Stainless steel jewellery is popular due to its durability and practicality. However, it can get tarnished over time due to the wear and tear of everyday use. There are several ways you can clean stainless steel jewellery at home, and we are going to dive into each method and which is the best for you.
Does stainless steel tarnish?
While stainless steel is more corrosion resistant than most other common metals used in jewellery manufacturing, it rusts and tarnishes. And, even though many people claim it doesn't rust, it is, like every other metal and object on the planet, destructible.
The jewellery will get dull with time and exposure to the weather; stainless steel jewellery is no exception. No piece of jewellery will remain as fresh as new for months or years.
However, stainless steel does not tarnish or rust as easily as other metals because it has a much higher amount of chromium.
The high levels of chromium make stainless steel more resistant to corrosion. Stainless steel is also a better conductor of heat than other metals, making it more desirable for cooking pots and utensils. Let's dive into how you are best to clean your stainless steel jewellery.
Best methods for cleaning stainless steel jewellery
Soap and water
- Grab two bowls and fill them with water
- Add three drops of dish soap to the 1st bowl
- Dip the corner of a soft cloth into the water + soap mixture
- Rub the jewellery with the dipped corner of the cloth
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, rub any excess grime away after using the cloth
- Dip the stainless steel jewellery item into the 2nd bowl of just plain water to rinse it
- Use a dry cloth to wipe away any excess water and leave it out to dry
Toothpaste and water
- Grab some plain white toothpaste
- Dampen the corner of a soft cloth with warm water
- Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste onto the cloth
- Rub the fabric across the surface of the jewellery item
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, gently rub across the piece of jewellery
- Plug the sink and rinse the jewellery off with warm water
- Pat dry with a clean towel
Baking Soda and water
- In a bowl, add two parts baking soda to one part water to make a paste of baking soda and water
- Dip a soft-bristled toothbrush into the mixture
- Gently scrub your stainless steel jewellery with a toothbrush + mixture
- rinse the jewellery item with warm water
- Pat the jewellery item dry with a towel
Ultrasonic cleaners for stainless steel
Ultrasonic cleaners are generally safe to use while cleaning stainless steel jewellery. An ultrasonic cleaner is ideal for intricate patterns or stainless steel jewellery with many nooks and crevices. What is the reason behind this? Ultrasonic cleaners use strong vibrations to go into places that a cloth can't reach. However, this may not be appropriate for all jewellery items. It can dislodge some gems and pendants, so do your research before using one.
Polishing stainless steel
With a bit of care, a stainless steel surface can be as shiny as when it first came out of the factory.
Polishing stainless steel is a tedious, time-consuming process.
Polish can be rubbed against the surface to remove any contaminants and rust that have been embedded in the metal. The particles then break off into smaller pieces of dirt or rust which can be easily wiped away.
If you want to keep it looking its best, here are some things that you can do:
- Don't use abrasive cleaners or rough cloths to clean the surface
- Don't use steel wool or other arbitrary abrasives to scrub stains off the surface
- If water spots are present, polish them off with a dry cloth.