Cleaning earrings at home can be simple. And, it keeps things hygienic while maintaining the life of your earrings.

What’s hard, though, is knowing how to clean earrings when it comes to different types of metals and stones. Sterling silver, diamonds, pearls. How do you clean these properly?

We’ve got you covered. We’ll go over the tools you need, methods you can use, and guidelines for precious stones and metals.

Tools for Cleaning Earrings

Earring cleaning at home is pretty accessible. Here are some easy-to-find tools you’ll need to go from gunk to sparkly clean:

  • Brush: For dainty pieces, use a softer-bristled toothbrush or even a clean makeup brush. Grab a standard toothbrush for everyday earrings or for more grimey culprits.
  • Water: For most earrings, you will probably use lukewarm to hot water either for the cleaning itself or to rinse off residual cleaners.
  • Cleaners: Depending on the metal, use hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, or even rubbing alcohol.
  • Toothpick: For detailed cleaning in etchings or designs, try using a toothpick ever so gently.
  • Cotton pads: These come in handy for more simple earrings. Q-tips may be used for most earrings as well.
  • Bowls: You’ll need these to hold your solution or water.
  • Dry cloth: When your pieces are ready to air dry, you can place them on a dry cotton cloth or unused microfiber cloth.

Be sure to remove your earrings before cleaning (duh!). And wash your hands before cleaning earrings, too!

Simple Methods for At-Home Cleaning

Sometimes, you just need a quick clean. With these methods, you can clean your earrings while streaming yet another quirky rom-com where everything goes wrong before it goes oh so right.

Simple is More: Use a Microfiber Cloth

A microfiber cloth is easy to find and easy to use. When you gently wipe a microfiber cloth over your earrings, you are wiping out any light residue that has accumulated. Fingerprints will disappear with a few soft swipes.

Using a regular towel may be dangerous for your earrings. It can get caught on the tines that hold your precious jewels in place, and it can leave behind fibers.

Paper towels aren’t any better. They may even scratch your earrings, so don’t risk it.

Pro Tip: Store a microfiber cloth in your desk or locker at work. That way you can polish your earrings up before going out for happy hour!

Hot Water Bath

Boil some water and transfer to a bowl or container that can withstand the heat.

Gently place your earrings in the hot water and leave for 20 minutes. With clean hands, lightly scrub your earrings with a toothbrush (a softer bristle will be best).

When the earrings are no longer hot, rinse them in warm water and set them on a clean cloth to dry.

Hydrogen Peroxide for the Win

Most of us have hydrogen peroxide lying around the house. If you don’t, the next time you pick some up, be sure to get a 3 to 6% solution. Anything higher than that may damage your earrings.

For a quick clean, dampen a cotton pad with some hydrogen peroxide and gently wipe off your earrings.

If you need a little more elbow grease, then try this method:

  • Soak your earrings in hydrogen peroxide for a few minutes.
  • Transfer the earrings to a hot water bath. It doesn’t need to be boiling hot.
  • Clean gently with a Q-tip. With a steady hand, use a toothpick to get grime in smaller spots.

For sturdier metals, try adding a dash or two of baking soda to really knock out the gunk.

Cleaning Diamond, Sterling Silver, and Pearl Earrings

Your precious jewelry may require special attention. When handling diamond, sterling silver, and pearl earrings, make sure everything you use is clean and that it’ll be gentle. Don’t mess up those special pieces!

Dish Soap works for Diamonds

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but cleaning them can be daunting.

No worries! Some dish soap and hot water will do the trick. Be sure your mild dish soap has no added colors or perfumes.

Put up to 5 drops of dish soap in a cup of hot water. When the water is cool to your fingers, place your diamond earrings in the solution for around 4 minutes. Then, take a soft and sanitized toothbrush and gently work your way around. Re-soak them in the solution for a couple of minutes.

To finish, simply rinse them off in cool water and let them air dry.

Silver Wipes are Sterling Silver’s BFF

Sterling silver is everything. It’s bright and cheery and feels soft to the skin. It’s also pretty darn durable.

But, sterling silver is the sensitive one in the group. It doesn’t like a lot of water or oxygen, which can make taking care of it seem like a pain.

For an easy go-to, always keep sterling silver wipes stocked. You can simply grab them and run them over your sterling silver earrings to maintain their luster and quality.

Even if they are slightly oxidized, sterling silver cleaning wipes can restore them.

Is that all? Yes. Just be sure you are always storing sterling silver to protect it long-term.

Pearls: Handle With Care

Pearl earrings can be damaged easily if you’re not careful. We get you don’t want to seek out a pro to do the job, so just handle with care.

Use a soft cleaning cloth with lukewarm water to gently polish your pearls. If you want to disinfect them, you can use a mild soap with a soft cloth.

Let them air dry and then wear your pearls with style.

When You’re Fed Up With Cleaning By Hand

So, you don’t want to clean by hand, huh? Well, if you still expect to clean your earrings at home, then you may want to invest in some tech.

Jewelry Cleaning Machines

For those of us who just can’t even, jewelry-cleaning machines are the answer. These ultrasonic cleaners are designed to start at the touch of a button and most simply use tap water to work. 

Bonus: Some machines designed for earrings will also work for watches, eyeglasses, and other jewelry like rings and necklaces. But, be careful with diamonds! If your diamonds are set loose, ultrasonic cleaners may bump diamond earrings up against each other, causing damage.

Just be sure to check the specs before purchasing your jewelry cleaning machine. It may not be the best option for your specific type of earrings. Many retailers do their best to create an all-in-one solution, so don’t fret too much.

Cleaning Earrings at Home: Not So Tough After All

Cleaning your earrings at home really can be easy. And, if you do it regularly, you’ll be earring-ready all the time.

Just be sure to match up the type of earrings with the right cleaners before diving into your regimen. You don’t want to accidentally harm your beautiful jewelry!

And remember, in the worst of times, you can get someone else to do it. We promise you won’t be judged. 

If after all of this, you still are unsure about cleaning your earrings at home, give your local jeweler a call and see if they can help you out. Some jewelry producers offer cleaning specials or lifetime cleanings as well.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your earrings, sit down with your playlist, and beautify your favorite pieces of jewelry and give them some new life.