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How to Clean Stainless-Steel Jewelry

From watches to wedding rings, stainless-steel jewelry has a lot going for it. It's handsome--it resembles platinum, but it's much stronger and less expensive. It's not prone to rust or tarnish, and it's easy to clean. Here's how to keep stainless-steel jewelry looking its best.

From watches to wedding rings, stainless-steel jewelry has a lot going for it. It's handsome--it resembles platinum, but it's much stronger and less expensive. It's not prone to rust or tarnish, and it's easy to clean. Here's how to keep stainless-steel jewelry looking its best.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Jewelry

  1. Keep your stainless-steel jewelry free of dust and dirt. With a soft cloth, gently rub on a little warm, soapy water (dish-washing detergent is fine). Follow the grain of the stainless steel to avoid scratches. Next, apply plain warm water with a cloth, or dip your piece in the water. Gently wipe dry with another soft cloth.

  2. To clean grimier stainless-steel pieces, use a soft cloth to apply toothpaste--again following the grain of the steel. You want plain white toothpaste that doesn't contain silica. Use a soft toothbrush to reach any etched areas. Afterward, apply plain warm water with a cloth, or dip your piece in the water. You may need to use a clean toothbrush to remove remaining toothpaste. Gently wipe dry with another soft cloth.

  3. Polish your jewelry with a nontoxic stainless steel polish or polishing cloth--both are available in jewelry stores and online (See Resources below). Avoid abrasive cleaners that can scratch the surface.

Tip

Some people substitute window cleaner for soapy warm water to clean their stainless steel.

Warning

Avoid polishes that contain wax. They can leave a film on your stainless steel jewelry.

About the Author

Barbara Dunlap is a freelance writer in Oregon. She was a garden editor at "The San Francisco Chronicle" and she currently specializes in travel and active lifestyle topics like golf and fitness. She received a master's degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has been a Knight Foundation Fellow.