Source: sofirinaja/

Earrings get pretty gross without regular cleaning. Even if they still look great from a distance, you’ll probably see that they are coated in dirt and grime if you look a bit closer. Body oils, makeup, sunscreen, lotions, hair products, dirt and airborne pollutants are just a few of the many things that could be coating your jewelry. And all of those things can detract from your earrings’ sparkle and shine. Plus, do you really want all of that gunk making its way into your ear piercings? Even if you have had your piercings for decades, you could still develop infections from unsanitary jewelry

Luckily, cleaning your earrings is easier than you might think. If you’ve been putting off this project because you’re unsure how to handle it without causing damage, we’ve got you covered! Keep reading to discover how to clean earrings without ruining them. 

Wipe After Each Wear

Clean your earrings every time you remove them and you won’t need to worry about dealing with years of built-up grime. Since precious metals are relatively soft, taking care to avoid damage is crucial. You definitely do not want to clean your 14K gold chain and other luxury accessories using a scratchy paper towel!

A 14K Gold Chain Goes with Any Earring Style!

When you remove your earrings, gently wipe them with a soft, dry cloth. A microfiber cloth works well. Polish using long strokes, not in circles. Polishing in circular motions could make fine scratches more noticeable. If your earrings still seem dirty after this gentle polishing, clean using water and mild dish soap following the instructions below. 

Clean Using a DIY Jewelry Cleaner

You don’t need to run out and buy a special cleaning solution when your jewelry needs some extra TLC. All you need is water, mild dish soap and a soft toothbrush. Combine one quart of warm (not hot!) water with two tablespoons of a gentle dishwashing liquid. Soak your earrings in this solution for up to 20 minutes to loosen debris and soften the dirt. Brush gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Finally, rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a clean cloth. 

Inspect your jewelry to make sure it is clean before putting it away. If there is still some grime, repeat the process above. 

Take Care with Precious Stones

portrait of fashionable man wearing diamond earrings

Source: yurakrasil/

Whether you love rocking bold diamond earrings for men or you have some ladies’ earrings featuring other natural gems, be careful when cleaning. Gemstones all have their own physical properties, and some are more prone to damage than others. Pearl earrings, for example, can’t withstand harsh cleaning chemicals. If your earrings are made with precious stones that are relatively soft, like fluorite or apatite, take extra care to avoid scratching or otherwise damaging them. They can’t be put in cleaning machines or ultrasonic cleaners. 

Keep It Simple

There are a lot of jewelry cleaning chemicals, products and tools out there. When it comes to preventing accidental damage, though, keeping it simple is always your best bet. The soap and water cleaning solution above is safe for everything from Cuban links for women to delicate pearl studs. Don’t get sucked in by sales pitches on other cleaning products. If the simple cleaning suggestions above don’t work for you, consult a professional jeweler for further advice.

Know When to Seek Professional Assistance

gold jewelry pile isolated

Source: VladKK/

If your earrings are extremely dirty or have debris that won’t loosen up after soaking, having them professionally cleaned is the best and safest option. It’s also a good idea to rely on the pros when it comes to caring for heirloom pieces. Talking to a jeweler is a must if your jewelry has any existing damage, too. 

Reaching out to a professional means you won’t have to worry about ruining your jewelry. Even if you don’t have them clean your earrings, they may be able to instruct you how to safely clean them at home. 

Closing Thoughts

Earrings are perfect accessories for both men and women. They come in a multitude of styles and designs. From bold, blinged-out diamond studs to delicate hoops to dramatic drop earrings, there is truly something for everyone and every occasion. Unfortunately, they can also get pretty gross without proper care. Keep your earrings looking great by following the suggestions above. 

Shop Diamond Earrings for Men at Frost NYC

At Frost NYC, we have a wide selection of earrings for men and women. We’re also here to help if you have questions about how to clean your earrings without ruining them. Contact us today to learn more!

May 16, 2022

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