Homemade Jewelry Cleaner with Ammonia

by Karen Waggoner ; Updated September 28, 2017

Keep the sparkle

ring with diamonds isolated on the black image by Elnur from Fotolia.com

After several day's wear, the most perfect diamond in the world will look duller than it should. Because sparkle and shine are what we enjoy most about diamonds and all jewelry, keeping it clean should be a priority. Fortunately, effective jewelry cleaners can be made at home using simple ingredients.

Items you will need

  • Ammonia
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Water
  • Glass jar, pint or quart
  • Measuring cup
  • Small bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • Baby toothbrush
  • Clean cloths
Step 1

Measure 1/2 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup dishwashing liquid, and 1 1/2 cups of warm water into the glass jar, preferably one with a wide mouth. Mix gently. For a smaller amount, measure 1 tablespoon ammonia, 1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid, and 3 tablespoons water in a small glass dish.

Step 2

Drop jewelry gently into the mixture in the jar. More than one piece at a time will work very well. Allow to soak for at least 10 minutes.

Step 3

Remove pieces one by one, gently scrubbing the backs of stones or other recesses with a baby toothbrush or other soft brush, if necessary. Rinse with clean warm water and lay out each piece to dry on a dry cloth. Polish each piece with a dry cloth.


  • Keep the cleaning solution in the glass jar indefinitely, or until it begins to look cloudy. In that case, discard it and prepare a fresh mixture.


  • Do not substitute dishwasher detergent for dishwashing liquid. Do not use terry cloth towels on jewelry; it may snag on jewelry prongs and loosen stones. Do not put any so-called soft stones in this mixture; soft stones are sometimes organic in origin, such as pearls and coral; other soft stones are too porous--such as opals, jade and turquoise. This mixture may dissolve the glue used in costume jewelry and is not recommended for plated jewelry.

Photo Credits

  • ring with diamonds isolated on the black image by Elnur from Fotolia.com

About the Author

Karen W. Waggoner is a retired teacher and lifetime scribbler. She has published short stories, essays in anthologies and periodicals. Waggoner is the author of the memoir, "On My Honor, A Navy Wife’s Vietnam War." She is a graduate of Stetson University, the University of Connecticut and Christian College for Women.