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How To Clean Fake Jewelry

How to clean fake jewelry is a common question among jewelry lovers who want to keep their costume jewelry looking its best.

Although here at Jewelry Lab, we only use real precious metals, we do get lots of questions from customers asking how they can clean fake jewelry from other brands they own that use lower quality metals (think Forever 21).

  • Fake jewelry is really just referring to lower quality metals like nickel, stainless steel, etc. 
  • Jewelry is a fashionable piece that always comes in handy. Because it's fake doesn't mean you let it go to waste, try these easy tips and you'd be glad you did.
  • Artificial jewelry makes a trendy fashion statement without burning a hole in your pocket. But keeping it looking dazzling is a task. That is why we are going to share how to clean fake jewelry in this post. 

This article lists the 8 best and easy ways to clean artificial jewelry. You will be amazed by how clean and shiny they become! Read on to learn some home hacks to keep your artificial jewelry looking as good as new. Scroll down!

How To Clean Fake Jewelry

Ways To Clean Fake Jewelry

  1. Lemon juice
  2. Mild dishwashing soap
  3. Baking soda and salt
  4. White vinegar and water
  5. Toothpaste
  6. Baby shampoo
  7. Rubbing alcohol
  8. Club soda

Lemon Juice

Lemon is naturally acidic, which helps remove the oxide layer on the jewelry easily.

The Method:

  • Mix equal parts of water and lemon juice.
  • Soak the jewelry in this solution for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Gently scrub the jewelry with a rough cloth or toothbrush.
  • Rinse it with cool water and pat dry with a clean cloth.

Mild Dishwashing Soap

This is one of the easiest and safest methods to clean your fake jewelry at home.

The Method:

  • Dilute some dish wash soap with warm water in a bowl.
  • Soak your jewelry in this mixture for 10 to 20 minutes to soften accumulated grime residue and dirt.
  • Gently brush your jewelry with a toothbrush. Do not forget the corners and stubborn areas.
  • Rinse your jewelry with cold water and clean it dry with a soft cloth.
a ring having an open-eye design and a minimal band

Baking Soda And Salt

Baking soda helps remove discoloration and can make your costume jewelry appear good as new. However, use this method sparingly for delicate stones to avoid weakening the adhesive.

The Method:

  • Place your jewelry on an aluminum foil with the shiny side upwards.
  • Mix one tablespoon of baking soda and salt and a cup of warm water in a bowl.
  • Pour this mixture on the jewelry lying over the aluminum foil.
  • Leave it on for a few minutes until you see the bubbles on your jewelry settle down.
  • Rub the jewelry gently with your fingers and rinse with cold water.
  • Dry your jewelry thoroughly with a clean cloth.

White Vinegar And Water

The safest and most recommended at-home jewelry cleaner is a solution of white vinegar and water. However, if your jewelry is heavily stone-studded, reduce the soak time and use a microfiber cloth to pat it dry.

The Method:

  • Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bowl.
  • Soak your jewelry in this solution for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Clean the soaked pinky rings thoroughly with an old toothbrush.
  • Rinse it with cool water and pat dry with a clean cloth. You can also use a sponge instead of a toothbrush if the jewelry is heavily stone studded. Add a few drops of olive oil after rinsing to make the stones shine.
a man wearing a cuff style jewelry bracelet


The gritty texture of the toothpaste will help remove even the toughest dirt and stain from every nook and corner of your jewelry piece.

The Method:

  • Gently coat your jewelry with a thin layer of toothpaste.
  • Work through the intricate designs with the bristles.
  • Rinse the jewelry under running cold water.
  • Buff dry with a clean cloth before storing.
man with a necklace in a chain-link and safety-pin design

Baby Shampoo

Baby shampoo is one of the mildest options to clean your jewelry that has stones or pearls.

The Method:

  • Mix equal parts of baby shampoo and water in a bowl.
  • Dip a toothbrush or Q-tip in this diluted solution and gently scrub your jewelry. If your jewelry has intricate grooves, it is best to use a toothbrush as it can easily clean hard-to-reach spots.
  • Rinse your jewelry quickly with cool water and dry with a microfiber cloth or a clean towel.

Rubbing alcohol

It is a safe and effective cleaning agent for fake jewelry. It will help extend the luster of your shiny metals and gemstones.

You can easily remove smudges, spotting, and tarnished surface from your artificial pieces with rubbing alcohol.

The Method:

  • Pour rubbing alcohol into a bowl. Make sure the quantity is enough to soak your jewelry.
  • Leave your jewelry pieces soaked in rubbing alcohol for about 15 minutes. You will notice bubbles and gunk coming towards the brim.
  • Remove the jewelry and check if any part is still unclean. You can leave your jewelry for a few more minutes or lightly scrub it with a toothbrush.
  • Place the pieces out for 15 minutes to air dry and store without washing
girl wearing an earring made with solid silver

Club Soda

It is generally used for cleaning jewelry pieces made with diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. But it can also make your fake jewelry look shiny if used the right way.

The Method:

  • Soak your tarnished fake jewelry in a bowl of club soda for an hour.
  • Check it once to ensure that the stains and dirt are completely removed.
  • Wash your jewelry with cold water and wipe it dry.

Jesus Zabala, author

Jesús  is the founder and designer of JEWELRYLAB. He is the Head of Design and oversees production, quality control, and precious metal sourcing. Having created more than 15,000 custom pieces for JEWELRYLAB as well as custom design collaborations with major fashion brands like Playboy, he brings a unique insight into jewelry style trends, metal quality, and care.