Rubbing alcohol (also known as Isopropyl alcohol), is a widely used as a cleaner for many household items, including jewelry. With that said, before you go and clean you jewelry with it, there are a few things you need to know. Keep reading to learn about what is safe to clean with alcohol and tips on cleaning it.
So what is safe to clean with alcohol?
First off all jewelry made of real precious metals such as gold and silver are safe to clean. Neither will be damaged be alcohol no matter the quality or karat as long as it is one of those two metals. This includes sterling silver.
Other safe materials are platinum or silver plated titanium, tungsten and stainless steel jewelry. These are solid and stable materials and should be safe as long as the plating is genuine.
What isn't safe to clean with alcohol?
Jewelry made from acrylic, plastic or inferior metals such and copper should not be cleaned with alcohol. If you use rubbing alcohol on any of these materials it can cause a variety of issues. Some of these issues could be fading, cracking, and corrosion. Some of these could cause jewelry to break or even worse, could cause the wearer to get infections.
Can I clean my gemstones with alcohol?
In most cases, the answer is yes. For most precious gemstones such as diamonds and rubies alcohol is a perfect solution for cleaning. Gems considered to be precious are harder and more durable, making them ok for cleaning.
Stones in the semi-precious category are a little more tricky. Some of the more stable gems such as amethyst and topaz are perfectly fine being cleaned with alcohol without causing damage. The gems you have to be mindful of are the more organic variety. These include opals and pearls. Both have shiner organic coating and alcohol will tend to eat away at this coating. We recommend that you clean these types of gems with a jewelry cleaner designed for them or a mild soap with water.
How do I clean my jewelry with alcohol?
Once you determine your jewelry is in one of the safe categories to clean with alcohol, fill a smooth, non-porous, bowl to a level where the piece of jewelry will be completely submerged. Soak overnight night to allow the grime or debris to loosen. Once the jewelry has soaked for at least 8 hours use a soft cotton swab or cloth to remove any grime or debris. Lightly rinse by submerging. Finally allow to air dry and then buff using a buffing or microfiber cloth.
We do not ever recommend using a brush on soft metals such as gold or silver. This can cause scratches and damage the appearance of these metals. Harder metals like tungsten and stainless steel are probably ok but we still recommend not using a brush or at least a soft bristle if you do.
Like this article? Click here to read more.