What Are The Best Ways To Clean My Earrings?

A lot of people wear earrings every day. Jewelry, especially earrings, can be one of the best ways to beautifully frame your face, and it also allows you to have your outfits just perfectly pop right out. But, if you're the type that chooses to wear your earrings every day, then you may notice that they get to the point where they don't look as lovely as they once did. So, just like any other jewelry that's out on the market, even earrings will need a good cleaning from time to time. 

Earrings are prone to getting visibly dirtier compared to other types of jewelry. It doesn’t matter if it’s hoops or studs; they can receive build-upbuild-up from sweat, hair products, and grease residue. This accumulation creates dullness and discoloration within the earrings themselves. So, how exactly can you clean your earrings without risking any damage? Here's what you need to know!

woman in sunglasses wearing geometric earrings

Why is cleaning your earrings so important?

Like the rest of your jewelry, your earrings have to be cleaned regularly. It is due to this type of jewelry being inserted into the skin. But there are several other reasons you need to grow accustomed to having a routine for cleaning up your earrings. They all need to be cleaned to perfection from high jewelry to something a little less glamorous.

The key to the safety and overall well-being of your ears is always to keep your earlobes clean.  This is especially true when getting your ears pierced for the first time or when you are adding another hole to your ear.  If the back of your ears are not clean either, this is when infections can happen.

The best thing you can do is get into the habit of cleaning your ear lobes daily along with your precious earrings.  Having squeaky clean earrings and earlobes can make your earrings last much longer. 

Related: Matching Makeup to Your Jewelry

Keeps it shiny

Most metals on earrings will thoroughly remove the shine. The tiny particles in the build-up (grease, dirt, or whatever) can instantly take the shine right off. It's usually pronounced if the jewelry is clean or unclean, so the shine will be very pronounced once it's cleaned up. 

Prevents bacteria

Think about it; earrings are one of the few pieces of jewelry inserted directly into the skin. If you've ever received an ear infection, you know how painful it can be. Cleaning your earrings regularly will be a surefire way to altogether remove any bacteria, and it's also going to be the best way to prevent infections.

Removes grime

All jewelry, from rings to necklaces, accumulate grease and dirt. Both hair and skin release grease; it's completely natural. But other than the natural oils on the skin, dirt can come up in other ways from products used daily or just something in the air. Regardless, cleaning your jewelry removes all of this unwanted gunk. 

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Always Be Gentle When Cleaning Your Jewelry

Porous silver and opals can oxidize very easily. Because oxidation can happen quickly, jewelry typically comes with a warning label that stresses that each piece should be handled carefully.

When it comes to silver and opals, for example, you will need to use gentle cleansers on the posts so that you can remove any buildup of sebum without harming the metal.  If you are cleaning stones, try to avoid bending the prongs to clean the jewelry.  You can use polishing clothes to shine on exposed surfaces.

Gather the needed materials

No matter what type of metals your earrings are made out of, you need to be aware of what it's made of. It doesn't matter if it's jewelry you love to wear; you're at risk of destroying it if the wrong solution is used. In addition, some cleaning solutions for earrings won't work for certain types of metals. So, before you begin the cleaning process, make sure you look into this first. 

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is considered one of the best solutions for cleaning up jewelry. It disinfects the piece while removing all that built-up grime simultaneously. You can either use diluted Hydrogen peroxide or allow your jewelry to set in it. Alternatively, you could use a cotton swab or cotton pad soaked with the solution and clean it that way. 

Dish soap

While diamonds can be mighty, you have to be careful with what solutions you use. Ideally, you’re going to want to choose a solution specifically meant to clean diamond earrings. However, a couple of drops of dish soap and one hot cup of water could be an optimal solution. You'll want to soak your diamond earrings in this until the water cools. Afterward, let them air dry on a towel. 

Related: Which Jewelry Metals are Hypoallergenic? 

Microfiber cloth

Those clothes used to clean glasses and camera lenses can also be an excellent option for cleaning jewelry. Most metals react positively to microfiber cloths as they can easily buffer the jewelry. Just make sure to use silver wipes when cleaning off sterling silver earrings. 

woman wearing multiple earrings on-ear

How Often Should You Clean Your Jewelry?

Knowing how often to clean your jewelry is important because it will extend the life of your earrings in the long run.  With that said, the time you need to spend cleaning your earrings may surprise you.

Ideally, you should try and clean your earrings twice each day.  You can do this once in the morning before you wear them and then again in the evening before you go to bed. 

When cleaning silver earrings, they should be cleaned at least monthly because they tarnish quickly due to air exposure.

You may seem surprised at the seemingly excessive cleaning schedule and may even think that it sounds unnecessary. Still, again you are looking to extend the life of your jewelry for as long as possible.  Don’t forget that sanitation and ear hygiene are also essential to help prevent infections.

Restoring Silver Requires Chemicals

There is a way to remove oxidation from silver jewelry altogether, but you have to use certain silver cleaning chemicals to remove the tarnish and doesn't damage the silver.  

Even though this may sound fantastic to some, these cleaning agents can be a little harsher than gold-cleaning chemicals, so try to take a jewelry polishing rag and apply it to broader surfaces of the earrings instead one concentrated area.

What are some alternatives for cleaning your earrings?

If you have very precious pieces of jewelry or earrings that are either very sensitive, old, or have so much sentimental value, then other alternatives to getting them clean don't include old-fashioned water or soap. In addition, some metals cannot handle solid or harsh solutions, especially antique pieces. So when it comes to your earrings, here are a couple of beneficial alternatives that you may want to choose. 

Take them to a jewelry store for cleaning.

Some jewelry stores will offer cleaning jewelry services, but not all offer this. So, this can be the more difficult option for trying to clean up your earrings or other jewelry. This is the safer option, but it will be the more difficult option that will require some research. 

Related: How to Choose the Right Earrings for Your Face Shape

Invest in a jewelry cleaning machine

A jewelry cleaning machine can come in a variety of price tags. So it’s going to be up to you to figure out which one looks like it may be the best option. Jewelry machines can be the perfect option for leaving your earrings completely shiny and shimmering. 

A little different than a clearing machine is a jewelry cleaning kit. These kits will usually have a cleaning spray, a cotton cloth to polish your silver, and a brush that helps keep your most valuable pieces beautiful.  

All you need to do to keep your jewelry looking its best is to clean and buff your earrings until any marks or imperfections are gone. Make sure you know what type of metal your jewelry is made of if you use any anti-tarnishing agent. 

A perfect example is using a polishing cloth on gemstones or pearls. Don't do it!

gold ridged mirror with tiny gold hoop earrings

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Overall, there are several ways to ensure that you get that lovely shine back in your earrings. Just make sure you know what type of metal or detailing is in your earrings so you won't run the risk of destroying them. In addition, having a proper routine for cleaning up your earrings is most certainly worthwhile.