Is It OK To Leave Jewelry In Cleaner Overnight?

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Regardless of the quality of material used, jewelry tends to lose its appeal over time, and that is due to the build-up of dirt, grime, and chemicals it is exposed to daily.

While taking it for professional cleaning is recommended, doing so frequently can be costly for most people. Luckily there are many DIY cleaning methods you can try at home, including using jewelry cleaner.

But what happens if you forget and leave your jewelry soaking in the cleaner all night?

This is a concern that most people have with such products. In this article, we will discuss the effects of leaving jewelry in a cleaner overnight. We will also share with you some useful tips that can help you when cleaning jewelry with a cleaner.


Is It OK To Leave Jewelry In Cleaner Overnight?

Is It OK To Leave Jewelry In Cleaner Overnight

When it comes to using jewelry cleaners, many people are concerned about the effect the cleaner would have on their jewelry if they were soaked overnight.

That is because of the speculation that the longer you leave your jewelry soaked, the cleaner it will come out. The problem is that the jewelry cleaners aren’t organic.

Most commercial jewelry cleaners contain ammonium hydroxide and sodium metasilicate. For that reason, it is natural for you to be concerned as to the kind of effect these chemicals would have on your jewelry.

All of these commercial jewelry cleaners come with written instructions on how to use the product, including the duration. Many people have, however, reported accidentally leaving their jewelry in cleaner longer than required.

Is It OK To Leave Jewelry In Cleaner Overnight

About a few minutes to several hours longer. Others have reported doing it intentionally to see the result.

The majority of these reports claim that it is safe to do so because nothing happened to their jewelry. There are a few, who have reported a change in their jewelry.

When it comes down to it, what matters is the quality of material used to make your jewelry. Most jewelers when asked, state that the cleaners specify a limited duration, mostly for the cheaper kind of jewelry.

That means that high-quality jewelry may not be affected by the cleaner if left soaking overnight. While some cleaners are mild, some are stronger too, and that could also affect the result of leaving your jewelry soaked in it overnight. So, we would recommend being careful with the type of cleaner you use.


What Happens If You Leave Jewelry In Cleaner Too Long?

Is It OK To Leave Jewelry In Cleaner Overnight

Like we’ve explained, the effect jewelry cleaner will have on your pieces will vary based on various factors. The two main ones are the quality and type of jewelry and the strength of the cleaner.

For most precious metals, it should be safe, meaning the metals wouldn’t be affected if left in the cleaner for too long. There are, however, a few exceptions.

While gold may not be overly affected, leaving white gold soaking for too long could cause the rhodium plating to wear more easily. So, unless you want to keep re-plating your white gold pieces, you may want to avoid it.

Another exception is silver. Many people have reported that leaving their silver pieces soaked in the cleaner for too long, resulted in their discolorations.

The discoloration varied from greyish-white to black, depending on how long the silver was soaked. Luckily, a proper polish should be able to clear out the tarnish and restore the original shine of the silver piece.

Is It OK To Leave Jewelry In Cleaner Overnight

If the silver piece was plated, then it may be impossible to restore it, as the chemicals in the cleaner may have stripped away all the plating. Stainless steel also has been reported to have the same results when soaked for too long.

The best remedy most people found for this was using Wright’s silver cleaner cream. It is said to work tremendously well for both silver and steel

Precious stones are another thing you should be cautious of leaving in the cleaner for too long. There have been no reports of any effect noted on diamonds.

Softer stones like pearls may, however, not be able to withstand the chemicals in the cleaner. So, it would be best to avoid soaking such gems in the cleaner.


How Long You Should Leave Jewelry In Cleaner?

Is It OK To Leave Jewelry In Cleaner Overnight

So, how long is long enough when it comes to soaking jewelry in cleaners? The truth is all of the jewelry cleaners are different and so there is no standard time.

Some will require you to soak the jewelry for no more than 3 minutes, while others may require 20 minutes. Each of them comes with clear instructions to guide you.

The problem is that some of these cleaners are mild and the duration given may not be sufficient, especially for very dirty jewelry. That is why most people opt to leave the jewelry in for longer.

Although some jewelers will tell you that good quality jewelry will not be affected by doing this, we recommend that you follow the instructions given just to be safe.

If the duration happens to not be enough, you can always rinse the jewelry and soak it for another duration and keep repeating it until you get the required cleanliness or shine.


Quick Tips For Cleaning Your Jewelry In The Cleaner (If You Put It For A Long Time)

Is It OK To Leave Jewelry In Cleaner Overnight

Lastly, if you do decide to clean your jewelry using a jewelry cleaner and up to leave it soaked for a long period, the following are some useful tips you should keep in mind:

Consider the materials used on the jewelry

While most precious metals like gold and platinum will not be affected by the long duration, remember softer gems like pearls cannot withstand the chemicals in the cleaner.

So if your jewelry piece happens to have such gems or is made of cheap metal, then you may want to steer clear of soaking them in the cleaner for too long.


Consider the type of jewelry cleaner

Like we mentioned before, commercial jewelry cleaners contain various chemicals. While some are mild, others are strong.

You need to be sure about the chemicals on each of the cleaning products you use. Do your research to ensure that these chemicals will not react with your jewelry, causing irreversible damage.

Is It OK To Leave Jewelry In Cleaner Overnight

Follow the instructions

Yes, there have been people who have opted to ignore the instructions and leave their jewelry soaking overnight. While most report no serious damage, it is better to be safe.

The instructions included on the product were put there with reason, it would therefore be advisable to follow them. It is better to repeat the procedure rather than prolong the required duration.



Each piece of jewelry in your collection is likely very important to you. It may be a gift from a loved one or a memento from a memory, either way, each piece is bound to hold deep meaning for you.

So, it is normal to want to keep the jewelry for as long as you can. The longest you can keep a piece of jewelry will depend on how well you maintain it.

That includes cleaning it as frequently as possible. Jewelry cleaners are the simplest ways of doing this at home, however, should be careful and follow the instructions as stated.

If you’re unsure, then you should opt for a mild soap and warm water solution and a soft cloth.

Read more useful tips here or here!

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