How and When to Use a Jewelry Bath (Ultrasonic Cleanser)

Posted on August 06, 2014 by Mary Hood | 0 Comments


Keep your favorite ring sparkling with routine, at-home cleaning. 

Cushion Cut Diamond Vine Solitaire  

Lotions, oil from your skin, soap residue, and good ol’ everyday dirt can collect on your ring, obscuring it’s sparkle and making it look cloudy. Fortunately, there are a few at-home methods to bring the dazzle back to your gem. 

In our post on Caring for Your Jewelry, we’ve detailed how to manually clean your jewelry using liquid detergent, a toothbrush, and a lint-free cloth. This safe, DIY method gives you control over how much pressure is applied to the jewelry, which is especially important when you’re cleaning an older or delicate piece. 

dish soap, cleaning jewelry

A bit of dish soap in warm water makes an effective DIY jewelry cleaning solution.

Mrs. Meyer's Dish Soap

Ultrasonic jewelry cleansers, also called “jewelry baths,” are convenient tools that spiff up your jewelry in a matter of minutes.  While they range in price, you can easily find a simple device for around $25 that you can use at home and tuck under your bathroom sink.

Most machines work best with a standard jewelry cleaner or diluted dish detergent. Your model may also come with instructions specifying when to use an all purpose or a delicate cleaner. 

Jewelry baths are not appropriate for all stones:

Do NOT use an ultrasonic cleaner for the following gems: Opals, Pearls, Emeralds, Tanzanite, Tourmaline, Peridot, Malachite, Onyx, Turquoise, Jade, Amber, Lapis, Mother of Pearl, Coral, Diamonds with lots of inclusions, Colored Diamonds, Malachite or Synthetic stones.

Also, be careful with old jewelry and any jewelry with a potentially loose setting. The vibrations created by the cleaner may exacerbate the problem or even cause stones to fall out. To ensure you don’t lose any stones, place jewelry in a small cloth bag before giving it an ultrasonic bath. If any stones fall out, the bag will catch them!

If you're unsure about whether or not it's okay to clean a certain piece a jewelry bath, play it safe and hand clean it until you're able to ask a jeweler. 

ultrasonic cleaner, jewelry care

With a little poking around online, it's easy to find an affordable ultrasonic jewelry cleaner.

Professional Ultrasonic Jewelry and Eyeglass Cleaning Machine, $25.74

How it works

Following the instructions on the package, fill the bath with the appropriate cleaning solution. Place jewelry on the tray or hook inside the bath, being careful to avoid overcrowding. If necessary, do multiple cleaning rounds so each piece has enough space to vibrate without bumping into other pieces. 

After securing the lid, turn on the motor. The package may specify how long you need to run the motor depending on the dirtiness of your jewelry—or it may shut itself off after a certain time. 

As the motor runs, it produces ultrasonic waves. These vibrations create bubbles that collide with your jewelry, knocking off dirt, while the soap will dissolve oily residue. The bubbles can get into small crevices that traditional cleaning methods may not always reach. 

Remove your jewelry and gently dry with a lint-free cloth. Thoroughly clean leftover soap and dirt from the the bath. 

Your jewelry will probably have it's old sparkle back--if not, it may need another round in the bath with fresh solution. How often you use our jewelry bath (or clean your jewelry manually) will depend on how quickly your jewelry gets grimy. As long as you're using a safe method, feel free to be a clean freak!


Photos: Barbara Michelle Jacobs, Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day, Amazon

Posted in clean jewelry, DIY, Informational, jewelry, jewelry care, ultrasonic cleaner



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