If you have a pair of diamond earrings you wear often, chances are good that they need to be cleaned right now, especially if you plan to wear them on the big day. That’s because cleaning jewelry is a chore that’s often forgotten about, and it’s not until you really look at your pieces that you realize they might be a little more dull than usual. Luckily, a good cleaning can leave them as sparkly and brilliant as the day you got them, and it’s not hard to do on your own.

Since diamond earrings are precious jewelry, however, we understand that you might be worn out or need to know how to actually clean your pieces. And while you might think it’s best to leave it to the professionals, there are ways to keep your earrings on a regular basis at home so that dirt and grime don’t build up over time. (Yes, diamond earrings, like anything else, can harbor bacteria and unwanted residue). So, what’s a person to do?

Ahead, we spoke to a jeweler to get the best tips on how to clean diamond earrings before tying the knot. While the process is relatively simple, it’s something you want to do correctly in order to keep your jewelry in the best shape possible.

Meet the Experts

Page Neal is a jeweler and the co-founder of Bario Neal, a sustainable jewelry company with locations in Brooklyn, New York, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

How to Clean Diamond Earrings at Home

First things first, before embarking on the cleaning process, it’s important to inspect your earrings to ensure nothing appears loose. why? Well, scrubbing, soaking, or wiping down a diamond earring that has loose pieces can lead to a stone falling out, and that’s something you absolutely want to avoid. After that, gather the products you need to clean your jewelry, paying close attention to your earring’s metal type.

“Safely cleaning your diamond earrings at home depends on what metal they’re made with,” says Page Neal, jeweler and co-founder of Bario Neal. But if you’re undecided, she recommends opting for the safest route: soap and water. “Mix a few drops of dish soap into a bowl of warm water and soak the earrings for 15 to 20 minutes,” she advises. “This is safe for both gold and silver jewelry.”

For gold earrings, in particular, Neal says you can also make a paste using baking soda and water, or try soaking your jewelry in a mixture of half water and half white vinegar. Plus, you can also consider purchasing a store-bought cleaner, as there are a lot of options for cleaning diamonds (just be careful that that cleaner is safe for the type of metal you’re working with).

Lastly, and to really get into every nook and cranny, you can gently scrub your earrings with a soft toothbrush and use a microfiber cloth to wipe them down. If using soap and water, specifically, it’s crucial that you thoroughly rinse everything off, as the residue left over soap can leave a buildup that looks dirty and unclean.

Photo by Michelle Beller

How Often Should You Clean Diamond Earrings?

According to Neal, the number of times you clean your diamond earrings depends on how often you wear them. “If you wear them every day, they will need a more routine cleaning,” she said. Meaning, you should consider cleaning your diamond earrings about once a week if you wear them regularly.

If your diamond earrings are for special occasions only, then they probably don’t need to be cleaned very often (twice a year would suffice). Simply stow them in a closed jewelry box for safekeeping and to keep dust away.

Try to avoid wearing your diamond earrings when applying hair styling products, such as hairspray or dry shampoo. These products can easily get on your jewelry, requiring you to clean them more often.

What Not to Do When Cleaning Diamond Earrings

Diamonds are tough, but that doesn’t mean you can use anything to clean them. “Never use any kind of chemical cleaners or abrasive metals when cleaning your jewelry, as they might damage the stone and metal,” warns Neal. Again, if you’re elemental of the metal type, or you’re just worried about your earrings in general, stick with warm water and a little bit of dish soap. This is an effective and safe way to clean all types of jewelry.

You should also be very careful about where you place your diamond earrings when cleaning. It sounds obvious, but never leave them close to a sink or any area where they could easily be knocked onto the floor or behind a piece of furniture. It’s so easy to place earrings down to dry for just a few minutes, only to forget about them and leave them there for hours (or even days). The last thing you want is for a family member or a pet to accidentally knock them over into a hidden place.

Where to Get Diamond Earrings Professionally Cleaned

You can usually bring your diamond earrings to a notable jewelry store, or to the location where they were purchased, in order to get them cleaned. And depending on where you go, there might be a charge associated with the cleaning (usually around $20) or you might be able to get them cleaned for free. “If you bring your diamond earrings to be professionally cleaned by another jeweler that’s not where you originally purchased them, be sure to give them the details on all the stones in your earrings to ensure they don’t damage them in the cleaning process,” Neal added.

Nonetheless, wherever you go, be sure it’s a store or jeweler you can trust. In many cases, you might have to drop your earrings off for a few days, and you want to be sure you receive them back in proper shape so that you can wear them once it’s time to say “I do.”

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