The Ultimate Guide to Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaners

Woman smiling in Blue Nile bracelets and necklaces with diamonds and rubies.

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The cleaner your jewelry is, the more it shines and sparkles. Regularly cleaning your diamonds, gemstones and other styles can keep these pieces looking their best. The easiest way to keep your Blue Nile jewelry pieces in shape is to bring them to any of our local jewelry stores for routine cleaning. 

For jewelry that you’ve purchased elsewhere or for pieces you’d simply prefer to care for at home, ultrasonic cleaners are an increasingly popular choice to restore the look of your necklaces, earrings, rings, and bracelets. These machines were once only available for professional jewelers, but they can now be found online for home use.

If you’re considering using an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner at home, it’s important to understand how they work, safety tips for cleaning your jewelry in these machines, how to operate them, and which jewelry should never go into an ultrasonic cleaner. 

What are Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaners?

Ultrasonic jewelry cleaners are machines that can help thoroughly clean fine jewelry. The technology has been used in many spaces beyond the jewelry world, but these tools are especially useful for getting dirt, build-up, grime, and microscopic imperfections off the surfaces and settings of jewelry. The result is a shining piece of jewelry that looks good as new, with restored brilliance and beauty. 

Though the designs differ from one brand to the next, these machines have a similar setup. An at-home ultrasonic jewelry cleaner is a box or container with a metal-lined well that often has a plastic container for holding your jewelry when the machine is operating. There is a control panel for operating the machine, plus a door to close when the cleaner is active

These ultrasonic cleaners are popular for gold jewelry, diamond jewelry, platinum jewelry, and select gemstone jewelry. They differ from more common jewelry and gemstone care techniques because instead of using a polishing cloth, jewelry cleaning solution or other gentler approach, jewelry cleaning machines with ultrasonic technology use moving liquid to clean your jewelry. This more intense cleaning method results in incredible sparkle and shine, but it also requires extra considerations to protect your jewelry when cleaning it.

How do Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner Machines Work?

Ultrasonic jewelry cleaner machines work by generating high-frequency (ultrasonic) sound waves that travel through water or a cleaning solution. This creates heat and pressure that dislodges any dirt in jewelry settings, dissolves grime and gives a deep clean to places in your jewelry that may be difficult to reach with other cleaning methods. 

Many professional jewelers have been using ultrasonic cleaners for years, giving engagement rings, wedding rings and even everyday jewelry high-quality cleanings to help these pieces look their very best. Today, these cleaners can also be found for home use

Where to Buy Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaners

These powerful jewelry cleaning machines can be found online or in some stores, though not all are made equally. When buying an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner, be sure to explore the product’s reviews and any before and after photos that show how well it cleans jewelry. 

Jewelry that Can be Damaged by Ultrasonic Cleaners

Gold and pearl earrings. 

Before you buy an ultrasonic cleaner or put your jewelry in one, it’s important to know what kinds of jewelry should never be cleaned with ultrasonic cleaners. Here are some key jewelry types you should never be put in an ultrasonic cleaner: 

  1. Any jewelry with emeralds, as these gemstones are very delicate. 
  2. Opal jewelry, as these gemstones can break in ultrasonic cleaners. 
  3. Pearl necklaces and any other pearl jewelry, which can be damaged by ultrasonic cleaners. 
  4. Fracture filled diamonds, which are not sturdy enough for ultrasonic cleaners. At Blue Nile, we do not sell fracture filled diamonds 
  5. Any jewelry with enamel details, which can be worn away by these cleaners.  
  6. Any jewelry containing gemstones with fillings or oiling that reaches the surface of the stone. 
  7. Jewelry with gemstones that have received heat treatment enhancements to improve their color.  
  8. Gemstones and birthstones that are susceptible to heat changes such as topaz, tanzanite, moonstone, and turquoise.  
  9. Antique and vintage jewelry, which may not be sturdy enough for more intense cleaning methods.  
  10. Gold plated jewelry, as the ultrasonic cleaner can speed up the wearing away of any plating. 
  11. Any jewelry with porous gemstones or metals, such as tungsten wedding rings, which can be damaged by these cleaners.  

As a rule of thumb, any softer gemstones, organic gemstones, plated jewelry, or antique pieces should not be placed in an ultrasonic cleaner.  

Extraordinary Collection: Emerald And Diamond Three-Stone Ring In 18k White And Yellow Gold

Because this cleaning method immerses your pieces in a liquid, you can only use an ultrasonic cleaner for waterproof jewelry. You should not put any lockets containing photos in an ultrasonic cleaner. 

Jewelry That is Safe for Ultrasonic Cleaners

Jewelry made from solid gold, platinum and sterling silver jewelry pieces are popular metals for use in these cleaners. Natural and lab grown diamonds are both safe to clean with ultrasonic waves. 

More durable gemstones, non-organic gemstones and non-porous metals are common candidates for ultrasonic jewelry cleaning machines. 

How to Use an Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner

Gold and diamond jewelry.

Each jewelry cleaner machine will have its own exact steps outlined in a user manual, but these cleaners have similar steps for their operation: 

  1. Inspect your jewelry to ensure it’s safe to use in these cleaners. Check your settings, clasps and other components to make sure your jewelry is not susceptible to breaking while it’s being cleaned. 
  2. If your jewelry is intact and it’s the type that’s safe for ultrasonic cleaning, proceed with the cleaning.  
  3. Fill your ultrasonic cleaner with your preferred cleaning solution. This can be just water, or it can be a specialized ultrasonic cleaner solution. Make sure to fill the minimum amount of liquid so your machine can operate properly. 
  4. Place any jewelry you want to clean in the basket or plastic holder so it rests in the secured spot without touching the walls of the cleaner.  
  5. Power on the ultrasonic cleaner and run it for your desired amount of time, it’s usually best to start with a shorter duration to see if it cleans your pieces to your liking.  
  6. Remove your jewelry, dry it with a soft cloth, and check to see if it’s cleaned to your liking.  
  7. If your jewelry is still dirty, replace your ultrasonic cleaner’s liquid and clean the jewelry again.  
  8. Check for any loose stones to make sure the cleaner has not changed the security of your settings.  
  9. Repeat until your jewelry is cleaned to your liking.  

The Benefits of Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaners

These powerful at-home jewelry cleaning machines are excellent at removing stubborn build up, hard to reach grime and general dirt from your pieces. They allow you to clean intricate jewelry without taking it apart, resulting in improved sparkle and shine through relatively effortless cleaning techniques. 

Though there are many benefits to ultrasonic jewelry cleaners, it is important to remember that some gemstones and jewelry pieces can be damaged by these cleaners. When in doubt, ask your jeweler if it’s safe to use this kind of approach to cleaning your pieces. 

Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner FAQs

Do I need an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner?

No, these jewelry cleaning machines are not required to give your jewelry a good clean. Specialized cleaning solutions, mixtures of dish soap and water and polishing cloths are still popular tools for helping to clean your jewelry. If you do not want to take the risks of using ultrasonic jewelry cleaners, it’s best to stick with more traditional jewelry care that isn’t as intense for your piece. 

Yes, ultrasonic ring cleaners and jewelry cleaning machines are safe for most diamonds. Fracture filled diamonds should not be cleaned with these machines. Diamond earrings, tennis bracelets, diamond necklaces and other sparkling jewelry pieces with untreated diamonds are generally safe for ultrasonic cleaners. 

Many people swear by the efficacy of ultrasonic jewelry cleaners. These machines are especially popular for cleaning gold necklaces, women’s wedding rings, men’s engagement rings, and intricate halo engagement rings.

It’s important to remember that some jewelry metals and gemstones may not be safe to use in ultrasonic cleaners.  

Water and specialized cleaning solutions are the most popular liquids for ultrasonic cleaners. Refer to your machine’s user manual to learn more. 

This is entirely a personal choice. Some people use their ultrasonic cleaner monthly, others give their jewelry a deep clean every six months. 

Jewelry with porous metals, soft gemstones, organic gemstones, and gemstones that have received certain enhancements should not be cleaned with ultrasonic cleaners. 

Many diamond rings with solid gold or platinum settings and non-treated diamonds are safe for ultrasonic cleaners.  

Counting on the Professionals for Your Jewelry Cleaning

Our experts are available to help care for your Blue Nile jewelry pieces. If you’re looking for a professional level clean without any worry, we invite you to contact our experts. We can safely and thoroughly clean your Blue Nile jewelry along with inspecting settings and clasps to ensure your pieces will last. 

While ultrasonic cleaners are popular for at-home jewelry cleaning, nothing compares to the safe and detailed cleaning our experts offer. Contact us today to get started!  

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