How to Clean and Store Your Jewellery & Watches

How to Clean and Store Your Jewellery & Watches


How to Clean and Store Your Jewellery

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The wonderful thing about jewellery is, with a little care, your perfect piece will still look as good as new decades after its purchase, unlike almost any other accessory.

We can take this for granted and, regularly in our jewellers, we talk to people who are upset at a treasured piece of jewellery they wore 24/7 has been damaged or a part lost.

We've seen rings bent by weight lifting, doing manual labour or even the housework. Having seen a badly bent silver ring which the owner came in with after she got it caught in some venetian blinds, it does make you think about how our precious jewellery withstands some rough treatment at times. If we wear our jewellery items all the time, if we don't remove them before using harsh chemicals, or doing heavy, manual work (even the housework!), we may damage them.

Jewellery is fantastically hard wearing, but these pieces are still composed of precious metals that need to be relatively soft to be manipulated into the wonderful shapes of rings, pendants and earrings. Added to that, claws that hold precious stones in place are very, very small and a know can easily damage them. 

We forget that these are extremely precious items. With a little care and caution, our piece will last for decades and even generations. 

Why Regularly Clean and Store Jewellery When Not Wearing It?

If we ensure our jewellery is regularly cleaned and packed away safely, sealed to stop the air getting to it as much as possible, it will stay perfect and sparkly for the next time we wear it.

Jewellery needs to be stored properly, wrapped or boxed away from other stones or metals which may otherwise scratch it. 

In a perfect world we would remove our jewellery every night and store it in the box it came in. We would regularly clean and polish our jewellery. 

We rarely do this and I'm not sure why as it's not so difficult to do and not very time consuming. If we did, we would extend the life of our jewellery by a long way. Many people are shocked when they wear their item of jewellery 24/7 and find a stone has fallen out. For jewellery where stones have been glued in it is only a matter of time before this happens. 

Here we outline a few tips on keeping your jewellery at its best. 


Most of us don't realise how grubby our piece of jewellery is until we clean it ... so much so it's often a bit of a shock when we see the difference, especially with rings. 

You may think that leaving your jewellery (or watch) on all the time and bathing or showering in it will naturally "clean" it. This is not the case. Soap and water won't reach into all the nooks and crannies of the item and, a residue of soap will remail on the surface of gemstones, like a film, which will dull the piece considerably. 

By leaving the item on, perspiration will gather under the piece and this will further attract dust, skin cells and other particles.

A little warning though ... if in doubt about the piece of jewellery that you would like to clean, DO get professional advice and don’t clean a piece of jewellery yourself if you are unsure about the material of the item or if it is particularly precious to you.


If you've ever reached for a piece of silver jewellery to wear and discovered that it has gone black and tarnished, you’re not alone.

Silver Tarnish

Tarnishing is a completely natural process that happens on the surface of silver but, luckily, it can be removed easily and economically with silver cleaning products. An inherent quality of silver is that it will, if left out in the open, lose its shine and darken (tarnish) on exposure to the environment (air). Sometimes the piece can look quite black.

It is quite literally a chemical process that occurs on the surface of the metal. Hence leaving silver in the open accelerates this process. 

This includes jewellery items kept in a jewellery box, unless it is in a sealed bag.  (We will show you how to store your jewellery later).

Tarnished silver does not mean that the piece of tarnished jewellery is not really made of silver, as many people think. 

Jewellery cleaning wipes or a silver polishing cloth will remove surface tarnish and your item. Chains and other stubborn tarnish on plain silver can be dipped in a silver cleaning fluid. 

Please don't ever clean your jewellery with toothpaste  – toothpaste is very abrasive and is likely to scratch your precious jewellery and cause damage. Silver and gold is a lot softer than the enamel on your teeth.


Tarnish only occurs on the surface of the metal – it doesn’t “eat” into the silver and it doesn’t damage the silver in any way - and is easily removed and is not permanent.


To clean tarnish from silver you will need the Silver Jewellery Cleaner; Silver Polishing Cloth or the Jewellery Cleaning Wipes.


1. Gather Up Your Jewellery

Gather as much of your jewellery as you can to do the whole lot in one go.

2. Divide The Jewellery To Clean Into Separate Groups.

  1. Divide your jewellery into Silver, Gold and Costume as each of these will need different cleaning methods.
  2. You should then further divide the items into those with and without stones.
  3. You will then need to ascertain the gemstones which need very special attention and should be taken for professional cleaning and those that can be cleaned at home.  Some stones are more precious than others – like Pearls, Emeralds, Opals, Marcasite, for example could be easily damaged.
  4. You should then have “groups” of jewellery, depending on the cleaning process and products they should be cleaned with.

3. Select your Cleaning Products

Take your chosen jewellery cleaning products, a soft towel and babies toothbrush or and old, clean make up brush. Ideally position yourself at a sink but DO ensure the plug is in or there is a cover over the plug hole (small pieces of jewellery are easily swooshed down the plug!). 

4. Work on one group of jewellery at a time, for instance, your silver jewellery without stones.

We clean our jewellery in these groups:

Plain silver, no stones

Silver with hard gemstones - cubic zirconia, blue topaz, etc

We have tried and tested many jewellery cleaning products and these, we find, are the best. We regularly use the following products each day in our jewellers and they are the best products to clean silver jewellery that we recommend to all of our customers.

Checking Your Jewellery for Damage

It's a good idea whilst you have your jewellery in front of you to clean, to check it thoroughly for any knocks, loose gemstones, bent claws, etc. An eye loupe helps to do this (take the loupe up to your eye and bring the item up to the loupe). Always get any damage fixed whilst it's still small - leaving it can cause more expense in the long wrong with more complicated repairs and replacement stones. 


We use all the jewellery products listed below ourselves in our jewellers and they are all superb. They are reasonably priced solution to cleaning your jewellery that you can keep for years. If you clean your jewellery items regularly, you won't regret it. 


Connoisseurs Silver Jewellery Cleaner, Immersion Bath for Silver and Silver-Plated Jewellery, Effective Jewellery Cleaner for renewed Shine, Cleaning Solution with Cleaner Kit- 250ml. (6283855)

Silver Jewellery Cleaner is a pot of cleaning fluid with a Dip Tray inside which can be lifted out of the liquid. It also has a small brush included to give difficult to reach areas an extra clean.

Silver jewellery cleaning dip is particularly good at getting into crevices and for removing silver tarnish.

But, unlike the Ultrasonic bath, this cleaner will only work on the tarnish, it won’t dislodge debris and dirt.

Perfect for silver chains and silver items with no precious stones, enamel or gems added.

Do Not Use The Silver Jewellery Cleaner With:

Items with precious gemstones, enamel or stones which have been glued in, this includes any marcasite jewellery, as the dip may dissolve the glue and the stones may come out. (See table below).

This jewellery cleaner should not be used on porous stones, such as amber or turquoise. (See table below).

Please DO NOT use the Silver Jewellery Cleaner on any oxidised silver or Pandora beads or bracelets.  This includes Trollbeads bracelets and beads.  (Use Precious Jewellery Cleaner, instead).


A 'Before and After Cleaning' picture of a silver pendant
Before and After Dipping

The solution has a strong odour, but this is the tarnish removing chemical and is no cause for alarm.

Directions for Use:

-Place the piece of sterling silver jewellery into the dip tray inside the tub and lower the tray with the items being cleaned into the solution for 10-15 seconds only. There is no need to extend this exposure time.

-Remove the dip tray with the jewellery in from the pot and hold under running water at room temperature or swill in plenty of fresh plain water

-We sometimes use a soft make-up brush or babies toothbrush (think soft!) to move the liquid into any crevices in the item of jewellery, if needed.

-Dry the jewellery with a soft cloth. We can’t emphasise how its important to dry the item thoroughly – even a little dampness will encourage tarnish

-Buff and Polish with a Silver Polishing Cloth.


The gold, or Precious, jewellery cleaner is specifically for gold, platinum, diamonds and other precious stones. With a little brush, this cleaner is perfect for reaching all the nooks and crannies in your items of jewellery. You will be amazed at how much brighter your jewellery looks after a clean in this solution. 

Directions for Use:

Place a few items at a time in the dip tray and lower into the solution

- Leave for 30 seconds

- Remove, clean with the little brush and give another quick submerge, if necessary

- Remove the items of jewellery from the dip tray and run in fresh, lukewarm water

- Dry the items of jewellery throughly

- Buff with a large Gold jewellery polishing cloth


Connoisseurs Delicate Jewellery Cleaner Jewellery Connoissers

The Delicate Jewellery Cleaner  is perfect to clean:

  • Pandora bracelets, beads and jewellery;
  • Trollbeads bracelets, beads and jewellery;
  • Thomas Sabo; Watches  – with steel, yellow or rose gold and ceramic straps.
  • Semi-Precious Stones - including pearls and costume jewellery.

Used in much the same way as the silver jewellery cleaner above, this cleaner will clean silver in a gentler way but it will not remove tarnish. It is good for those items that are oxidised.

To remove tarnish from oxidised silver, use one of the jewellery cloths below.

Directions for use:

-Place one piece of jewelry into the dip basket and lower into the cleaning fluid.

-Leave submerged for up to one minute (longer is not necessary).

-Remove the dip tray with jewelry and rinse the items thoroughly in room temperature water.

-A cleaning brush is provided to get to the difficult-to-reach places.

-Dry the jewellery with a soft cloth.

-Polish with one of the Jewellery Polishing Cloths.


Ultra-Soft Jewellery Polishing Cloth and box
Ultra-Soft Jewellery Polishing Cloth

The Ultrasoft Jewellery Polishing Cloth is wonderful for all silver including oxidised silver like Pandora jewellery, Trollbeads, Thomas Sabo, and other charm beads.   It will remove tarnish and polish and buff silver pieces.

It can on its own or also be used after dipping jewellery, since the piece has been dried.

We use these cloths every day in our jewellers, along with the jewellery wipes below.

It is also useful for Watch Straps, Silver Plated jewellery, Silver jewellery with semi-precious stones, Antiqued Sterling Silver and fashion brands.

It’s a great item to have at home and very easy to use with a noticeable difference after a quick polish.

The Ultra-Soft Silver Jewellery Polishing Cloth is made of thick, natural and gentle cotton. With two layers – one cleans the jewellery and one buffs. It also applies an invisible barrier to delay new tarnish from forming.

Directions for use:

– You should use the light violet cloth to gently rub the tarnish from the silver jewelry.

-Do not be alarmed at the black marks that appear on the cloth, it is only due to the chemically treated micro-fine polishers being activated with the tarnish appearing on the cloth.

-After a thorough cleaning, the darker outer cloth should buff the item.

-The cloth can be reused repeatedly and should not be washed or laundered. Even after extensive use, it can still work effectively. Only replace and repurchase a new cloth when you notice that your jewelry is no longer being cleaned or shined by the cloth.


A box of Jewellery Cleaning Wipes
Jewellery Cleaning Wipes

Image of a silver ring half cleaned with cleaning wipes, with the other half still tarnished

This is another product that we use every day in our jewellers.  Jewellery Cleaning Wipes are probably our most go-to jewellery cleaning product.

As well as silver and silver-plated items, including oxidised silver, these products can be used on gold/gold-plate, rhodium-plated jewellery, gemstones, costume and fashion jewellery and even watches.

The Jewellery Wipes are perfect for cleaning Pandora bracelets, beads and jewellery. Also Trollbeads bracelets, beads and jewellery and Thomas Sabo jewellery and charms.

The wipes are also perfect for steel, yellow or rose gold and ceramic watch straps.

They contain an anti-tarnish shield to help your jewellery keep its lustre and shine.

Dry and are disposable they can be reused many times – use them until you feel they are not bringing the cleaning or shine they previously used to with your jewellery. We find this is almost until they eventually disintegrate.

Directions for Use:

-Use one cloth, dry, from the plastic case

-Gently rub the jewelry item with the wipe – it will instantly shine your jewelry and remove tarnish. (NB: It is normal that your fingers and even your jewelry will have a residue of black after use – this is NOT dirt).

-You can rinse the jewelry under tepid water to remove any residue and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth – although this step is not essential unless needed.


Hanience Ultrasonic Cleaner, 600ml Ultrasonic Jewellery Cleaner Machine with Degas, 5 Digital Time, for Cleaning Jewelry Rings Glasses Denture Watches

An Ultrasonic Cleaner , easily available from Amazon, will give your jewellery a very deep clean but it won’t remove tarnish on the surface of the silver.

It cleans by agitating the dirt and breaking it up – you can literally see little bits of debris being detached from the item of jewellery when it’s in the ultrasonic machine.

The advantage of using this is that  every part of the jewellery will be reached, with every nook and cranny being cleaned, such as behind the claws of rings.

Because of this, it is particularly good for rings, pendants, earrings and chains – in fact anything that is intricate.

Ultrasonic machines are equally good for your glasses as well as your jewellery and many people refer to them as a wonder-device as they are said clean so well with no damage.

But you do need to take care with these machines.

As they clean by agitating dirt, if you have any loose stones in your jewellery the ultrasonic machine can dislodge the stone and make it fall out.

Therefore we advise you to check your jewellery thoroughly before putting your jewellery into one of these machines.

Never use the ultrasonic machine with marcasite jewellery – indeed you should never get marcasite jewellery wet.

Until recently you could only get your jewellery cleaned in this way professionally by taking it to a jeweller with an ultrasonic machine. But in 2018 a home-use ultrasonic device became available.  Now sold on Amazon, these machines are highly rated.

Now you can give your jewellery a deep, deep clean in less than 15 minutes in the comfort of your own home.


Images showing a Pandora bracelet both before and after cleaning
Pandora Bracelet & Charms Before & After Cleaning

Any modern charm bracelet such as Pandora, Trollbeads, Chamilia will need cleaning regularly.

In order to do so, you should remove all the charms from your bracelet.  Between the charms and, in particular, within core can be a perfect place for debris to collect and, particularly with the importance of stringent cleaning due to the Covid-19 outbreak, these hiding places need to be thoroughly cleaned.

For Pandora bracelets and charms excluding any enamel or oxidised pieces, we recommend using either warm water and a mild detergent, such as washing up liquid, with a soft baby toothbrush or using the Delicate Jewellery Cleaner  rinse each charm and dry on a soft cloth.

You can use the Jewellery Cleaning Wipes on oxidised pieces and charms with enamel in.

We always finish with the Ultra-Soft Polishing Cloth.


Oxidised silver is 925 sterling silver which has had an extra step added to the manufacturing process to give it a slightly blackened finish, or patina, giving it a slightly antiqued look.  It has been increasingly used in modern jewellery – much of Trollbeads jewellery is oxidised.

What you don’t want to do with oxidised jewellery is to dip it in Silver Jewellery Cleaner – this may strip the oxidation from the surface of the item.

The best way to clean oxidised silver is with warm water and detergent (again, don’t use this with glued stones or pearls, marcasite or enamels) and a soft babies toothbrush.  Dry thoroughly and buff with an Ultrasoft Jewellery Cloth.  We also regularly clean oxidised jewellery with Jewellery Wipes – these are great to use between washing.

A good alternative to detergent and water is Precious Jewellery Cleaner – it also has the advantage of being able to be used to clean your gold jewellery.


We advise you to store your jewellery in little grip-seal plastic bags – this prevents the air getting to the items and it oxidising.  We keep all our silver items that aren’t on display in this way.

Another good idea is to pop an anti-tarnish strip in the bag with your stored jewellery item.  These do need replacing infrequently, but they are relatively cheap.

Keep your little bags of jewellery in a good jewellery box or store the bags inside a nice sturdy box.


We hope this has given you some idea of the very best products to use to clean all types of your silver jewellery.

We’d encourage you to clean your jewellery regularly – you won’t regret it.

If you have any questions, we are here to help so please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below.


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