Homemade Jewelry Cleaner
Jewelry cleaners contain a wide variety of chemicals, many of which are potentially harmful to people and pets. Obviously, the biggest risk comes from accidental ingestion. However, some of these chemicals are readily absorbed through the skin or release their toxic components into the air. Ammonium hydroxide, for example, an alkaline (base) solution also used in flooring strippers and other industrial cleaners, can release ammonia gas into the air and burn sensitive tissue in the eyes, throat and lungs.
Butoxyethanol (also known as 2-butoxyethanol, ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, butoxyethyl acetate and other variations) is a drying agent found in many types of cleaners, including jewelry cleaning products. A known liver carcingoen that also persists in air, water and soil, this organic compound enters the bloodstream through the inhalation of vapors or direct skin contact. Although this chemical doesn't stay in the body for long, it takes a ride through various organs and tissue before it is metabolized in the liver and excreted. In addition, studies show that, at high exposure levels, this substance triggers hemolysis, in which hemoglobin levels rise in the blood due to the destruction of red blood cells. When hemoglobin and red blood cells part ways in this manner, it leads to a condition called Hemolytic Anemia.
The following formula will clean your quality jewelry (gold, silver, diamonds and other hardy stones) with simple, natural ingredients that are safe for you and the planet we all share.
1/2 cup organic witch hazel extract
2 drops organic peppermint essential oil
In a small bowl, combine the witch hazel and peppermint essential oil. Drop one or two pieces of jewelry into the solution and set aside for a few hours or overnight. Remove from the solution, rinse under warm water and dry. If gunk remains in ring settings: Get into these areas with a toothbrush (or equivalent tool) moistened with water and a bit of baking soda. Rinse and dry.