You’ve probably begun to think about the upcoming holiday season with its many parties and family gatherings. You may always wear the pearl necklace or earrings your aunt gave you for special occasions, but it may also be a good time to pull out some of your favorite vintage, costume jewelry and make sure they’re holiday-ready.
Unlike real gold, costume jewelry can tarnish, but that doesn’t mean it has to be thrown out! There are several reasons why jewelry becomes dull or dirty (like water, creams or lotions), but the most common problem with fashion jewelry that has been packed away, is that over time the metal is exposed to elements in the air which cause a chemical reaction, leaving them tarnished or discolored. But luckily it’s an easy fix. Whether they’re earrings, a flashy necklace, or a bauble bracelet, here are our best home remedies for polishing off any tarnish to give your favorite vintage jewelry pieces new life!
Lemon juice. Mix one part water and one part lemon juice to create a soak for your jewelry. Place the item in the bowl for 10-15 minutes. The magic element in this household hack is the acid from the lemon juice, however, if you find it hasn’t eaten all of the dirt and grime away, give your jewelry a quick rinse and place it back in the mixture for a few additional minutes. Once the shine has returned, rinse again with cool water (don’t douse it, use just enough) and buff dry with a clean cloth.
Baking soda, salt, and aluminum foil. Line a plate or found pan with a sheet of aluminum foil, shiny side up. Lay all of your darkened costume jewelry on the foil. Mix one tablespoon salt and one tablespoon of baking soda and mix with one cup of warm water. Pour into the dish. The mixture will create a chemical reaction with the foil and bubble as it cleans the jewelry. Rinse with cool water and buff dry with a clean cloth.
Toothpaste and an old toothbrush or Q-tip. Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste on to your tarnished piece of jewelry and smudge it with your finger. Once the jewelry has a thin coating, brush clean — working into the crevices — with the toothbrush. This is a great option because the slightly gritty texture of the toothpaste works hard to remove even the toughest dirt. Rinse with cool water and buff dry with a clean cloth.