How to Clean Necklaces

It’s your favorite necklace, the one you wear to school, work, dates, and even grocery shopping. No matter if it has been with you for years, or if it's your latest fashion find, once it gets tarnished it's no longer in style. Over time, jewelry, especially necklaces, tend to become dull and change color. Body oils, sweat, makeup, and other substances are to blame for your chain's tarnish. Our necklaces are exposed to hairspray, perfume, body lotion, and other beauty products that can shorten their shining years. 

Don’t you dare say goodbye to your favorite necklace just yet. There are many ways to clean necklaces and make them look as shiny and beautiful as they once were.

5 Easy Ways to Clean Necklaces

To keep your necklaces clean, make sure you’re storing them in a cool, dark place, away from heat and moisture. But, keep in mind, at some point, your necklaces need some TLC to go back to their shiniest self. Here are a few tips to bring your necklaces back in style.

1. Give them a Bubble Bath

All of your necklaces, from the cheap custom pieces to the high-end designer ones, can benefit from a relaxing bubble bath. Grab a bowl with warm water and a hint of gentle soap; baby shampoo also works. Soak your necklaces for at least 15-minutes. As soon as they’re out, rinse your necklaces using clean, cool water, lay them out over a paper towel and pat them dry with a clean cloth. Be careful as you pat them dry with the cloth, you don’t want the necklace chain to catch any fibers.

2. Use a Toothbrush

While you can use your fingers to clean your necklaces, the soft bristles of a toothbrush can do a much better job. Using a toothbrush comes particularly handy when you’re cleaning thin necklace chains. Avoid using an old toothbrush, and instead buy a soft bristle one to use exclusively for cleaning your necklaces.

3. DIY Cleanser with White Vinegar & Water

Using a quick DIY cleaning solution, you can bring your dull necklaces back to life. With this solution, your necklaces end up with a hyper-glossy and clean finish. To start, combine equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bowl. Soak them and use a soft toothbrush to get into the crevices of your necklace. Keep brushing until you start seeing some improvement.

For an extra powerful cleaning solution, add some baking powder to the water and white vinegar mix. The baking soda will instantly create a powerful cleaning foam solution that will melt the tarnish off your necklace. Once done, lay them out on a paper towel and use a clean cloth to pat them dry.

4. Try Polishing Wipes

Consider polishing wipes the investment of a lifetime for your necklaces. These microfiber cloths are designed to remove tarnish from silver and gold jewelry. They’re pre-soaked with a polishing solution, so they clean and shine far more effectively than just a cleaning cloth. Use them repeatedly until you no longer see black lines after wiping your necklace.

5. Give them a Salt Bath

Another DIY idea includes using a saltwater solution. Salt baths are good for most stones and gems, but you need to be careful about precious metals, as they might not respond as well. Boil one or two cups of water and place in a bowl. Dissolve a tablespoon or two of salt in the water. Add a sheet of aluminum foil and place it in the saltwater solution – by combining aluminum and salt, you can create a reaction with silver and remove the tarnish. Toss in your necklaces, and soak them for 10-15 minutes, remove and pat dry with a microfiber cloth. 

Keep In Mind

To prevent your necklaces from tarnishing, make sure to clean them regularly and practice proper care. Wait until your perfume dries before you put on your necklace, avoid applying body lotion when you wear necklaces, and keep them in jewelry boxes to prevent air and moisture exposure. But, next time your necklaces start looking dull or tarnished, now you have a few ways to keep them looking bright and shiny.

cleaning necklaces