Give Your Costume Jewelry a Second Life

Many people enjoy the look of costume jewelry because it can help to make an outfit feel trendier without a major commitment — and is a great way to add variety and sparkle to your wardrobe without a big price tag. But because these pieces often feature fake diamonds or gemstones and are made of cheaper material like brass or nickel, they don’t stand the test of time.

Costume jewelry can become discolored for a variety of reasons — like coming into contact with water, cleaning products, hairspray, perfume or even natural elements like oxygen exposure and sweat.

The good news is that just because your favorite costume piece has gotten tarnished doesn’t mean it’s destined for the trash. Here is a simple way you can remove the tarnish or even look at refinishing your costume pieces, so they’ll stay nicer for longer.

To clean at home: Mix together one drop of baby shampoo or a gentle hand soap and one drop of water. Use a soft toothbrush or Q-tip to clean the jewelry. Rinse off quickly with cool water and dry gently with a clean, microfiber cloth. You can also use a hair dryer on the coolest setting to ensure it’s completely dry.

Even though it feels counterintuitive, it’s important not to use regular jewelry cleaners meant for fine jewelry because they can have harsh effects on the glue or metals used to keep the costume jewelry held together. You’ll also want to avoid anything acidic like vinegar, lemon juice or baking soda.

Some costume jewelry is made of nickel or another cheaper-quality metal that has been plated with a top layer of real silver or gold finish. If you’re not sure how best to care for your particular piece, bring it into our store and we can help. Plus, cleaning is always free!