How To Clean And Care For Jewellery

Whether you’ve bought it as a treat for yourself, or been given it as a gift, our jewellery tends to be among our most precious belongings. There are pieces we want to treasure forever, and maybe even pass down the generations. 

This means it’s important to take good care of your jewellery, to keep it clean, and prevent it from getting damaged. Different types of jewellery require different cleaning methods, so read on to discover the best way to clean gold, silver, sterling silver, and pearl jewellery to help keep it in the best possible condition for as long as possible.

Day-To-Day Jewellery Care Tips

Day-to-day, it’s important to store and care for your jewellery in the right way to help it to stay in the best possible condition. Make sure your necklaces and bracelets don’t become tangled, and be aware of the products you should avoid using on your jewellery.

Jewellery Care Dos

  • Always add jewellery last when you’re getting dressed to avoid snagging your clothes
  • Store your jewellery carefully to avoid it becoming tangled or getting scratched
  • Always handle your jewellery with care and patience - jewellery is often delicate, so treat it gently
  • Check any fasteners or clasps periodically for signs of wear and tear - take them to a jeweller for repair if needed to extend the life of your piece

Jewellery Care Don’ts

  • Never wear jewellery in the bath, shower, or when swimming. Contact with water can tarnish and damage jewellery, and you also don’t want to risk losing yours
  • Don’t wear your jewellery in bed - this will help to prevent earrings being lost, and necklaces tangling in yours or your partner’s hair
  • Don’t wear jewellery when doing housework, DIY, or gardening. Jewellery is not only more likely to become damaged in these situations, but it increases the risk of injury too
  • Never use abrasive cleaners on your jewellery, as these could cause irreversible damage
  • Don’t allow any direct contact between your jewellery and perfume, hairspray, body lotion, foundation, or other products, as these could significantly damage its appearance

How Often Should Jewellery Be Cleaned?

If you wear your jewellery regularly, you should be cleaning it at least once a month. You may want to take these pieces into the jeweller’s for a professional clean once a year.

Even pieces that are kept in a jewellery box most of the time should be cleaned every few months to prevent dust and grime gathering, and to stop tarnish from setting in. 

How To Clean Jewellery At Home

Heavily tarnished or discoloured jewellery may require professional cleaning by a jeweller, but if you simply want to keep your jewellery in good condition day-to-day, there are methods you can try at home to help keep your pieces in beautiful, sparkling condition. 

How To Clean Gold Jewellery

As white gold and yellow gold jewellery are completely different in colour, they require slightly different cleaning methods. Read on to learn how to clean gold jewellery to perfection. 

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold jewellery is a precious metal with natural warmth and lustre. Although specialist cleaning and polishing by your jeweller is recommended periodically, you can keep yellow gold jewellery looking clean and lustrous at home by using a magic ingredient: baby shampoo. To do this, follow the below steps:

  • Add a few drops of baby shampoo or another mild detergent to a bowl of warm water
  • Dip a soft-bristled brush into the water and apply the solution to your jewellery, using gentle strokes
  • This should help to lift any dirt or grime from the jewellery; as baby shampoo isn’t sticky, you should be left with a smooth, shiny finish
  • Repeat the process until all dirt and grime is removed
  • To finish the process, use a soft cloth - such as a glasses cleaning cloth - to polish the jewellery until you have a buff finish

White Gold

The above method for cleaning yellow gold jewellery can also be used on white gold items. However, white gold jewellery is more high-maintenance than yellow gold; this popular, beautiful precious metal comprises a white lustre that’s enhanced by rhodium plating (rhodium is a member of the platinum family), which will naturally suffer general wear and fade over time. 

To restore this white lustre and keep your white gold jewellery in the best possible condition, re-rhodium plating will be required periodically - this specialist procedure can be carried out by a professional jeweller.

How To Clean Sterling Silver Jewellery

Silver jewellery is more likely to tarnish than gold, but knowing how to clean silver jewellery to remove any tarnishes may help to keep your pieces in great condition for longer. To clean silver, you can use a simple homemade solution made from:

  • 3 parts bicarbonate of soda (cornstarch is a good alternative)
  • 1 part water


  • Mix the ingredients together to form a paste, then apply this to your silver jewellery, taking care to avoid any diamonds, pearls, or other stones
  • Use a soft brush or cloth to gently work the paste into your jewellery - this will help to remove any tarnish
  • Repeat the process until the shine begins to return to your silver
  • Rinse off the paste, then buff your jewellery using a soft, lint-free cloth to lock in that shine

It’s likely that this process will need repeating regularly to keep your silver jewellery in the best condition, but it’s much better to keep up this maintenance than to have to pay for a professional clean due to significant tarnish.

How To Clean Pearls

All types of pearls - cultured, freshwater, and simulated - need to be treated with care, and they should always be cleaned using a soft cloth or tissue after each wear. 

When adding pearls to your outfit, it’s important to make sure any cosmetics, perfume, or hairspray are fully dried before you add your pearls to prevent any damage. 

Shop Quality Jewellery At Warren James

Discover a fantastic range of high-quality jewellery at Warren James, where all pieces have been tested by the Royal Assay Office, guaranteeing that each precious metal is of the level of fineness stated. The precious metals we use have been responsibly sourced, and crafted using a fusion of traditional jewellery techniques, combined with modern skills and a passion for great design. 

The gold and silver that we use has been recycled over thousands of years, and we only use certified sterling silver, which means it is 92.5% pure and precious. All of this means you can be sure that our necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, and jewellery gift sets are of excellent quality, making them ideal gifts or the perfect treat for yourself. 

Shop our women’s jewellery and men’s jewellery collections, or contact us here if you have any questions about our pieces.