There are a million jewelry cleaning tricks out there – from baby toothbrushes to the trusted drop of dish soap in a bowl of warm water, to vodka and even ketchup. But any jewelry lover should know how it easy it is to harm your treasures by using the wrong method, especially if you’re talking about older pieces or more delicate gemstones. With a little knowledge and the right jewelry cleaner, you can keep your collection as safe and shining as it deserves.
My current go-to methods are a polishing cloth and a warm bowl of water with a drop or two of dish soap dissolved in it, but I’ve been looking for a more effective approach (that polishing cloth really takes a lot of elbow grease). When Goddard’s approached me about possibly featuring their jewelry cleaner, I was very intrigued.
Goddard’s as a company has a history as old as some if jewelry I’m hoping to clean with it: the chemist Joseph Goddard developed his first silver polish in the 1830’s; by the 1885 American Exposition, his perfected products took home 6 gold medals. Since then, the company’s two jewelry cleaners – the traditional and the foam – have been further developed into the ideal versions of themselves that they are today.
While both cleaners are safe, the foam is utterly gentle: it’s even safe enough to be used on pieces with watch movements and glued-in settings.
The main reason that some kinds of jewelry cleaner can be damaging to fragile gemstones (like opals and emeralds) is that they contain ammonia. Goddard’s contains no ammonia, which makes it safe for even paste and pearls.
When the lovely folks of Goddard’s jewelry cleaner approached me about featuring their product, I said that it sounded wonderful but that I would need to try it out myself before I could recommend it to anyone. They were kind enough to send me some samples so that I could perform do a test run.
This is a piece my husband bought for me in our first year or so of dating. It’s a piece of Art Deco camphor glass (from around the 1920’s) and it’s beautiful, but it gets tarnished quickly. Normally, cleaning it involves going to town on it with a polishing cloth until my fingers are sore.
The decision to clean an antique piece of jewelry is a very individual one: some people prefer to maintain the original antique patine. For me, it varies by piece. I like this particular piece to be nice and clean, otherwise the designs in the delicate swirls of filigree are hard to see.
Today, I used Goddard’s Foam cleaner on the piece before taking a polishing cloth to it. I just sprayed the piece with the foam cleaner (which is really delightfully foamy), let it sit for one minute, then rinsed and patted the piece dry before giving it a once-over with my trusty polishing cloth.
Using the foam cleaner before polishing made a huge difference: the grime wiped right off instead of needing to be rubbed and rubbed to coax it off of the filigree. The whole process was quicker, easier, and more effective.
I was also impressed with the amount of grime that came off of my pendant. It had only been a couple of months since I last cleaned this piece.
You see? That’s from one swipe. Super impressive, as I’m sure you know if you’ve spent much time working your fingers to the bone trying to put some shine back on your tarnished silver.
Normally, I clean a lot of my pieces at once every few months and it leaves my hands black with grime and numb from polishing. I’m excited to have found something safe and effective that will speed up the process – I look forward to trying this magic jewelry cleaner on more of my treasures.
This post is brought to you by Goddard’s.
Thank you for this post! Going to buy some right now!
Yay!! It’s great stuff – I still use it myself!
I’m late on this post, but I remember seeing it a few months ago. I pulled out a pair of silver earrings this past weekend, earrings that have quite a bit of detail and are really just a pain to clean. I do wear them year-round, but even more so in warm weather. I’m impressed with how well Goddard’s cleaned your pendant, Becky. I’m going to order some and get to work on my earrings and whatever silver jewelry I have that needs cleaning. Thanks!
Nice! I hope it helps – I’ve used it on several other pieces since then and it definitely makes the polishing much easier.
Reporting back – this cleaner is really good! And over the years, I’ve tried two or three different silver cleaners, the ones we’ve all seen in jewelry stores – I can name them, if you’d like. Goddard is better than all of them.
The earrings I mentioned above look great, just so much better. I used the silver foam, the one you recommended. It was quick and easy; no polishing cloth involved. I spread some of the foam on an earring, let it sit for a few minutes, brushed it lightly with an old soft toothbrush, then rinsed it all off. These earrings are not pierced-work silver, but have high-polish edges and portions of the design, and low areas with a lot of texture. Those are the parts that are normally so difficult to keep clean, even with my sonic and ionic cleaner used after a polishing cloth. The earrings didn’t look horrible, but just kind of dingy in those areas. The Goddard cleaner worked like a champ. My earrings look like they’re new again. This cleaner is a keeper!
I tried the silver foam on a 5mm thick sterling snake chain I have. I used to wear it quite a bit, hanging various pendants from it. But it got so dull-looking; none of my cleaners seemed to help. So I gave the Goddard silver foam a go on it. It looked better, but not like it did when it was new. When I have the time, I’ll take out my sonic/ionic cleaner and put the chain in that, then try the foam again.
I’m also going to order the Goddard cleaner for costume jewelry. I have some gold-filled and red brass pieces that regular dish detergent doesn’t really work for, so I’m going to try the costume jewelry cleaner.
Thanks for this recommendation, Becky!
Ahh, yay, I’m so glad you liked it!! I’ve been reall happy with it, and I’m so glad that you had a good experience too.
Silver chains are tough. Please do let me know how it goes with the sonic/ionic cleaner + foam combo: I have some silver chains that I would definitely love to revitalize a bit. I just haven’t had a chance to try anything other than cleaner + elbow grease, and there’s only so much elbow grease you can use on a chain.
Leighton Wells says
I’m so glad I stumbled upon this post! I’m always looking for ways to improve my jewelry cleaning so I’m definitely going to try this one out!
I’m so glad!! I’ve really been happy with it.
Great jewelry care tips! Thanks.
Goddard’s jewelry cleaners are safe on all my stone and metal jewelry pieces.
Every time I use Goddard’s my jewelry is shiny and clean!
While this works, I still believe that the easier methods are simply using a mild dishwasher soap or if you want something more efficient, baking soda should do the job.
I agree, a drop of dish soap in a bowl of warm water is a great gentle way to clean jewelry. I would be a little hesitant to use baking soda on anything with gems or costume jewelry, though.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
Talisman Collection says
We’d appreciate it if a sales rep from Goddards will please contact Talisman Collection at 916-358-5683 so that we can carry the foam and polish in our retail store.