Fashion

How To Fix Fake Jewelry: Green Rings, Tarnish, Discoloration & More

June 23, 2021 by Justine Schwartz
shefinds | Fashion
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Every woman wears fake jewelry, let’s be honest. There’s no shame in it, really! In fact, mixing in costume earrings or bracelets with your finer, more expensive pieces is a great way to stay on trend and express your personal style without going broke on diamonds. When you want to try out a new trend but aren’t sure how you’re going to like it (or how long it will be in style), fake jewelry is the way to go.

Unfortunately, the cheaper a style is, the more easily it can be damaged. Most costume pieces are even ruined after just a few wears. The thin silver or gold plating on fake rings and fake necklaces wear off fairly quickly, revealing the brass or nickel underneath, or discoloration or tarnishing occurs. We’ve all had rings that have turned our skin green by the end of the day, or “silver” that looks like a penny after wearing it just a few times. It’s a major bummer–and super annoying.

On one hand, this discoloration makes our precious metals seem more valuable, but in reality no one can spend $100 or $200 every time we want a new pair of earrings or a bracelet. Costume pieces will always be an essential part of our accessory routines, so it’s essential to know how to clean tarnishes, discoloration and grime.

How To Clean Fake Silver Or Gold Jewelry

Most people don’t know this, but you can clean off tarnish and re-plate cheap jewelry to make it look brand new again. And it’s really simple. You don’t need to be an expert to clean metals, and this simple trick will help you do it in very little time.

All you need to do is follow this amazing DIY recipe we found online (the internet is an amazing thing, isn’t it?). Where has this trick been all our lives?!

Follow the simple 8 steps below and you’ll be able to fix all of that “ruined” fake jewelry you own and get it back into your wardrobe mix ASAP! This hack will change your life. You’re welcome.

What you’ll need:

–an aluminum plate or aluminum foil

–salt

–baking soda

–water

–access to a microwave

–a clean rag

–your discolored cheap jewelry

1) First, you’ll want to collect all of your fake pieces that need to be fixed or cleaned. Take note if the jewelry contains any gemstones. If it does, you’ll want to be careful about getting that area too wet. Water can dissolve the glue under gemstones, causing them to fall off later on.

2) You’ll need a deep aluminum plate or bowl, like a pie plate. If you don’t have access to one, you can use a regular plate or bowl wrapped in aluminum foil. If you go with the latter, make sure the aluminum foil doesn’t tear.

3) Pour 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of baking soda on the plate.

4) Heat 1 cup of water in a microwave for less than 2 minutes. You want it to be hot but not boiling. Then, pour the hot water on to the salt and baking soda mixture.

diy hack clean fake jewelry silver gold

5) Stir the cleaning mixture completely so the ingredients combine and there are no clumps. Wait about 1 minute for the mixture to completely liquefy after stirring it.

6) Place your jewelry in the mixture. In this step, the salt, baking soda, and water mixture should oxidize the tarnish off the jewelry. The silver from the foil or aluminum plate should re-plate the worn spots on your fake silver jewelry.

7) When the tarnish is nearly all gone, remove the jewelry from the mixture. This may take a few seconds to up to two minutes. Just be patient. You should start to see your fake gold jewelry becoming shinier and your fake silver jewelry regaining its hue.

diy hack clean fake jewelry silver gold

8) Using a clean, dry, soft rag, remove the remaining tarnish by wiping it gently. Sometimes verdigris builds up on costume jewelry. This is the green gunk that often collects on cheap rings and other jewelry. Wiping it with a clean rag should remove it, after the salt and baking soda soak it just had.

Voila–Your cheap jewelry should look good as new! That wasn’t too hard, was it? This life hack will help save your favorite cheap rings and bracelets from needing to be thrown out–not to mention so much money on buying new replacements all of the time! So go ahead and wear that fake jewelry as much as your little heart desires–you can always go back and fix it later.

Author: Justine Schwartz

Editorial Director

Justine Schwartz is a veteran women's lifestyle editor; she's written extensively about style & beauty tips, health advice and wedding planning for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, Huffington Post and New York Weddings. Justine has been with SheFinds since 2010; you can reach her via email at Justine@shefinds.com.

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