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Turquoise jewelry is beautiful, especially when paired with silver. However, cleaning can be tricky. It's vital to clean the silver part and the turquoise part separately. Keep any polish or cleaner you use for the silver off the turquoise. With a little time and care, you can keep your jewelry in great condition.

Part 1
Part 1 of 3:

Cleaning the Turquoise

  1. 1
    Dampen a cloth with water. Cleaners and turquoise generally don't mix. Turquoise is very susceptible to damage and discoloration. Even mild dishwashing detergent can damage the stone. Stick to using a damp rag.[1]
  2. 2
    Wipe down the stone. Remove any unwanted dirt or grime. Use gentle motions to avoid damage. If your turquoise is very dirty, this may take some time. However, do not dip turquoise in water to speed up the process. This can harm the gem. [2]
  3. 3
    Dry your jewelry with a clean cloth. Gently dab any excess water from the turquoise. Letting water sit on the turquoise can harm the gem, so it's vital to get it dry after cleaning.[3]
    • Never air dry turquoise or use heat to speed up the process.
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Part 2
Part 2 of 3:

Cleaning the Silver

  1. 1
    Use a commercial silver polish. Silver rarely needs washing when it's attached to turquoise and, as cleaners can harm turquoise, it's generally best to stick to a light polishing. Use a commercial polish designed specifically for silver.[4]
  2. 2
    Rub down the silver with the polish. Read your polish's instructions for precise directions. Usually, you use a cloth or rag to gently buff the polish onto the silver. Keep buffing until the silver shines and any tarnish, dirt, or debris are removed.[6]
  3. 3
    Keep silver polish away from the turquoise portion of the jewelry. Work extremely slowly when cleaning silver jewelry. Silver polish, even in small amounts, can harm turquoise. Take extreme care not to get any polish on the turquoise.[7]
    • In the event that trace amounts of polish end up on your turquoise, remove them right away. You can dab them out with a paper towel or rag.
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Part 3
Part 3 of 3:

Preventing Damage to Your Jewelry

  1. 1
    Protect the jewelry from harsh cleansers. As turquoise is so sensitive, you do not want to risk exposing it to cleaners. Things like dish soap, laundry detergent, and other cleaners can easily damage turquoise. Remove turquoise jewelry when cleaning and keep it in a safe place where it will not be exposed to any cleaners.[8]
  2. 2
    Avoid using hand lotion when wearing turquoise. If you're wearing things like rings and bracelets made of turquoise, it's best to avoid or minimize your use of hand lotion. Hand lotion, like most household products, can potentially damage turquoise.[9]
    • Sunscreen may also be harmful. If you've applied sunscreen to your chest, do not wear a turquoise necklace afterwards.
  3. 3
    Keep your jewelry dry. In addition to drying turquoise after cleaning it, strive to keep it dry in general. Do not leave it sitting out in damp places, such as beside the kitchen sink[10]
  4. 4
    Clean your turquoise when it gets dirty. As turquoise jewelry is very sensitive, cleaning it too often may damage the stone. To keep it in good shape, only clean the turquoise when it appears dirty.
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  • Silver turquoise jewelry can be easily scratched; only use non-scratching products and cleaners.
  • Do not soak silver turquoise jewelry in water or cleaner because the turquoise can become unstable.
  • Do not wear turquoise jewelry when you exercise or do other strenuous activities because they may get scratched.

Things You’ll Need

  • Cleaning cloths
  • Warm water and dishwashing detergent
  • Jewelry brush

About This Article

Edward Lewand
Co-authored by:
Graduate Gemologist & Accredited Appraiser
This article was co-authored by Edward Lewand. Edward Lewand is a Graduate Gemologist & Accredited Appraiser with over 36 years of experience in the jewelry industry. He completed his residency in graduate gemology at the G.I.A. in 1979, New York and now specializes in Fine, Antique and Estate Jewelry, consultations and expert witness work. He is a Certified Appraiser of the Appraiser Association of America (AAA) and an Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) of the American Society of Appraisers In Gems and Jewelry. This article has been viewed 94,638 times.
11 votes - 82%
Co-authors: 13
Updated: August 10, 2021
Views: 94,638
Categories: Cleaning Jewelry
Article SummaryX

Cleaning your silver turquoise jewelry is easy, but it’s important to be careful with the turquoise. All you need to do to clean the turquoise parts is wipe them with a damp cloth and dry them with another clean cloth. Don’t use any cleaners on the stone, since even dish soap and laundry detergent can damage it. Silver rarely needs cleaning, but you can lightly rub the silver parts of your jewelry with a clean cloth and commercial silver polish when it needs touching up. Just try to avoid getting it on the turquoise. For more tips from our Jewelry co-author, including how to care for your turquoise jewelry while you’re wearing it, read on!

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Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 94,638 times.

Reader Success Stories

  • Cecilia Elkurd

    Cecilia Elkurd

    Sep 11, 2017

    "I was really interested in finding out how to clean silver jewelry and also the care of turquoise. I had not been..." more
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