellery.

If there are knooks and crannies, use a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Some people do not recommend toothpaste as it may scratch the silver.  If you are worried, try the recipe below. Rinse in cool water and polish with a dry cloth.

Toothpaste shine for silver earrings.

Silver with Stones

Another option for fragile, unpatterened or decorated with gems jewellery (that can’t be immersed in water) is good old soap.

Mix one tablespoon dishwashing soap (phosphate-free and ammonia-free) with one cup warm water and stir well.

Dip a soft cloth into the soapy water, wring out the excess. Use this cloth to clean the silver.

Rinse out the cloth with plain water, and wipe off any leftover soap residue. Use a fresh cloth to buff and dry the silver.

How to Clean Gold

Now if you have gold, you can clean it easily with soapy water. This method is the gentlest way to clean gold. Soft gold (18- or 24-karat) may  scratch easily.

Pour 1 tbsp of dishwashing soap (phosphate-free and ammonia-free) into a glass cup.  Add warm water. Stir the dish soap thoroughly.

Let the gold soak in the soapy water for about fifteen minutes before lightly scrubbing it to loosen oils and grime. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or jewellery brush to clean. Polish with a t-shirt cloth.

Soak the golden chain in warm soapy water.

Gold with stones

If you’re cleaning jewellery with pearls or stones, dip a clean soft bristled toothbrush into the solution and clean the surface of the jewellery. Take care not to scratch the surface. 

Rinse with water. Careful not to wash it down the sink! Either plug the sink while rinsing or use a strainer.  Remove all the detergent and polish with a t-shirt cloth.

How to Clean Copper

Believe it or not but ketchup is a quick fix for copper jewellery. The acidic blend of tomatoes and vinegar in ketchup makes it a great copper cleanser and it can be squirted directly on your jewellery.  Rub it in with your fingers and then use an old t-shirt to polish.

Now if you don’t have ketchup in the house use a lemon. Cut a lemon in half and rub it straight onto your copper jewellery to clean it. If you find you need a deeper clean, add some baking soda to the lemon as well. This will provide a deeper clean.

Happy Waste Free Cleaning








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Laila Helena is a BHSc Naturopath who has had a lifetime of sustainable living and Permaculture. She teaches people to be self-reliant and live consciously. The possibility of a sustainable planet has inspired her to create a business that works towards this sustainable future.

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