Whether you were given them for a special occasion, such as a birthday, wedding, or graduation, or bought them for yourself, a pair of diamond or Nexus Diamond™ alternative earrings are precious. Maintaining fine jewelry, especially the pieces we wear all of the time, is a top priority to ensure that they last a lifetime (or longer) and retain the same sparkle and shine they had when we first opened the box.
Diamond earrings you wear on a regular basis can encounter dirt, bacteria, and other substances on any given day; just think of the hair products, skincare products, and lotions you use. Additionally, hard water in the shower, oils in your skin, and even pollution in the air can affect how much our jewelry shimmers and shines.
To keep your precious earrings in pristine condition, we’ve put together a complete guide for how to clean diamond earrings. We’ll share a fool-proof method for cleaning earrings with various metals, answer the most common questions about cleaning diamond earrings, and share some final dos and don’ts to ensure you don’t put your earrings at risk.
Also see our blog on the best cut for diamond earrings.
The Best Way to Clean Diamond Earrings
You can approach cleaning diamond earrings much the same way you would an engagement ring or other diamond ring or jewelry and you don’t need harsh chemicals or fancy cleaning solutions to do so. Here’s how to clean diamond earrings at home with items you likely already have around the house:
Prepare the Area and Gather Supplies
Diamond stud earrings are small and can easily slip through your fingers, so don’t clean them near an open drain or somewhere where they could easily fall off the counter and be difficult to find. If you’re cleaning earrings at the kitchen sink, simply plug the drain to minimize that risk. Then, grab a bowl, a soft towel such as a microfiber towel, a mild dish soap, and a soft toothbrush. This is also a good time to remove the backs of the earrings—don’t worry, you’ll clean those too!
Soak Earrings in a Cleaning Solution
Using warm filtered water (tap water can contain chemicals that could wear away certain metals) and a few drops of dish soap, you can create a gentle cleaning solution. Mix these together in the bowl. Then, drop in your earrings and their backs in the soapy water and let them soak for anywhere from five to fifteen minutes, depending on how dirty they are.
Remove Excess Dirt
The water and soap solution will have loosened any dirt, gunk, or grime on the earrings, but it may not have come free completely. Use the soft toothbrush (ideally a new toothbrush or one you only use to clean jewelry) to gently clean in the crevices between the diamond and the setting and in the backs of the earrings.
Rinse and Repeat
You can then rinse the earrings with warm filtered water and dry them on the soft cloth. A microfiber cloth will ensure they don’t pick up any stray strands or lint. If your earrings are particularly dirty, you can repeat this entire process again.
This same process can be applied to other diamond simulant or diamond jewelry as well, including a bracelet and pendant necklace. Additionally, this method is safe to use on rose gold, yellow gold, white gold, platinum, or silver. So whatever precious metal your earrings are set with, you can rest easy knowing it won’t decay when you attempt to clean it in this way. For sterling silver that has oxidized by sitting in your jewelry box, use a gentle silver wipe to polish it clean.
These simple steps will have your diamond earrings sparkling again in no time.
Common Questions About Cleaning Diamond Earrings
Everyone deals with dirty earrings from time to time, so we’ve answered the most common questions we hear to help you keep your earrings not only clean but as brilliant as they once were.
How can I make my diamond earrings shiny again?
If your diamond earrings seem lackluster, it’s not age or wear. Diamonds are incredibly hard and resilient, but they do collect dirt and oil that can make them appear dull. This is why it’s important to clean your earrings often. In addition to soaking them, you can also use a gentle jewelry cleaning wipe to wipe down the surface of the stone and keep it shiny.
It’s also important to know that the more you handle your diamonds, the less shiny they will become. Diamonds are attracted to the oils in your skin, which can inhibit how much they sparkle. So, handle diamond earrings only as necessary, and when you do, try your best to reach for them by their backings.
How do you clean gunk off diamond earrings?
We have all removed our earrings at one point or another and been faced with a gunky residue on the backing. As we mentioned at the start, all of those products we use on our hair and skin, in addition to the oils in our skin and the bacteria floating around the air, can build up on the surface of our earrings. A great way to remove the gunk, in addition to the simple cleaning method we described above, is with hydrogen peroxide. Simply dip a q-tip or cotton swab in hydrogen peroxide and swipe it over the back of the earring for a quick and easy clean.
If the gunk is in a hard-to-reach spot on your earrings, use your jewelry cleaning toothbrush to free it. If that is still too large to reach the crevices, you can also use a toothpick to free any remaining gunk, just do so gently.
How often should you clean diamond earrings?
If you wear your earrings every day, you should consider cleaning them once a week using the above method. If you wear your earrings only on occasion, consider cleaning them before you put them on every few times. This will ensure they always look bright and brilliant when you wear them. When you clean your earrings regularly, it will take less time and effort. In ten minutes, you will have sparkling diamond earrings once again.
Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Diamond Earrings
There’s no need to get creative with your cleaning routine; if you do, you could end up damaging the metal or the stone—or both—on your diamond earrings. Learn these dos and don’ts so you don’t make that mistake.
Don’t Clean Diamond Earrings with Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is commonly used as a cleaning agent for certain items around the house but it can actually dull gemstones, so it should be avoided as a method for cleaning diamond jewelry. Similarly, bleach and other abrasives should never be used to clean your earrings. When a simple dish soap will do, don’t reach for these more astringent household cleaners.
Do Use Filtered Water
Unfiltered water has trace chemicals of all kinds, one of the most prominent being chlorine. Chlorine can actually wear away the metal alloys used to produce gold for jewelry, and if your jewelry features any other gemstones, these chemicals can damage those too. Always use filtered water to avoid damage. It’s also important to use water that is warm, not hot or cold. While diamonds aren’t as sensitive to temperature, other gemstones are, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and let your cleaning solution cool off before dropping your earrings or other jewelry in it.
Don’t Use an Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner
Ultrasonic cleaners clean jewelry by sending vibrations through a chamber that shake loose dirt and grime. However, these vibrations can be quite powerful, shaking diamond studs loose from their settings or chipping settings in some instances. It’s best to avoid these when attempting to clean your diamond earrings unless you can use an extremely low and controlled setting.
Do Have Earrings Professional Cleaned
If you haven’t cleaned your diamond earrings in a long time or ever, they may have quite a bit of buildup that requires a professional clean. Resist the urge to try an ultrasonic cleaner, and instead, visit your local jeweler who can professionally clean your earrings, oftentimes free of charge. You’ll likely want to have your diamond engagement ring cleaned professionally from time to time anyway, so this is a good time to get a thorough clean for your earrings too.
If you follow these simple tips, your diamond earrings will appear like new every time you wear them. So, don’t settle for less sparkle or shine when an easy clean will give them new life. To find a pair of earrings you love at a price point that won’t break the bank, browse our collection of diamond simulant earrings, which features an assortment of cuts, colors, and styles.