How to clean oxidized or blackened jewelry

How to clean oxidized or blackened jewelry

Over time, costume jewelry tends to oxidize, and lose color and shine, in addition to acquiring a greenish or blackish hue. Is there a practical and economical solution to recover oxidized rings, earrings, and bracelets?

Yes, and better yet, at Planderful we show you how to do it with the best tricks and home remedies.


What is costume jewelry?

Costume jewelry imitates jewelry pieces using low-cost materials of lower quality than gems. The most popular materials are aluminum, leather, zinc, brass, or steel, and they use complements such as paper pulp, glass, cultured pearls, or plastic. These materials have a residual cost compared to the materials used in jewelry and also tend to have a more limited lifetime than gems.

These metals or plastics are often accompanied by gold plating that over time begins to oxidize and eventually fade or blacken, revealing the original material. Due to its low cost, great variety, and the fact that more and more fashion brands are creating their own lines of costume jewelry, it is common to have earrings, necklaces, and rings that, over time, end up oxidizing and losing all their splendor.

If you want to know more about costume jewelry, we recommend the following article: What is the difference between Costume and Fashion jewelry?

But, do not despair, as we will put at your disposal a basic guide to leave your costume jewelry as if it had just come from the store. The best thing is that you can do it with cheap and homemade products such as baking soda, toothpaste, soap, or petroleum jelly.


Why does jewelry turn black?

There are two issues that can alter their hue. On the one hand, sulfur, a chemical element that belongs to the oxygen group, reacts with all metals except gold or platinum.

On the other hand, oils produced by the body can also blacken jewelry, especially if foods such as alcohol are ingested.


How to clean costume jewelry at home

Something that is very characteristic of costume jewelry is that it blackens and discolors very easily. In addition, unlike silver or gold, you must follow very specific steps to clean it. In this case, we apply 4 tricks. But first, we recommend that you put all the pieces to be cleaned in a container with warm water for 10 minutes.


Products to clean costume jewelry

-Sodium bicarbonate.


-Dish soap.


-Metal cleaner (optional).

-Soft bristle toothbrush.



  1. With baking soda and toothpaste

The most effective and ecological method to clean blackened or oxidized costume jewelry is using baking soda with toothpaste and a splash of water.

All you have to do is mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda plus 1/2 tablespoon of toothpaste in a small bowl with 1/2 cup of warm water. Stir well until you create a sort of light blue soapy water. Immerse the brush, soak it well and use it to begin deep cleaning the fixture.

When you have cleaned the piece, dry it with a dry and clean cloth, better if it is a soft chamois or microfiber cloth. A very effective trick to prevent the metal from rusting is to put a protective layer of petroleum jelly on the part and let it dry. Only when the piece is protected and dry, you can use and store it.


  1. With toothpaste or cola

There are also those who prefer to clean blackened jewelry just using toothpaste or dipping it in a glass of cola, two solutions within the reach of any pocket.

For example, to clean a blackened ring, apply a little toothpaste on a recycled toothbrush and then rub all the dirt contained in the ring or the piece in question. This trick is very effective for cleaning silver at home, although if your costume jewelry is silver plated, it will work wonders!

Something that happens a lot with fancy rings is that when you wear them they stain your finger with a yellowish green tone. To prevent this from happening and with the piece clean, apply a coat of clear nail polish or a colorless varnish to prevent the ring from losing color when in contact with the skin. We assure you that this is a trick that greatly extends the life of any piece of jewelry!


  1. With effervescent aspirin

This is a trick that has left us amazed. If you want to easily clean metal jewelry, put the pieces in a glass of water and add two effervescent aspirins. Once they are completely dissolved, leave the pieces in the water for 5 to 10 minutes. Afterward, dry the pieces with a clean cloth and polish them.

It is not advisable to apply this trick to costume jewelry made of wood, pearls, or plastic.


  1. With eye makeup remover

When the costume jewelry is not oxidized but has lost its shine, you can use a water-based eye makeup remover applied with a cotton pad. Rub the whole piece and the costume jewelry will regain its shine.


Tips to prevent costume jewelry from turning black

There is a very simple and practical trick to extend the life of costume jewelry without hardly noticing changes or oxidation. Apply the nail polish to give shine, to those that are transparent, on the costume jewelry. This will protect it from external agents and prolong its life. In addition, you can follow the following tips to prevent your rings and bracelets from oxidizing or losing their shine:


  1. Never mix accessories. It is best to store them separately. For example, you can get a jewelry panel and place them there.
  2. Never store silver or gold jewelry next to costume jewelry to prevent the latter from damaging the composition of the others.
  3. When you are going to wear them, make sure they do not come into contact with colognes, creams, soap, water, or similar.
  4. If your jewelry is made of silver, do not miss this article about cleaning and maintenance of silver.
  5. If your jewelry is made of copper, don't miss this trick about cleaning copper.


We hope this article has been helpful. Visit Planderful's website to learn more about our products. Stay tuned for new products and tips we have for you.

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