Susan Miller

·Master of Fine Arts in Jewelry Design, Pratt Institute, 2012

·Bachelor of Arts in Gemology, University of California, Los Angeles, May 2005

·Editor-in-Chief, White Victoria (2018 - present)

·Write and research feature articles and profiles for print and online publication

·Contributing Writer, Modern Jeweler and Ornament

·Write and publish freelance articles for IGS and WSJ Magazine

·Jewelry Appraiser (2012 - 2020)

Earrings are significant fashion items that enhance and accentuate the wearer's beauty. Despite its significance, it is frequently one of the jewelry items that receive the least cleaning attention.

Regardless of the earrings' style, they should glitter. However, with time, sweat, air, moisture, lotions, and soaps, your favorite pieces may experience some dullness which could take away their luster. 

In these situations, thorough and proper cleaning and polishing make your earrings appear new. However, you probably don't want to mess up with the cleaning as doing so yourself might result in irreversible harm to jewelry and earrings, which have symbolic and monetary worth.

how to clean earrings

Fortunately, it's simple to clean your earrings and restore their brilliance. In this article, we'll cover the best tips to clean your earrings which will result in you finally saying goodbye to grimy, gunky earrings. But first, let's talk about why keeping your earrings clean is crucial.

Why Should You Clean Your Earrings?

There are several reasons why cleaning your earrings is very important. Some of the reasons regularly cleaning your earrings are necessary to include the following:

Preserves the Luster

how to clean earrings

Drawers, dressing tables, and jewelry boxes expose jewelry pieces to grime and filth. The scratches and tiny particles left behind by this exposure make the glitter on the earrings disappear. However, cleaning your earrings frequently might help them keep their lovely sheen and sparkle.

Eliminates Bacteria and Guards Against Infection

how to clean earrings

The way we wear our earrings, i.e., it enters the skin in one area and exits through the other side, makes it more susceptible to cause infection and bacterial growth. Additionally, wearing your earrings frequently without cleaning them might cause an allergy or skin irritation. 

Cleaning your jewelry, including your earrings, helps eliminate bacteria and guards against infections in pierced ears and other areas.


how to clean earrings

Everybody desires an item of jewelry that not only sparkles but lasts as long as possible. Your earrings may rustle due to accumulated filth, oil, and dust, shortening their lifespan. However, routine cleaning maintains your jewelry's fresh appearance and dazzles your earrings so they last as long as you'd want.

How to Clean off Gunk From Your Earrings

Cleaning your earrings is just as crucial as wearing them. Nevertheless, various stress-free cleaning techniques for earrings help regain their brilliance. Here are some of the ways to clean the gunk off your earrings:

Wash Your Hands

how to clean earrings

Although it may seem like common knowledge, we must remind you of this. Before cleaning and putting the earrings back into your piercings, ensure you properly wash your hands. 

You don't want to contaminate your jewelry or pierced ears with bacteria from your dirty hands. Make sure to give your hands, particularly your fingers, a quick wash with warm water and some hand soap. Rinse after that, and wipe with a fresh towel.

Use Hydrogen Peroxide

how to clean earrings

For cleaning jewelry, hydrogen peroxide is a fantastic choice. Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful disinfectant and bacteria-eradicator used to clean your earrings, especially if you have sensitive ears. It works perfectly with all types of gold or silver earrings without any risk. 

You may use Hydrogen peroxide to clean earrings in two different methods.

Soak Them in a Hydrogen Peroxide Solution for 20 Minutes

Fill a basin with hydrogen peroxide and submerge your earrings in it. After that, rinse and dry well. 

Clean With a Cotton Pad

You may also clean your earrings by putting some hydrogen peroxide on a cotton pad or wool. Then, you gently use it to clean off the dirt from your earrings. 

Wipe With a Microfiber Cloth

how to clean earrings

It's best to clean your earrings with a soft microfiber cloth similar to the ones you use for your sunglasses. Microfiber cloths gently wipe away any product residue without harming the earring. 

The microfiber cloths are perfect, unlike paper towels or towels with loops that may easily get trapped in the prongs of an item and leave tiny fibers on your earrings.

Clean With Vinegar

how to clean earrings

We have considered vinegar a practical and versatile natural cleaning for various items for many years. They are also simple to use and accessible. 

Simply soaking your earrings for a short period can clean and rejuvenate them. Combine it with baking soda to create a fizzing mix that provides an even deeper clean. Take out your earrings after three hours. Finish this process by washing with mild soap and drying with a microfiber cloth.

Use Warm Water

how to clean earrings

Put your earrings in a cup with boiling water and let them soak for around 20 minutes. Utilize a clean toothbrush to scrub gently. Although it won't be as thorough as a cleaning solution, this technique will be helpful.

Toothpicks Come in Handy

how to clean earrings

For hard-to-reach spots on earrings with intricate designs, use a toothpick. You can get rid of dirt on those challenging spots using a toothpick to get them out carefully.

For Pearl Earrings

how to clean earrings

If not correctly taken care of, pearl earrings are fragile jewelry items susceptible to fading or damage. As a result, it is best not to use abrasive cleaning solutions because they are sensitive to chemicals. However, if you take proper care of your pearl earrings, they won't tarnish and will last for generations. 

To prevent oil or grime accumulation:

1. Have a jewelry towel handy, and clean your pearls every time you wear them.

2. Use a moist cloth, warm water, and mild dish soap to clean your pearls if there are any apparent stains.

3. Dry with a fresh towel or let air dry completely before putting it in your jewelry box.

For Silver Earrings

how to clean earrings

Among the most frequently used materials for making lovely jewelry is silver. To clean your silver earrings, place the glossy side up and use tin foil to line a glass baking dish. Put your silver jewelry in the pan and pour boiling water to cover it. 

When you see bubbles forming around the earrings, add baking soda to the pan and let sit for an hour. Then, gently scrub away the filth with a soft-bristled brush and thoroughly rinse with fresh water. After that, dry the earrings using a clean cloth.

For Gold Earrings

how to clean earrings

Your gold earrings are simple and stress-free to clean. Prepare a solution of dish soap and warm water or one of warm water and baking soda with a dash of salt. 

After that, let the solution sit with your gold earrings for around 30 minutes. To remove the cleaning agent, clean gently with a brush with soft bristles. Then, use a lint-free cloth to pat dry.

Note: After cleaning your earrings, you may keep them sparkling by rubbing them with little alcohol. To get this done, pour some rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab. Then, use the cotton swab to clean the earrings carefully. Alternatively, let the earrings soak in the alcohol for a little while.

How Often Should You Clean Your Earrings?

how to clean earrings

Like any jewelry, earrings serve you better when they don't irritate your skin. However, cleaning them more regularly is best, depending on how frequently you use your earrings. 

I recommend cleaning your earrings once a week if you constantly wear the same pair. However, if you alternate between pairs, you may clean them once a month or as soon as you see dirt accumulation. 

Furthermore, I often advise people with sensitive skin to disinfect and clean their earrings as often as possible to prevent irritation and infections.

How to Clean Earring Backs

how to clean earrings

It's best to clean the back of your earrings while caring for them. Earring sets ranging from studs to chandeliers, frequently have fasteners to keep them stable and in place. However, they require cleaning just as thoroughly as the actual earrings. 

To clean the back of your earrings, dip them in a solution to clean them the same way you would your stud earrings. Even better, wash them all at once in one container. These backs are small, so you can see debris out of your grasp. 

You can use a toothpick to reach those small crevices and then give the area a good rinsing with warm water to remove any remaining debris.


Earring cleaning is equally as crucial as any other part of jewelry maintenance. This process ensures that your earrings stay as long as possible and keep their sparkle, allowing you to wear them as much as you like.