How to Clean Diamond Earrings: Step-by-Step Guide

Wondering what you need to clean diamond earrings?

You're in the right place. In this Learning Guide, you'll get a step by step layout of the best way to clean your diamond earrings, plus other helpful tips like: 

how to clean diamond earrings
  • Can I Clean Jewelry with an Ultrasonic Cleaner?
  • How To Clean Dangle Earrings
  • How to Clean with a Jewelry Steam Cleaner?

Things You'll Need:

  • Warm water
  • A few drops of mild dish soap
  • Soft bristled brush (like a toothbrush)
  • Small bowl for soaking/rinsing
  • Soft cloth for drying

Best Method for Cleaning Diamond Earrings

If you're looking for the best way to clean your diamond earrings, you've come to the right place. Cleaning jewelry is essential to the longevity of the piece. That's especially true for earrings.

There is one universal way to clean all diamond earrings: soap and water. No fancy cleaning solution, just good old fashioned soap and water.

You can either do a quick clean or soak your diamond earrings in a bowl for a deep cleanse. Aside from those, you'll need a soft bristled brush, such as a toothbrush.

  1. Mix a dime size amount of liquid dish soap with about 1 cup of warm water in a small bowl.
    Don't worry about exact measurements. Just don't put a cup of soap and a half cup of water or something crazy like that. Remember to keep your diamond earrings and cleaning solution on a flat surface, away from any sinks or places they could fall if dropped.
  2. Dip the brush into the solution and clean around the diamond earrings with the bristles for a quick clean.
    If you have time to soak your diamond earrings, gently place them into the solution. Leave them in there for about 15 to 20 mins. Then clean them with the soft brush.
  3. You'll need to empty the bowl and fill it with a fresh water and rinse off your diamond earrings there.
    If you don't have a bowl, you can use running water. Make sure to block the sink drain before you rinse.
  4. After you rinse, place your diamond earrings on your soft cloth on a flat surface. Use the corner of the cloth to gently dry your earrings. Remember to make sure they're completely dry.
    Don't worry too much about the material of your cloth with diamonds. They are incredibly hard to scratch. Just don't be taking sandpaper to dry your diamonds, okay? 
  5. Store your diamond earrings in an empty jewelry box, earring stand, or other safe place for the next time you wear them. 
    Don't store your diamond earrings and other fine jewelry together. Each piece should have its own space and not be touching each other.

Cleaning Different Kinds of Diamond Earrings

Almost every kind of diamond earrings can be cleaned using the method above. Mild soap and water are safe for all precious metals and almost all gemstones. There are still some things to keep in mind when cleaning different types of diamond earrings.

Cleaning Diamond Stud Earrings

The most popular type of diamond earrings are diamond stud earrings. Diamond studs don't have too many different kinds of settings, so cleaning can be applied to most styles.

No matter which method you choose to clean diamonds with, you'll want to use a soft toothbrush to clean between the post and basket. Make sure the bristles get through all the spaces.

If you haven't cleaned your earrings in a while and you wear them a lot, be prepared. Diamond earrings are one of the dirties items to clean. Dead skin, dirt, dust, and sweat all buildup around your ears. The post sits inside your ears all day, collecting more sweat. Ideally, you should cleaning them every other day if depending on how often you're wearing them.

emerald diamond stud earrings
emerald stud earrings

Cleaning Diamond Earring Dangles

There aren't any huge differences between cleaning a pair of studs and diamond dangles. Most dangle earrings are designed with an open look. It's much easier to clean dangles than studs.

diamond dangle earrings from Blue Nile

There's also less of a risk losing them too. Diamond dangle earrings tend to be bigger than most studs. You can hold the post with one hand and gently brush away the dirt with the other. Make sure you're being gentle. Some dangle earrings have flimsy backings and will bend easily.

Diamond earring drops are a type of dangle earring where the top remains fixed and the rest of the earring has restricted movement. Many times these hang straight down and are longer than traditional dangle earrings.

Be very careful when cleaning your diamond drop earrings. Most of them are very stiff in the top half. You can cause kinks or bend the metal if you brush too hard. It might be easier to lay one earring in a cupped hand and use the brush to clean with the other.

diamond line drop earrings from blue nile

More Ways to Keep Your Diamond Earrings Clean

Soap and water isn't the only way to clean your earrings. But it's the easiest and the cheapest. Here are some other ways to clean them.

Commercial Jewelry Solution

You'll find commercial jewelry cleaner in a small container at various places. They tend to cost more at jewelry retailers. The same type of cleaner solution can be found at Walmart and most drug stores.

Make sure you know which type of commercial solution you need. Some liquid cleaners are intended only for gold jewelry. There are some liquid cleaners that only clean sterling silver jewelry. Sterling silver jewelry solution is much stronger than gold cleaner.

How You Clean Diamond Earrings with Commercial Jewelry Cleaner

If using a liquid cleaning solution that works for diamond earrings in all different metals, you don't have to worry about any accidental damage. Most of these cleaners come with a little basket or tray you can load your earrings onto. Don't overload it.

Dip the basket or tray beneath the liquid and swish it around a bit. Clean them one by one over a flat area to prevent lost earrings or earring backings.

Be aware that sterling silver cleaner will strip your silver diamond earrings of their shine and polish. The diamonds will still sparkle, but your metal will appear dull. Do not put sterling silver earrings that have been purposely oxidized or given an antiquing effect. The cleaner will strip it off. Dip, swish around, and rinse in warm water. Do not keep submerged.

Fortunately, it's easy to restore a dull looking pair of silver diamond earrings. Though the earrings are stripped, a silver polishing cloth will shine them right up. This is different from your soft cloth or microfiber cloth used to dry them.

Jewelry Steam Cleaner

A jewelry steam cleaner used to be a heavy duty jewelry cleaning option. There's some big and expensive models out there. Some are used commercially and others can be used at home.

The cleaner uses really hot and pressurized steam to push all the gunk out of your earrings. There's no chemicals or solution needed. This is helpful for cleaning many pairs of earrings at a time. Some models may have both solution and steam.

Most people don't have these sitting at home on their counters. Some models cost over $100. Sterling silver jewelry and gold jewelry can both be cleaned using a steam cleaner. Make sure that silver is very dry.

Keep in mind that some hybrid gemstone and diamond earrings can't be cleaned using a steam cleaner. Opals, emeralds, amber, and pearl jewelry shouldn't be used in any jewelry cleaning machine.

How You Clean Diamond Earrings with a Steam Cleaner

Using a jewelry steam cleaner is pretty straightforward. You should read all directions on your model, because some may have different nuances.

Steam cleaners are nice because they're the only jewelry cleaner that effectively kills bacteria and germs. Besides soap and water, of course. Other liquid solutions merely clean jewelry cosmetically.

Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner

Ultrasonic cleaners have become all the rage lately. That's only because many places like Kay and Zales use them in-store.

But is it necessary to buy one for home?

Probably not.

If you've got a lot of diamond earrings to clean, an ultrasonic cleaner might be right for you. Some people wear multiple pairs of earrings at one time, so it would make sense to clean diamond stud earrings all at once.

Still, you could just as easily do that using soap solution and a bowl.

Ultrasonic cleaning can also be helpful for cleaning really dirty jewelry. Some diamond earrings have different little nooks and crannies where dirt and buildup between the metal and the diamonds.

How to Clean Diamond Earrings with an Ultrasonic Cleaner

You'll need a packet of jewelry cleaning solution to mix with the water required from your cleaning machine. Some ultrasonic machines come with a couple of their own packets. If it doesn't, you'll have to buy your own.

Place your diamond earrings in the water and turn on the ultrasonic cleaner. The cleaning machine vibrates and sends ultrasonic waves through your dirty jewelry. The waves cause dirt to shake loose from between the diamonds and the metal.

Like a steam cleaner, it's especially important to make sure your stones aren't loose before cleaning them. Ultrasonic cleaners can shake a diamond out of its setting if it's already loose before you put it in.

All diamonds are able to be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner. However, not all gemstones can be cleaned with ultrasonic waves. For hybrid gemstones and diamond earrings, I'd advise not turning it on and just cleaning it manually- unless you know which gemstones are okay for ultrasonics.


Conclusion

The moral of the story is, you don't have to buy any kind of cleaning machine in order to clean diamonds. Warm water, a soft toothbrush with a little bit of dish soap can clean them up well. Make sure to maneuver the bristles between the metal in the settings.

You should always place a rag over the sink before you rinse off your earrings at the risk of losing them down the strain. If your sink has a plug, even better.

Microfiber cloth, soft towel, and even soft paper towels are a good option to dry your earrings. If you have platinum diamond earrings, the microfiber cloth would be your best choice.

All of these methods are great methods for different kinds of jewelry, but not all jewelry can be cleaned using each method. Majority of gemstones can be cleaned with soap and water, even if they can't be soaked. 

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