DIY Jewelry Cleaning on the Cheap

Do you have used glass spice bottles hanging around? Your oregano almost down to the last shake? Use the last of your Chinese five spice or nutmeg? My personal spice addiction is Saigon cinnamon (not to be confused with Ceylon cinnamon,which is true cinnamon and more mild)- I use it by the tablespoon - I use it in my greek yogurt with agave nectar in the morning, in almost every cookie recipe, pretty much anywhere I can get away with it! My husband actually said to me this morning as I was preparing my yogurt with it's heaping mound of Saigon cinnamon, "Whoa! That can't be good for you- can you overdose on that stuff?" Well my friends, I can assure you- I have been consuming it this way for about six months and I'm still here- so unless my insides are slowing turning into cinnamon without my knowledge, I think I'm safe!

What on earth, you may ask, does this have to do with cleaning your jewelry on the cheap? Due to my addiction I have an abundance of empty glass cinnamon containers with metal screw top lids that I couldn't bare to part with- I've been stockpiling them, hoping I could come up with a use for them! That day has come!! A few weeks ago my aunt casually mentioned that she needed something to store the glitter she uses for the craft projects she does with her granddaughter in- a lightbulb went off and I offered to bring her some of my used cinnamon jars! Use number one in the bag! It felt good to find a new use for those bottles I'd been squirreling away.

For years now I have been using Simple Green to clean my jewelry. It was recommended to me by the daughter of a jeweler who had been using it for years with confidence on her incredibly expensive wedding ring. I figured if she trusted her ring, which costs nine times (I did the math!!!) what mine did to this store bought solution, then I too, could trust it. Four and half years later I'm still using it without consequence! Normally I use a little glass beaker, immerse my jewelry and then wait half an hour before rinsing everything off. Well that lovely little beaker fell off of my bathroom shelves and wouldn't you know it- it cracked beyond use! So there I was with a filthy ring (being a hairstylist by trade I get lots of build up on and under my rings!) and no receptacle to put it in! Lightbulb moment number two!! Those spice jars were going to come in handy once again!!!

Here's what you do!

 If you have two of these jars hanging around then use two but honestly one works just fine too!!

I have two different plastic snap on lids with different sized holes. The larger holes I use with my rings, but my earrings will fall right through them so I use the smaller holes for when I clean my earrings.

Here they are, ready to go!!
Drop jewelry in jar. I have used Simple Green to clean, white gold, yellow gold, platinum and silver- it has worked on all of them. I have used it on a variety of gemstones as well with no problem. I happen to be cleaning diamonds today. Pour in enough Simple Green to submerge your jewelry. At this point I put the screw lids back on and gently shake/swirl the jewelry around. I leave my jewelry in the solution for about half an hour- though I have left it in longer.

After you have let your jewelry sit, run the bottle under water, with the plastic snap lid still in place! This ensures that you can rinse your jewelry without fear of it going down the drain.

If my jewelry is extra dirty, ie:  hair products or hand lotion stuck under the rings (the under gallery, as I understand)- then I put some Simple Green in the lid and use my jewelry brushes (obtained from a local jeweler) to get in the nooks and crannies of my pieces. A great alternative to these brushes can be found in the grocery store. Brush picks- used for teeth are a perfect replacement.

And that my friends is a cheap and easy way to clean your jewelry!!

** for those that like my glass bottles and want to know what brand they are: Wild Harvest Organic- all their spice bottles look like the ones featured above. I get them at Albertsons.


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