Sterling silver is delicate and must be cleaned gently.

How to Clean a Sterling Silver Jewelry Set With Turquoise

by S.R. Becker

Turquoise settings in jewelry range from small pieces in rings to large stones in pendants. The stone, often associated with Native American jewelry, is usually set in sterling silver. Although turquoise is heavy and sturdy, it is susceptible to damage from soap and other cleaning products. Cleaning your turquoise jewelry with water once a week keeps it looking its best without subjecting it to harmful substances. Properly maintained, turquoise-and-silver jewelry regularly lasts for years.

Dip a child's soft toothbrush in water and shake it to keep it from dripping. The brush should be damp, but not wet.

Gently brush the turquoise stones, avoiding the silver as much as possible.

Wipe the stone dry with a clean jewelry-polishing cloth.

Polish the silver with the cloth, rubbing gently back and forth until the jewelry is shiny.

Items you will need

  • Child's soft toothbrush
  • Jewelry-polishing cloth


  • Take off your jewelry before washing your hands, showering or cleaning to prevent damaging the turquoise. Wash your hands after styling your hair or applying makeup before putting your jewelry on.
  • If your turquoise jewelry is not excessively dirty, it may not be necessary to clean it with a toothbrush. Polishing it with a cloth is often enough.


  • Do not submerge turquoise in water, as it is porous and becomes discolored from absorption.

About the Author

S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images