Does Vinegar Clean Jewellery?

Jewelry is often an expensive investment, so it's important to keep it looking its best. Are you tired of spending money on expensive jewelry cleaners that may contain harsh chemicals? 

Do you want a more natural and eco-friendly alternative? Have you ever considered using something as simple and inexpensive as vinegar? 

Yes, we all know this cooking ingredient has antibacterial properties so it is often used as a home disinfectant and surface cleaner for household items and equipment. But does vinegar clean jewellery

In this blog post, we will explore the effectiveness of using vinegar as a cleaning agent for different types of jewelry. Get ready to uncover the truth and possibly save some money in the process!

Why Is The Proper Jewelry Cleaning Method Important?

When it comes to cleaning your cherished jewelry, the primary concern is often how to maintain its sparkle without causing any damage, many individuals find themselves in a psychological tug-of-war between maintaining their precious pieces and managing their budget.

Jewelry can be delicate, and improper cleaning methods can lead to scratches, dullness, or even structural damage. It's essential to choose the right cleaning techniques and products that are gentle yet effective.

Frugality often drives the desire to seek out cost-effective solutions, especially when expensive commercial cleaners can strain finances unnecessarily.

Furthermore, there's a growing awareness and preference for natural and eco-friendly products that align with both health and environmental values. We'll explore various ways to clean your jewelry safely, ensuring that your precious pieces retain their lustrer and longevity.

By seeking out budget-friendly cleaning methods, users are not only preserving their cherished adornments but also standing firm against the pressure of high consumerism.

Does Vinegar Clean Jewellery?

Before we dive into the specifics of cleaning jewelry with vinegar, let's address the infamous question: does vinegar clean jewellery? The answer is yes! Vinegar has proven to be a useful and effective cleaning agent for various types of jewelry.

There are many types of vinegar and the acidity of each vinegar is different. Its acidic properties provide cleaning power, so choosing the type of vinegar to clean your jewelry is also important.

White wine vinegar can have an acidity of up to 7%, but rice wine vinegar can only have an acidity of 4%. The acidity of distilled white vinegar, sometimes called cleaning vinegar, can be up to 10%. 

Therefore, you should choose distilled white vinegar to achieve the best cleaning results when using vinegar to clean jewelry.

However, you need to know that not all types of jewelry can be cleaned with vinegar. Using vinegar to clean the wrong type of jewelry can cause damage to your beloved jewelry. 

Below are the types of jewelry that can and cannot be cleaned with vinegar:

Jewelry That Vinegar Can Clean

  • Silver jewelry: Vinegar can be an excellent cleaner for silver due to its mild acidic properties. It can remove tarnish and restore shine to your silver pieces.
  • Gold jewelry: As with silver, vinegar can also help clean gold jewelry without causing any damage. It's safe to use on both solid gold and gold-plated items.
  • Copper: Vinegar is an excellent cleaner for copper jewelry, especially when combined with other natural ingredients like salt and flour.
  • Brass: You can also use vinegar to clean brass jewelry, but be mindful of any other metals or gemstones that may be attached to the piece.

Jewelry That Vinegar Cannot Clean

  • Pearls: Pearls are delicate and should not be exposed to any acidic substances. Vinegar can cause irreversible damage to nacre, the protective coating on pearls.
  • Opals: Opals are also susceptible to damage from acidic substances like vinegar. It can cause them to lose their luster and develop cracks.
  • Gemstones: Some gemstones, such as emeralds and turquoise, are porous and can be damaged by vinegar. It's best to avoid using vinegar on any jewelry pieces with these stones.
  • Organic materials: Vinegar should not be used on any organic materials like leather or wood, as it can cause discoloration or deterioration.

Vinegar can be an effective cleaner, but it's essential to understand its limitations and use it wisely. Let's explore some methods for using vinegar to clean your jewelry safely.

How Does Vinegar Work To Clean Jewelry?

Before learning how to clean jewelry with vinegar, let's briefly talk about how vinegar works to clean your jewelry.

Vinegar is an acidic substance, the acidic nature of vinegar, specifically acetic acid, is the key to its cleaning power.  When used correctly, vinegar can help remove tarnish, grease, and other buildup on your jewelry.

When vinegar comes into contact with substances like tarnish on silver or grime on other metals, the acetic acid reacts with these substances to dissolve them.

This reaction helps to break down the molecular bonds of these unwanted residues, making them easier to wipe away or rinse off.

Additionally, the acid’s ability to kill bacteria and other microorganisms makes vinegar a natural disinfectant, which is particularly beneficial for jewelry that is worn frequently and may come into close contact with skin.

Understanding how vinegar interacts with various materials allows for more informed and safer cleaning practices, ensuring your jewelry remains sparkling and undamaged.

Its acidic properties also make it a natural disinfectant, making it suitable for cleaning pieces that come into contact with your skin.

How To Clean Jewelry With Vinegar

Now that we know does vinegar clean jewellery and which types of jewelry are safe to clean with vinegar, let's explore some different methods for using vinegar as a cleaning agent.

1. Soak Method

This method is best suited for silver jewelry or other metal pieces that have significant tarnish buildup.

In a bowl, mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water. Soak your jewelry in the solution for about 20 minutes, then scrub with a soft brush or cloth before rinsing and drying thoroughly.

2. Spray Method

For lightly tarnished jewelry or pieces that are difficult to submerge, fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and use it to mist the jewelry.

Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then use a soft cloth or brush to gently wipe away any buildup before rinsing and drying.

3. Paste Method

A paste made of white vinegar and baking soda can be an effective cleaner for copper, brass, and silver jewelry.

Mix equal parts vinegar and baking soda until it forms a paste consistency. Use a soft cloth or toothbrush to apply the paste to your jewelry, gently scrubbing until the grime or tarnish is removed. Rinse and dry thoroughly.

4. Rinse Method

After using any of the above methods, a final rinse with plain water and thorough drying can help remove any remaining residue and leave your jewelry sparkling clean.

It's important to note that these methods may not work on heavily tarnished or dirty jewelry and may require the use of additional cleaning agents.

Some Mistakes When Use Vinegar Clean Jewelry

While vinegar is an effective cleaner, it's essential to be mindful of some common mistakes that can occur when using it to clean jewelry:

  • Not diluting the vinegar: Undiluted vinegar can be too harsh for certain types of jewelry and may cause damage. Always mix a solution with equal parts water.
  • Using hot water: Hot water can also potentially damage delicate jewelry. Always use warm or room temperature water when mixing vinegar solutions.
  • Soaking for too long: While soaking can be an effective method, leaving jewelry in vinegar for extended periods can cause damage, especially to pearls and opals. Stick to the recommended 15-20 minute time frame.
  • Scrubbing too hard: Using excessive force or harsh brushes can cause scratches or damage to your jewelry. Always use gentle scrubbing and avoid using hard-bristled brushes.

By being aware of these mistakes and taking proper precautions, you can safely and effectively clean your jewelry with vinegar.

Tips For Cleaning Jewelry With Vinegar

Cleaning jewelry with vinegar can be easy and effective when done correctly. Here are some tips to ensure you get the best results while keeping your precious pieces safe.

  1. Test in an inconspicuous area: Before applying vinegar to the entire piece, test it on a small, hidden section to ensure it does not cause any damage.
  2. Use the right concentration: Dilute vinegar with water (usually equal parts) to avoid excessive acidity, which could harm delicate materials.
  3. Avoid prolonged soaking: Limit soaking time to prevent the acidic nature of vinegar from weakening metal alloys or damaging surface finishes.
  4. Use a soft brush or cloth: Gently scrub your jewelry with a soft-bristled brush or cloth to avoid scratching or damaging it.
  5. Rinse thoroughly: After cleaning, rinse your jewelry under lukewarm water to remove any remaining vinegar solution and prevent residue buildup.
  6. Dry completely: Ensure your jewelry is completely dry before storing it to prevent any moisture-related damage or tarnish.
  7. Store properly: Keep your cleaned jewelry in a dry, cool place, ideally in individual compartments to prevent pieces from scratching each other.

By following these tips, you can safely and effectively use vinegar to maintain the beauty and longevity of your jewelry.

How Often Should Jewelry Be Clean?

The frequency of jewelry cleaning depends on several factors, including how often the piece is worn, the type of metal and gemstones it contains, and the level of exposure to external elements.

In general, it is recommended to clean your jewelry once or twice a year or as needed based on visible dirt or tarnish.

For frequently worn pieces, such as engagement rings or wedding bands, a weekly cleaning with vinegar can help maintain their shine and keep them looking their best.


In conclusion, the answer to the question "Does vinegar clean jewellery?" is yes, but it depends on your jewelry. Vinegar is a versatile and effective cleaner for many types of jewelry. Its acidic properties make it suitable for removing dirt, grime, tarnish, and bacteria from various materials safely.

However, it's essential to use vinegar correctly and avoid common mistakes to prevent damage and achieve the best results. With proper care and maintenance, your jewelry can stay sparkling and beautiful for years to come.

So next time you're looking for a natural cleaning solution, remember that vinegar is not just for cooking but also for keeping your jewelry clean and shiny. Happy cleaning!