Talking to your teen about properly cleaning jewelry will provide them with an essential lesson in responsibility as well as a sense of self-accomplishment. However, finding the right words or the best way to get your message across may be more difficult than expected. Start off by researching different types of jewelry and gems to ensure your teen is using the proper cleaning supplies and techniques. Once you have gathered all the necessary information, you are ready to instruct your teen on how to properly clean their jewelry.

The Type of Jewelry Matters

Gems and jewelry need to be cleaned properly, but how may depend on their type. Talk to your teen about cleaning techniques, provide demonstrations, and provide the opportunity for them to ask questions. Be sure to explain the difference between gems and jewels. Gems are minerals found all over the world. Among the most well-known are: rubies, diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires. Jewels include metals composed of materials such as gold, silver, and platinum. So if they’re looking to clean a piece of jewelry containing both gems and precious metals they’ll need to consider the gem type and the precious metal type when selecting the best, most optimal cleaning method. Lastly, mention the different types of cleaners available on the market for specific gems and jewels.

You may also prepare a homemade solution with your teen using the following as a guide.

At-Home Tips for Cleaning Well-Known Gems

  • Rubies – Mix warm water and mild, liquid soap. Gently scrub with a soft toothbrush. Immediately, rinse with warm water. Dry with a lint-free cloth for a brilliant shine. The Gemological Institute (GIA) offers additional tips on Ruby Care and a Cleaning Guide.
  • Diamonds – Prepare a gentle, degreasing solution: Mix water and a few drops of mild, dish soap. Soak diamonds one to two times weekly. After soaking, use a soft toothbrush to gently remove any remaining dirt. The Gemological Institute (GIA) offers additional tips on Secrets to Keeping Your Diamond Sparkling.
  • Emeralds – Remove any existing oil and dirt using a soft, micro-fiber cloth. Combine lukewarm water and mild soap and brushing with a soft toothbrush. Rinse in a bowl filled with lukewarm water. The Gemological Institute (GIA) offers additional tips on Emerald Care and a Cleaning Guide.
  • Sapphires – Prepare one-part ammonia to six parts of water. You can also use a mix of lukewarm water and mild dish soap. Apply the chosen solution to a small, bristle brush and brush sapphires ensuring to clean underneath the stones. Be sure to use warm water to rinse and a lint-free cloth for drying. The Gemological Institute (GIA) offers additional tips on Sapphire Care and a Cleaning Guide.

At-Home Tips for Cleaning Precious Metals

  • Gold – Place a few drops of liquid dish soap in a bowl filled with lukewarm water and mix gently. Soak the gold in the mix and gently scrub using a soft toothbrush. Be sure to rinse afterward using running, warm water.
  • Silver – Dry silver by blotting with a soft cloth. If the tarnish is heavy, create a paste by mixing three parts baking soda to one part water. Wet the silver, and using a lint-free cloth, apply the cleaner. (Do not use paper towels. They scratch.)
  • Platinum – Mix warm water and mild soap. Gently scrub with a soft toothbrush. Rinse completely with running, warm water. Dry with a clean, lint-free cloth.

Use these tips to make sure your teen’s jewelry always looks brand new!

Additional Resources:

Holiday Buying Guide: How To Clean Jewelry by the GIA

Tips on Caring for Jewelry by the GIA

We’d Love To Hear From You!

Tell us how you clean your jewelry. What cleaning methods work best for you?