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Can You Clean Jewelry with Vinegar?


Vinegar is a versatile product that is not only tasty, but has been demonstrated to clean a variety of items to replace harsh chemicals.  Many suggest using vinegar as a means to clean particular items of jewelry.  Here we have compiled tips from the experts on cleaning jewelry with vinegar.

Precautionary Note: Before cleaning any jewelry with vinegar be aware that vinegar is a strong acid and can potentially damage certain jewelry items such as gemstones and gold.  It can also dissolve the glue to gemstone settings.


Make a copper cleaning paste with 1-1/4 cup all purpose white flour, 1 cup of white vinegar, ½ cup of salt, and 5 drops of citrus essential oil.  Spread the paste over your copper and let sit overnight.  Rinse and dry thoroughly.

  • Maier, Karyn. The naturally clean home 150 super-easy herbal formulas for green cleaning. 2nd ed. North Adams, MA: Storey Pub., 2008. Print.


To make silver jewelry shine mix a solution of ½ cup of white vinegar with 2 tablespoons of baking soda.  Soak your jewelry in the solution for three hours.  Rinse with cold water and dry with a soft, clean cloth.

  • “12 Home Products for Cleaning Jewelry”. Reader’s Digest. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2012. <>.


Never use vinegar to clean pearls.  The acid contained in vinegar could damage the calcium carbonate make-up of the pearl.

  • Matlins, Antoinette Leonard. The pearl book: the definitive buying guide : how to select, buy, care for & enjoy pearls. 3rd ed. Woodstock, Vt.: GemStone Press, 2002. Print.


Pour one cup of apple cider vinegar into a plastic container. Submerge gold jewelry and allow to soak for fifteen minutes.  Do not leave gold soaking in vinegar for an extended period as it can damage the surface.

  • “The Vinegar Institute – Uses & Tips.” The Vinegar Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2012. <>

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