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How to clean sterling silver and gold earrings.

Posted by Stacey Hodkinson on

The only guide you need for cleaning your jewellery.

Whether you are a silver, gold or mixed metal earring lover, it is important to know the right way to care for and maintain your jewellery pieces. By cleaning them correctly and using the right products and techniques, you can have them (and you) looking oh-so-fabulous for longer!

Read on to find out the best jewellery cleaning tips for your gold and silver earrings (though take note that these techniques aren’t for gemstones or pearls).

Gold

Gold is a precious metal that despite what some may think is considerably softer than silver and needs to be treated with great care when being cleaned. It shouldn’t be cleaned with abrasive items so don’t go scrubbing your Tanna gold hoop earrings with a toothbrush or wiping them with tissues. Gentle is the way.

So with that in mind, here are a few easy, fast and accessible ways to clean jewellery at home, starting with gold!

1.Bring gold back to life with bubbles (as recommended by this article by online magazine Brides.com)

You need:


Pour some warm water into a bowl and add a couple of drops of washing up liquid to the water to make a solution. Place your gold earrings (we tried the Saba chunky hoop earrings) in a sieve and put it into the solution. Make sure there is enough solution to cover your jewellery pieces. Swish the earrings around a little to get the solution into every crevice. Remove the earrings then place them on a soft cloth. Grab a cotton ball and gently press over the earrings.

For finer crevices, use cotton buds and swab the earrings gently. Rinse the earrings well with warm water. Blot and polish dry with a polish cloth.


2.Bake it up (a technique learnt from learnaboutgold.com)

You need:

  • Baking soda
  • Boiling water
  • Oven dish
  • Soft cloth

First of all, don’t worry. Baking soda is non toxic and whilst it reacts dramatically to acids like vinegar, it has gentle alkali properties that won’t damage your gold jewellery collection, but will remove the dullness. There is a similar cleaning technique for silver out there involving baking soda, but that’s because it is an age-old technique that really works!

Get an oven dish (ideally glass) and place some aluminum foil inside, shiny side up. Pop your gold earrings on the foil (we used Banda creole hoop earrings), then cover it with baking soda. Next add boiling water to the dish until your jewellery is totally immersed. Wait no more than 10 minutes to remove the gold pieces. Use some tongs to remove the jewellery and run under the tap for a minute. Use a soft cloth to blot the earrings dry, then leave them to air-dry after. 

Now you have all our care tips for gold cleaning, you might be keen to add to your shiny new- looking collection! Try Aquila’s gold range for glowing inspiration. 

Sterling silver

Sterling silver as you probably know is a really hardy and durable alloy which doesn’t scuff or scratch easily. It is an alloy that has loads of interesting facts and qualities you could discuss all day, but it is also susceptible to tarnish. That being said, the tarnish comes off super easily too! We used some of Aquila's 925 sterling silver jewellery to test these methods ourselves.

You’re sure to have all the products you need to clean silver earrings in your kitchen. In fact, we have already covered the topic a little in our Top 5 Ways to Clean Your Silver Jewellery where we included a few DIY cleaning techniques too. But here are some more ways you can clean your sterling silver stud and hoop earrings below.

1.Bake away the tarnish (as recommended by this article from GoodHouseKeeping)

You need:

Mix baking soda with water with a ratio of 3:1. Apply the paste to the silver earrings (we chose some Agonda chunkies) with a microfibre cleaning cloth, making sure to massage it into the crevices. As the cloth takes off the tarnish, keep rotating it so only clean parts touch the earrings. Rinse with warm water and gently press dry.

Please do not use this method on any ring that has been oxidised which is the darker grey areas you see on our mixed metal pieces, like the Agra ring. It will lift the oxidisation. 

  1. Olive oil and zesty lemon (as inspired by this blog piece on silver cleaning by Moonmagic)

You need:

  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice

Pour one teaspoon of olive oil into ½ a cup of lemon juice and mix. Place a clean cloth into the solution and gently dab the silver earrings (or Sydney Studs in our case) until it brings back its shine. Rinse the earrings with warm water and leave to air dry until you wear them again, or put them back in storage.

Polishing away the dullness

A really simple upkeep tip is to regularly polish your gold and silver earrings (regular can be every few months, not too often). Keep your cloth in a dry place, carefully stored away ready for a quick polish whilst you plan that trip lockdown has made you postpone. Perfect! To keep your pieces in tip top condition rub them up and down with your chosen cloth, not in circular motions. Don’t apply too much pressure, treat your earrings with care.

For cleaning silver, this Foreaineam cloth is popular. If you like wearing silver with your gold, go for this Pack of Two Connoisseur Ultrasoft Polish Cloths so both are covered.

Hint! Use a gold polishing cloth for your mixed metal pieces. The silver cloth is harsher and may affect the gold over time. 

 

Get an Ultrasonic cleaner

Why not splash out on an ultrasonic cleaner for both your silver and gold jewellery? It’s a one off purchase (with top ups of special ultrasonic cleaner liquid) but can save you on time and faff. Amazon has a great range of ultrasonic cleaners, with this 43khz 600ml UltraSonic Cleaner proving one of the favourites.

In fact, nymag covers all the different products you can use to clean your jewellery including cleaning gels, solutions, cloths, wipes and ultrasonic cleaners in 11 Best Jewelry Cleaners 2021, so why not take a quick peep to see what the hot choices are this year. 

 

Mixed Metal Jewellery

As silver is stronger than gold, for any items containing both metals, we advise you to follow the instructions for gold cleaning.

There you have it, your earrings are restored to their former glory all shiny, sparkly and back to full health. Whether products you find at home, a trusty polish cloth or a more technically advanced choice like an ultrasonic cleaner, find the method that works for you and your metals and pop a reminder in your calendar every few months to wash off that sand and sun cream from your jewellery collection!

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