Restore your rhinestone jewelry to its original sparkle and shine.

How to Restore Rhinestone Jewelry

by M.H. Dyer

Wearing your rhinestone jewelry regularly inevitably results in a buildup of grime and smudges, as well as soap, perfume, powder, hand lotion, makeup and other substances that dull the finish. If your rhinestone jewelry has lost its glow, you can use safe, simple techniques to bring back the sparkle and shine.

Scrub rhinestone jewelry gently with a soft, dry baby toothbrush. For lightly soiled jewelry, this in itself may be enough to restore the shine.

Add a drop of gentle liquid dish soap to a cup of warm water if gentle scrubbing with a dry toothbrush doesn't clean the jewelry. Dip the toothbrush lightly in the water, then scrub the jewelry. Avoid harsh detergents or extra-strength dish soap, which may damage the finish of the stones and metal settings.

Dip the toothbrush lightly in the water, then scrub the rhinestone and metal settings gently. Alternatively, spray the toothbrush lightly with window cleaner, but never spray the cleaner directly on the jewelry. Keep rhinestone jewelry as dry as possible because too much water may dissolve the glue that holds the settings in place.

Remove encrusted gunk around settings and other tight areas using the tip of a wooden toothpick. Don't use paper clips, needles or other metal objects, which may scratch the finish and damage the jewelry.

Place the jewelry on a paper towel, then dry it with a cool blow dryer. Don't use heat, which may melt the glue. Alternatively, place the jewelry upside-down on a soft, clean towel and allow it to air dry.

Polish the jewelry with a jeweler's cloth or a soft, white cotton cloth.

Store rhinestone jewelry in a soft, cotton bag or a fabric-lined jewelry box. Store jewelry pieces separately, as rubbing can abrade and scratch the finish.

Items you will need

  • Baby toothbrush
  • Gentle liquid dish soap or window cleaner
  • Cup
  • Wooden toothpicks
  • Paper towels, blow dryer or soft, clean towel
  • Jeweler's cloth or a soft, white cotton cloth
  • Cotton bag or fabric-lined jewelry box


  • Take vintage or antique jewelry to a jeweler for professional cleaning. Similarly, take jewelry to a professional if the setting is loose or the metal parts of the jewelry are damaged. A jeweler may be able to replate the metal.

About the Author

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images