Caring for stainless steel jewelry is much easier than caring for precious metal. Because stainless steel doesn’t tarnish, you should only need to clean it when it hasn’t been worn for a long time.
But—accidents happen, and knowing how to care for stainless steel jewelry is essential if you want to keep your collection in top condition. Stainless steel looks beautiful when polished.
Here are some tips on caring for your stainless steel jewelry.
And, if precious metals are more your speed, we have a great collection of affordable rings just for you!
Joyce Layered Stack Ring
Charisse Vintage Ring
Midi Knuckle 2-Ring Set
Does stainless steel tarnish?
Proper stainless steel should not tarnish, rust, or change color. In fact, it should maintain an excellent appearance unless it’s been left in poor conditions for an extended period. This means your jewelry will rarely need cleaning—which is great news!
Even jewelry that is worn every day, like a stainless steel ring, will take a long time to be affected by the elements. But you should still always take care of your steel jewelry! So here are some tips.
Caring for stainless steel takes three things: maintenance, cleaning, and polishing. If you follow our guide, your stainless steel jewelry will always be in top-notch condition.
Jewelry maintenance is important if you want it to last forever. Luckily, it’s also simple—especially for stainless steel. Just make sure to keep your jewelry in a cool, dry place where it isn’t exposed to the elements or anything that could scratch or damage it.
Wearing your stainless steel jewelry every day will also help, though it might accelerate the buildup of grime and grit.
If, for whatever reason, your stainless steel jewelry needs a deep cleaning, then we’ve got you covered. There are multiple ways that jewelry cleaning can be done, from basic methods to more in-depth techniques that you’ll need some tools for.
All you need is a cloth and some basic household cleaning equipment!
The tried and tested
Prepare a bowl of warm soapy water (dish soap will do just fine). Get yourself a toothbrush with soft bristles. Then scrub.
Lightly scrubbing your stainless steel jewelry should be able to get it nice and clean. The gentle bristles of the toothbrush won’t damage the stainless steel, and it should be able to get the grime out of all of the tighter places.
Once you’ve rinsed off the steel jewelry, simply dry it off with a soft cloth, or let it air dry in an open space.
Combining baking soda with water and vinegar creates an acidic paste that is excellent for cleaning. If dish soap isn’t doing the trick (or you just don’t have any around), definitely whip out the baking soda.
Once you’ve got the paste ready, apply the baking soda to a soft-bristled toothbrush as above and get scrubbing. Baking soda should easily get rid of denser grime.
When you’ve finished, make sure to rinse each piece of steel jewelry off carefully. Then dry the pieces with a soft cloth or let them air dry.
Just like baking soda but easier! Just squirt a bit of toothpaste onto a toothbrush, scrub all the grime off your jewelry, rinse the toothpaste off your stainless steel, and dry it with a cloth.
Now, if you’re really fancy, you might have an ultrasonic cleaner. This device cleans all kinds of jewelry (be it precious metal or stainless steel).
With an ultrasonic cleaner, you place your stainless steel jewelry into the device in a liquid solution. Then, the ultrasonic cleaner releases a sound wave that vibrates all the muck off your steel jewelry!
Super hands-off and straightforward (if you have one!). An ultrasonic cleaner is excellent for stainless steel jewelry that has hard-to-reach crevices or notches in it.
Once it’s done its job, simply rinse your jewelry off and let it dry.
A jewelry polishing cloth
Once you’ve cleaned your steel jewelry, then you can get to polishing it. Polishing steel jewelry makes it shine. The sheen that polishing gives steel jewelry makes it look fantastic—and it isn’t hard to do.
One way to get a great sheen is to use a jewelry polishing cloth once or twice per month. This kind of cloth is generally a soft microfibre cloth. Simply rub your steel jewelry with the cloth in a firm, circular motion. It should pick up any residual dirt or grime and leave the stainless steel with a mirror-like sheen.
Simply wash and dry the cloth whenever it gets too dirty, and you can use it again!
Caring for stainless steel—what to avoid
Here’s a list of things to avoid if you want to keep your steel jewelry in the best condition.
Bleach/chlorine—they are corrosive and will stain your stainless steel
Caring for stainless steel jewelry isn’t hard. It’s easier than most other kinds of metal. This guide has everything you need to know to keep your steel jewelry in the best possible shape.
Just remember that stainless steel isn’t like silver! Using silver polish might make your sterling silver jewelry look great, but it will stain steel jewelry.
We’ll leave you with one final tip—put your steel jewelry away! Cleaning jewelry can be fun and all, but you don’t always have time. Keep it in a dry, protected location to minimize the chances of it getting dirty or damaged. Easy!