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Sterling Silver Jewelry: Cleaning With Toothpaste

Gayle Parks By Gayle Parks on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 8 | Other Home & Garden Expertise:
Before Cleaning

I recently read an article on cheap and easy household cleaning tips. Most of these tips did not interest me, or did not apply to my lifestyle, but one stood out as something I wanted to try; cleaning sterling silver jewelry with toothpaste.

I don’t own any expensive jewelry and most of what I do have is silver, so this tip on how to clean sterling silver with toothpaste was right on target for me. I decided to try it on my Marcasite ring and earrings. Here is how I did it and what you will need.


Be sure it is a non-gel type. Apparently, most gel toothpaste does not contain baking soda, which is the key ingredient here. I used what I had on hand, Crest, but any non-gel toothpaste will do. Good old fashioned Colgate comes to mind.


I used a medium bristle brush but it seems to me that a soft bristle would be better for this particular application. The brush I used was one that had different sized bristles but a simple soft bristle toothbrush would be ideal.

Sterling Silver Jewelry

I cleaned Marcasite which has small stones. Be careful when brushing over these, or any other stones. Don’t use this cleaning method on Opals. If you have expensive jewelry you should probably consult an expert on how to clean it properly.

To apply, simply squeeze a small amount, a dab about the size of a pencil eraser is plenty, on to the toothbrush. Dampen with a little water. Brush jewelry gently over entire surface. Rinse with warm water and repeat if necessary. Be sure and dry jewelry thoroughly.

After cleaning my jewelry I concluded that this method works well enough for a quick fix but does not do as good a job as commercial cleaning products. I would recommend it to clean jewelry quickly but for real sparkle go with the commercial products.