Hydrogen peroxide is known to be safe for various disinfection and cleaning tasks, including sterilizing jewelry.
Since jewelry often holds high value or has an abundance of memories attached to it, many are hesitant to use different chemicals or disinfectants to clean it.
This guide will give you a thorough outlook on applying hydrogen peroxide to your jewelry cleaning process for pristine and safe results.
Why Is It Important To Clean Your Jewelry?
The concern is more about health rather than appearance. Unhygienic and dirty jewelry can become a habitat for germs or bacteria, leading to infections, allergies, and skin irritation.
An examination by AJIC showed that both soap and hand sanitizer were unable to eliminate bacteria under jewelry. Moreover, the skin bacteria present at the baseline included Micrococcus, Bacillus, coagulase-negative Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Diphtheroid, and non-enteric gram-negative rods.
Unhygienic jewelry can also have adverse effects on your jewelry by causing color discoloration and degradation of the metals of your jewelry. Moreover, debris and dirt can result in your gemstones gaining scratches.
Is Hydrogen Peroxide Safe for Your Jewelry?
There are several reasons why hydrogen peroxide has become a common jewelry disinfectant. They include it being cheap, readily available at home, and most importantly, safe to use.
The question that surfaces is; whether hydrogen peroxide is safe for all jewelry types.
Hydrogen peroxide is most effective to clean jewelry base metal with. It is safe to apply on metals like gold and silver and won’t harm them as long as it is used gently. It successfully extracts the fat deposits that have accumulated on the jewelry due to environmental factors.
All the following types of jewelry can easily be cleaned with a hydrogen peroxide cleaning solution:
- Bangles and bracelets
- Piercing jewelry (Earrings, nose rings, etc.)
- Ring band
- Tie clips, money clips, Cuff-link
- Pendants and necklaces
- Brooches and charms
- Other fashionable items
How To Clean Gold, Silver, and Platinum Jewelry With Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is suitable to clean gold (yellow gold, white gold, rose gold), platinum as well as silver jewelry.
Hydrogen peroxide will act as a boosting agent to get rid of the muck and grime embedded into your jewelry.
For the most effective formula, combine mild detergent with water. Next, add a cup of vinegar and proceed to add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide. If you have quite a few items to clean, adjust the mixture by adding more vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.
Let the jewelry sit in the solution for around 10 to 15 minutes, then take it out and lay the pieces down on a flat surface. Brush the pieces of jewelry gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush until you notice the shine reemerge.
Do note that this solution used without hydrogen peroxide will not be as effective.
How to Clean Costume Jewelry With Hydrogen Peroxide?
Although not as expensive as genuine jewelry, costume jewelry, and fake jewelry still require proper maintenance and cleaning to sustain their gleam.
The formula is quite simple. Combine baking soda with hydrogen peroxide and then add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to the solution.
Leave the jewelry to bathe in the solution for about 15 minutes, and then take the pieces out. Proceed to brush them tenderly with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
You can repeat this process until you are satisfied with the results.
Why Does Old Jewelry Darken and Turn Green?
It may often seem like green pigmented vines have engulfed your vintage or costume jewelry. That is ‘verdigris’– formed when pollutants, oxygen, and moisture come in contact with the metal.
These pollutants also include lotions, makeup, body oil, body spray, hair products, and various other products that we use in our daily lives. Therefore, you must ensure that you avoid intermixing your jewelry with these substances.
Verdigris is more likely to catch onto both pure and alloy forms of copper, brass, and bronze. It can also grow on gold and silver-plated jewelry.
Moreover, verdigris is contagious and can catch onto other jewelry pieces that may be stored nearby. It doesn’t stop there; verdigris is also a corrosive agent which eats away and dissolves the metal. So the longer you allow it to occupy the jewelry, the more damage it’ll cause.
On the other hand, the good news is that hydrogen peroxide can help remove verdigris from your jewelry.
How to Clean Old Jewelry With Hydrogen Peroxide?
It’s not yet time to bid farewell to your treasures — Take them out of that dusty treasure box to restore their lives with a hydrogen peroxide spell.
To clean old jewelry with Hydrogen Peroxide, create a solution by adding a bit of detergent to water, 2 cups of vinegar, and about a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide. (Remember to add the ingredients one after another, rather than all at once). Leave your jewelry submerged in this solution for 20-45 minutes.
After taking the jewelry out of the mixture, give it a quick rinse to get rid of any remaining particles of detergent. Allow the jewelry to air dry naturally, and make sure it is fully dry before you store them.
How to Clean Earrings With Hydrogen Peroxide?
Earrings are one of the most worn pieces of jewelry. However, since they pass through the ear holes, infections are easily caused by germ-filled earrings when they come in contact with the skin.
It is, therefore, necessary to disinfect them regularly — most preferably after removing or before wearing.
You may pour a bit of hydrogen peroxide onto a cotton pad and run it over the earrings.
Another approach is to fill a glass or bowl with hydrogen peroxide. Leave the earrings submerged for a few minutes before removing them from the solution. Then drop them into a glass of hot water for a minute. Afterward, remove the earrings from the water and leave them to air dry.
If you are anxious that your jewelry may darken, you can always add a bit of baking soda to the water.
How to Clean Diamond Ring Using Hydrogen Peroxide?
New ring holders may be surprised with how much residue and dirt can build in a diamond ring over time. But be it gold or silver, hydrogen peroxide has a solution to clean your ring.
Fetch a bowl, and pour in equal amounts of Windex and hydrogen peroxide. Leave your ring in the solution for about 15 minutes before taking it out and cleaning it gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse the ring with lukewarm water and leave it to dry.
Windex will eliminate the residue and dirt that has occupied your ring, while hydrogen peroxide will terminate the bacteria.
Other Ways To Care for Your Diamond Ring?
Engagement rings, in particular, usually have a sentimental value attached to them, which is always worth more than the actual price of the item.
So although hydrogen peroxide cleanses will always be effective in cleaning your diamond ring, it is good to take precautionary measures to avoid excessive building up of residue and bacteria that may permanently damage your ring.
- Make sure to always remove your ring while cooking. At times small particles of food may get stuck within the crevices of your ring and may be near impossible to extract. Moreover, food and other oils may discolor your ring.
- Do not put on thick creams and lotion while wearing your ring. These substances result in residue spreading in your ring, which gives an old and dirty look to the ring. If your band is platinum or white gold, these creams may even cause discoloring.
- Do not perform labor-intensive tasks while wearing the ring. Banging the ring on different objects may result in it chipping away.
How Often Should You Clean Your Jewelry?
Although you have learned how to clean your jewelry, you may still wonder about how often you should give them a hydrogen peroxide cleanse to avoid bacteria building up in the crevices of the jewels.
It is important to create a cleaning schedule based on all the different types of jewelry you wear.
1. Piercing Jewelry
Since piercing jewelry is in constant contact with the most sensitive skin, they require constant hygienic care. It is recommended to cleanse them every time you take them off and right before you wear them.
Simple routinely cleanses may be sufficient and require rinsing them with clean water, rubbing them gently with a brush, and then drying them.
However, it is important to disinfect them every week or two with a hydrogen peroxide solution.
Do note that you must never directly apply hydrogen peroxide to your skin; always remove the earring before disinfecting them.
2. Jewelry With Setting
Pieces of jewelry embedded with crystals, diamonds, rubies, and gemstone settings may require regular hydrogen peroxide cleanses.
This is because the setting and prongs give easy shelter to dirt, grease, and oil- which may be hard to withdraw with a simple rinse under the water.
Therefore, it would be most appropriate to give them a hydrogen peroxide bath weekly if you wear them often.
3. Other Non-Piercing Jewelry
Jewelry that does not fit in the categories mentioned above can be cleaned less regularly.
Running tap water over them will be sufficient, and a hydrogen peroxide rinse will only be required when the jewelry starts giving off a musty smell.
However, to avoid facing any stale scents, it would be advised to give them a hydrogen peroxide cleanse every month or two.
4. Engagement or Wedding Ring
Engagement and wedding rings are shown off to the world regularly and are put through a lot of daily grime. Although they are one of the strongest gemstones to exist, even they cannot deter germs and bacteria from invading their space.
The high value that they hold in their cleaning will come in 3 steps to maintain their shine correctly.
- A germ-removal cleanse will be required every two weeks. This can be a quick hydrogen peroxide bath of 20 minutes, as previously instructed. However, remember to clean the ring with a lint-free cloth afterward, and do not wear it for at least an hour.
- Your ring will require a thorough clean once a month. This is when you will have to take your time to indulge in the peroxide cleanse and brush every crevice of the ring.
- You will want your ring to last for years on end, and therefore it is important to have it checked and cleaned by a professional twice a year. They will have advanced tools handy that you may not find at home. They will also be able to give your gems a check-over and fix any loose ones.
The Don’ts of Cleaning Your Jewelry
Because jewelry is delicate, there are many precautions to take when cleaning them.
Avoid using harsh chemicals like acetone, bleach, and chlorine to clean your jewelry. These abrasive chemicals can break down the metals of your jewelry. Moreover, avoid using large amounts of baking soda.
Also, hard-bristled toothbrushes and scrub pads must be largely avoided when it comes to cleaning jewelry. You must make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush or scrub brush with a gentle hand so that the diamonds or gemstones do not fall off.
Do not dry your jewelry with toilet paper or kitchen paper. The harsh surface is likely to leave scratches. A soft towel or microfiber cloth is most suitable for drying trinkets.
It is necessary to rinse your jewelry pieces in room-temperature water before drying them with a microfiber cloth. If you forget to rinse the items with water, there may be chemical solutions, detergent, and hydrogen peroxide left behind on the crevices of the jewelry.
Show of the Shine!
With all your treasures restored and gleaming, you may now go out, adorned with jewels and old antique ornaments.
After the hydrogen peroxide cleansing, your glints and shimmers will be attracting several glances of admiration!