Jewelry Cleaning and Care using Steel Wool

Jewelry Cleaning and Care using Steel Wool

4 minute read

Jewelry Cleaning and Care using Steel Wool

Jewelry is more than a fashion accessory; it often carries sentimental value, making it important to maintain its shine and luster so you continue to wear it year after year. Over time, jewelry can tarnish and accumulate dirt, which can dull and darken its appearance. In this blog, I'll explain a highly effective method for cleaning and caring for your precious jewelry. One word of caution: this method should be reserved for solid metals only, as it is an abrasive enough method to completely remove any plating you may have on your pieces!

The Power of Steel Wool

When it comes to jewelry cleaning, steel wool can be a game-changer especially for pieces that are severely tarnished beyond what just a polishing cloth can rub off. This versatile cleaning tool can be found at your local hardware store and can restore the brilliance of your jewelry with very minimal effort.

What You'll Need

  1. 00-grade steel wool
  2. Water
  3. Household soap
  4. Lint-free cloth
  5. Polishing cloth

Steps for Cleaning

  1. Gather Your Supplies: Begin by gathering all the necessary items. Ensure that you have 00-grade or finer steel wool, a small container with water, or your household sink, household soap, a lint-free cloth, and a polishing cloth.
  2. Moisten the Steel Wool: Rip off a small piece of the steel wool and wet it with water and a small amount of household soap. This combination creates a gentle abrasive mixture that's ideal for removing tarnish and dirt without causing damage to solid metals.
  3. Gently Scrub: Using the moistened steel wool, gently scrub the surface of your jewelry. Pay attention to areas with the most tarnish or dirt build-up. Be gentle but consistent in your strokes to achieve the best results.
  1. Rinse Thoroughly: After scrubbing, rinse the jewelry under running water to remove any soap residue and loosened particles. Make sure to rinse all the jewelry's crevices and surfaces.

  2. Pat Dry: Use a lint-free cloth to pat your jewelry dry. This type of cloth is ideal for preventing lint or fibers from sticking to your jewelry.
  1. Polishing: To further enhance the shine of your jewelry, rub your piece of jewelry with a polishing cloth after this process. A polishing cloth is a microfiber cloth impregnated with a polishing compound specifically designated for jewelry. My favorite is the Sunshine Yellow polishing cloth which you can find online. The steel wool will give your piece more of a matte finish but the polishing cloth will give it that extra shine.

Benefits of Steel Wool Cleaning

  1. Effective Tarnish Removal: The abrasive nature of steel wool allows for even the most stubborn tarnish and dirt to be easily removed, restoring your jewelry's shine.

  2. Affordability: Steel wool is an inexpensive cleaning item that can be used multiple times before replacement.

  3. Versatility: Steel wool can be used for a variety of other household tasks like scrubbing your stainless steel sink, restoring the shine of copper cookware, and other cleaning hacks.

  4. Readily Available: You can find steel wool at most hardware stores, making it accessible for anyone looking to clean their jewelry.

  5. Less Elbow Grease: Compared to some other cleaning methods, steel wool requires less effort, thanks to its abrasive nature, which makes it easier to clean tarnished jewelry.


Maintaining your jewelry's original luster not only preserves its beauty, but it makes you want to wear it more! When dealing with tarnished jewelry, the steel wool method offers an effective solution with just one trip to the hardware store. Make sure your jewelry is made of solid metal, as this method will remove plating. Always exercise caution if your jewelry has an intentional oxidation on its surface, it will remove that finish, so make sure you are using it only where unwanted oxidation that has occurred.

Remember, it's important to handle your jewelry with care and attention, just as you would with any other cherished possession. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can keep your jewelry looking its best and ensure that it continues to shine for many years to come.

Now that you know how to care for your jewelry, Shop all Adorn to Rise Jewelry to add another beloved piece to your collection!

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