Jewelry Hacks

By Kristen Castillo

February 15, 2017 5 min read

Jewelry is a great way to accessorize your look, but what can you do when it doesn't fit right, gets dirty or tangles? Check out these quick fixes so you can keep rocking those rings, earrings, necklaces and other gem jams.

*Perfect Pins

Feel as if your pins and brooches are too floppy unless you wear them on thick fabric?

"Cut up a makeup sponge. Put it on the inside of the shirt. And run the brooch or the pin through it," says Veronica Staudt, owner of Vintage Meet Modern, an online jewelry collective specializing in designer and vintage jewelry.

She says the sponge creates more structure and will keep the brooch from flopping around.

*Too Tight

Have you ever tried on a ring and then struggled to take it off? It happens to us all. Here's the answer:

"Lather the ring finger with Vaseline or butter, lift your hand upwards to enable the blood to flow out of your hand and then twist the ring gently off your finger," says Shmuel Aber of Estate Diamond Jewelry, a jewelry store that's been in business over 30 years.

*Beautiful Baubles

Clean your diamond ring, earrings or bracelet on the go with this simple cleanser: a cup of warm water mixed with a drop of clear shampoo. (Avoid shampoos combined with conditioners.)

"Rinse well and carefully," says Matilde Parente, gemologist and owner of Libertine Jewelry. "The shampoo soak lifts grease and lotions from your gems and doesn't harm diamonds or precious metals."

She says you can use a toothbrush to scrub away extra grime.

Another ring-cleaning tip? "Soak your diamonds in straight, unflavored vodka. The alcohol will lift off dirt and oils," says Parente.

*Get Untangled

Necklaces are very delicate, and a tangle can be frustrating. Untangling the chain is easy with this tip from Jennifer Gandia, co-owner of Greenwich St. Jewelers.

"Lay the strand down on a table, and use two pins to gently tease the knot out," she says. "Don't try to do it while holding the necklace in the air. Gravity will just keep pulling the knot back into place."

*Earring-Back Backup

Losing the back of an earring is annoying, but the solution is at your desk! Simply use a pencil eraser to keep the earring in place.

Another option is to cut a hole in a small square of moleskin to keep the earring safely in position. Parente advises making sure the adhesive side of the moleskin sticks to the back of the ear lobe. First wipe the earlobe clean with rubbing alcohol, which will allow it to adhere to the skin.

Don't have moleskin? Use a Band-Aid: Poke the post through the padded center of the Band-Aid and stick the adhesive side to the back of your ear.

*Banish Tarnish

Stressed out by tarnish on your jewelry? Don't be!

According to Erin Pelicano of Erin Pelicano Jewelry, tarnish is a natural occurrence.

"Any sterling silver jewelry exposed to air will tarnish," she says, explaining that the way to keep it shiny longer is to wear it often. Maintain it by polishing the jewelry with silver cleaner.

*Seeing Green

Cheap jewelry staining your skin green? That's green oxidation, which is technically known as verdigris.

The fix is in your fridge. "Ketchup will often remove 'greenies,'" says Staudt, who advises dabbing the skin with a cotton swab or toothbrush dipped in ketchup.

*Sparkling Again

Want to clean your dirty engagement ring? "Soak it in warm soapy water, and then scrub the ring with an old toothbrush," says Aber.

*Cheers to Cocktail Rings!

Cocktail rings are lots of fun, but what if they're too big?

Staudt recommends using Ring Snuggies, which are designed to hold rings in place.

"It's made of heavy quality hypoallergenic surgical grade PVC; it's clear; and it won't damage the ring," she says, adding that the best part is the price. "An entire pack costs less than $6."

*Stop Necklaces' Sliding

If your necklace clasp keeps sliding to the front, pin it in place. Parente suggests using a small safety pin to pin the necklace clasp to the back of your top or to the care label.

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