How to Clean Jewelry With Alcohol

by Carrie Perles

While soap and warm water is the best cleaning solution for most types of jewelry, there are times when your jewelry needs a more intense cleaning. For example, you may have inherited an old piece of jewelry that hasn't been cleaned for years, or you may have found a piece of jewelry from your youth that was shoved in the back of your jewelry box. In either case, an alcohol bath and an ammonia solution may be just what you need to make your jewelry shine again.

Items you will need

  • Jewelry
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Cup
  • Ammonia
  • Old, soft bristle toothbrush
  • Washcloth
Step 1

Soak the jewelry in the alcohol for two to four hours. This should remove most of the greasy buildup from the jewelry.

Step 2

Rinse the jewelry thoroughly under warm running water.

Step 3

Combine 1/2 cup ammonia with 2 cups of water in a cup.

Step 4

Dunk the toothbrush in the ammonia solution and scrub the jewelry with the brush. Make sure to squeeze the bristles into the jewelry's crevices for optimum cleaning.

Step 5

Rinse the jewelry thoroughly under warm running water.

Step 6

Allow jewelry to air dry. Rub with a washcloth to increase shine.

Tips

  • Use an interdental brush to clean spots that are hard to reach.

Warnings

  • Do not use abrasive cleaning solutions. Do not use rough cleaning tools. Gold and silver scratch easily. Do not use this method to clean gemstones with foil backs. Do not use this method to clean gemstones that are glued to their mountings.

About the Author

Keren (Carrie) Perles is a freelance writer with professional experience in publishing since 2004. Perles has written, edited and developed curriculum for educational publishers. She writes online articles about various topics, mostly about education or parenting, and has been a mother, teacher and tutor for various ages. Perles holds a Bachelor of Arts in English communications from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.