How to Clean Rhinestone Jewelry: A Step-By-Step Guide

How to Clean Rhinestone Jewelry: A Step-By-Step Guide

We've all been there: that once-sparkling rhinestone jewelry now looks dull and lackluster. Maybe it's a cherished heirloom or a favorite piece that's lost its shine. The good news? It doesn't have to stay that way. Knowing how to clean rhinestone jewelry brings it back its original brilliance, so it looks as stunning as the day you first bought it.

Dive into this step-by-step guide to discover how to clean your rhinestone jewelry.

Why Regular Cleaning is Essential for Rhinestone Jewelry

Here's why regular cleaning is non-negotiable.


Regular cleaning not only maintains the beauty of your rhinestone jewelry but also extends its lifespan. Dirt and oils from the skin can accumulate on the stones (especially when used in nail designs), causing them to lose their sparkle over time.

Aesthetic Appeal

A clean piece of rhinestone jewelry is more visually appealing. Regular cleaning ensures that the stones retain their brilliance and continue to catch the eye.


Jewelry comes in direct contact with your skin or nails, so keeping it clean helps to prevent skin irritations and allergies.

What You'll Need to Clean Rhinestone Jewelry

The right tools and solutions can make the cleaning process smooth and effective. Here are the materials and equipment you’ll need to gather before cleaning:

Cleaning Solutions

  • Mild Detergent 
  • Specialized Jewelry Cleaner
  • Baking Soda
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Distilled Water


  • Soft-Bristle Brush
  • Lint-Free Cloth
  • Toothpick
  • Magnifying Glass
  • Small Bowl
  • Tweezers

Safety Gear

  • Gloves
  • Safety Goggles
  • Apron

Pre-Cleaning Steps

Before diving into the cleaning process, it's crucial to prepare your rhinestone jewelry and your workspace. Proper preparation ensures a safe and effective cleaning session. Here's how to get started:


  • Check for Loose Stones: Gently shake the piece to listen for any rattling, indicating a loose stone.
  • Examine the Setting: Ensure that the metal holding the rhinestones is intact and not bent or broken.
  • Identify Foil-Backed Rhinestones: These require extra care as moisture can damage the foil backing.


  • Separate by Type: Group your rhinestone jewelry by type, separating foil-backed from open-backed pieces.
  • Material Consideration: If your jewelry combines rhinestones with other materials like pearls or fabric, note that these materials need different cleaning methods.

Preparing the Work Area

  • Choose a Suitable Surface: Lay down a soft cloth or towel on a flat surface. This protects the jewelry and provides a good backdrop to spot any stones that might fall out.
  • Gather Supplies: Have all your cleaning solutions, tools, and safety gear within arm's reach.
  • Lighting: Ensure the area is well-lit, so you can see all the details of your jewelry, making the cleaning process more thorough.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Rhinestone Jewelry

Cleaning your rhinestone jewelry isn’t as daunting as it seems. Follow these steps for a hassle-free experience: 

1. Dry Cleaning Method

  • Brush Gently: Using a soft-bristle brush, gently brush away any surface dirt or dust from the rhinestones.
  • Wipe Down: With a lint-free cloth, gently wipe the entire piece to remove any remaining dust.

2. Wet Cleaning Method

  • Prepare a Solution: Mix a few drops of mild detergent with lukewarm water in a small bowl.
  • Dip the Brush: Dip your soft-bristle brush into the solution and gently brush the rhinestones.
  • Rinse: If your rhinestones are open-backed, you can rinse them with distilled water. For foil-backed rhinestones, avoid rinsing and instead use a damp cloth to wipe away any residue.
  • Dry: Pat the jewelry dry with a lint-free cloth and then let it air dry completely.

3. Ultrasonic Cleaning (For Sturdy Pieces Only)

  • Fill the Cleaner: Fill your ultrasonic cleaner with a solution recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Place the Jewelry: Put your rhinestone jewelry in the cleaner's basket, ensuring the pieces don't touch each other.
  • Run the Cleaner: Turn on the cleaner and run it for the duration specified in the manual.
  • Remove and Dry: Once the cycle is complete, remove the jewelry and pat it dry with a lint-free cloth.

4. Polishing

  • Use a Cloth: Once your jewelry is clean and dry, use a soft cloth to gently polish the rhinestones and any metal parts.
  • Avoid Chemical Polishes: These can damage the rhinestones. Stick to a simple cloth polishing method.

5. Inspect and Store

  • Final Inspection: After cleaning, inspect your jewelry again to make sure all stones are intact and secure.
  • Storage: Store your rhinestone jewelry separately in soft pouches to prevent scratches and damage.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Rhinestone Jewelry

Even small mistakes can have big consequences when it comes to cleaning rhinestone jewelry. Here's what to steer clear of:

Using Harsh Chemicals

Harsh chemicals can damage the foil backing of the rhinestones. Always use mild cleaning agents.


Cleaning too often is unnecessary and can lead to wear and tear. A monthly cleaning routine is enough for most rhinestone jewelry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I clean rhinestone jewelry with vinegar?

Vinegar is too acidic for rhinestones and can damage the foil backing. Stick to mild detergents or specialized cleaners.

How often should I clean my rhinestone jewelry?

Cleaning your rhinestone jewelry once a month is usually enough to keep it sparkling.

Is it safe to use a jewelry cleaner machine?

For modern, sturdy pieces, a jewelry cleaner machine is generally safe. However, it's not recommended for vintage or delicate items.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to how to clean rhinestone jewelry and ensure its longevity, the quality of the rhinestones matters immensely. Planet Rhinestone stands out as a premier destination for top-tier rhinestone products. 

Our curated selection caters to both individual enthusiasts and professional crafters. Whether you're looking to rejuvenate a cherished piece with a fresh gem or start a new crafting endeavor, our offerings ensure you're equipped with the best.
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