How to Sterilize & Disinfect Your Sterling Silver Earrings

How to Sterilize & Disinfect Your Sterling Silver Earrings

Earrings have a way of highlighting your facial frame and complement your outfit of the day. But like any other jewelry, sterling silver earrings are prone to become dirty over time if you don’t maintain them properly on a regular basis.

Dirty and disinfected earrings not only look dingy but can also cause potential infection or other health issues. This is why you should take good care of your jewelry. Read more as we dive into why you should sterilize your sterling silver earrings and how you can disinfect them.

Why is it Important to Sterilize Your Earrings?

Your skin serves as a natural barrier to most bacteria and diseases, but infection can happen once the outer layer (such as pierced ears) has been broken. An infected piercing can be painful and potentially dangerous. As such, it is important to keep the piercings clean and sterile. Here are 3 important reasons why you should care for your earrings: -

  • Restore Its Beauty: You may have noticed that jewelry such as earrings will lose its shine and luster after wearing them for some time. Sterilizing and cleaning your earrings regularly can make them look good as new again.

  • Enhance Its Longevity: When you wear jewelry, you may expose them to harsh elements like natural oils, beauty care products, and even moisture. These elements can lead your earrings to tarnish and spoil. Therefore, sterilizing your earrings will prolong its lifespan.

  • Maintain Earrings Hygiene: Due to the fact that bacteria and other microorganisms can accumulate on the jewelry surface over time, conducting regular maintenance of your silver earrings can help to remove any present bacteria or other contaminants and reduce your risk of developing an infection.

How Do You Sterilize Your Earrings?

When it comes to taking care of your silver jewelry, you shouldn’t only just remove the visible dirt and tarnish, you also have to remove the grime that has built up on the earrings. With that being said, here are a few methods to sterilize your earrings: -

  • Rubbing Alcohol or Alcohol Wipes

What You’ll Need: 70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol, a pair of Tweezers, and a Small Cup or Bowl.

One of the simplest ways you can sterilize your earrings is by rubbing alcohol. Start by placing your earrings in a cup and pour enough rubbing alcohol to cover them completely. Leave the earrings soak in the content for about 5 minutes. Use a pair of tweezers to retrieve the earrings from the bowl. Leave your earrings on a clean towel to dry them, and they're as good as new.

NOTE: If you do not have rubbing alcohol, alcohol wipes is a good substitute. This method is extremely effective in disinfecting the earrings back. Apply the alcohol wipes with care onto the earrings’ surface. Once done, wipe the earrings clean and dry.

  • Baking Soda & Vinegar

What You’ll Need: Vinegar, Baking Soda, Aluminium Tin Foil, A Small Bowl, Warm Water, Soft Polishing Cloth, and Salt

Mix a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of baking soda into your aluminum-lined bowl. Then, slowly pour half a cup of vinegar and add boiling water into the bowl. Soak and submerge your earrings completely into the mix for about an hour. To remove any vinegar smell from your silver earrings, rinse them with warm water and dry them with a soft polishing cloth.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide

What You’ll Need: Hydrogen Peroxide, Water, a Small Cup, a pair of Tweezers, Jewelry Polishing Cloth, and a pair of Latex Gloves

Hydrogen peroxide is an extraordinary and efficient way to disinfect your jewelry at home, it is also great for killing germs and other microorganisms. Start by preparing the hydrogen peroxide solution and mix equal parts of 3% hydrogen peroxide with purified water in a small cup. Submerge your silver earrings in the cup and soak it in the water for 10 minutes. Once done, retrieve the earrings from the solution with a pair of tweezers. Rinse them in clean running water and use a jewelry polishing cloth or paper towel to carefully dry them.

NOTE: Hydrogen peroxide may irate your skin when it comes into direct contact. Therefore, be sure to put on a pair of latex gloves to protect your hands before disinfecting your jewelry.

  • Hot Water

What You’ll Need: A Small Cup, Hot Water, Clean Baby Toothbrush, Silver Polishing Cloth, and a Spoon

If you don’t have hydrogen peroxide with you, you can always use boiling water to sterilize your jewelry. Start by preparing a cup of hot boiling water and drop your earrings in the cup for 20 minutes. This will give the warm water some time to kill any germs and remove any grime stuck on your jewelry. Next, retrieve your earrings with a spoon and scrub them gently with a soft clean toothbrush. The toothbrush will remove any remaining dirt on your earrings. Lastly, place your silver earrings on a dry polishing cloth to dry them.

NOTE: Before you start sterilizing your jewelry, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Make sure that your hands are dry before you disinfect the earrings.


Keeping your sterling silver earrings clean and disinfected is an important part of maintaining healthy ears. Here are a few tips you should remember on caring for your jewelry: -

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly before you put on or remove jewelry from your ears. This will help prevent bacteria and dirt from spreading and entering through your ear holes.

  2. Avoid sleeping with your earrings in. This may cause them to become infected from the bacteria present on your pillows and bedsheets.

  3. Clean your jewelry regularly. The most efficient way to clean your earrings is by using warm soapy water and drying them with a polishing cloth. Be sure to rinse the soap away and dry them completely.

  4. Avoid wearing earrings made of lower quality jewelry metals (like nickel silver or brass). Costume and fashion earrings can increase the chances of infection. Therefore, opt for hypoallergenic jewelry like stainless steel or sterling silver.

  5. Check your earrings for any signs of discoloration or damages. If your earrings have been damaged, discard them and buy new ones instead.

By keeping these tips and steps in mind, you will be ensuring that your earrings are sterilized and preventing any irritation from happening. Disinfected earrings will allow you to wear them safely. For more jewelry care tips, read this guide here on taking care of your jewelry and accessories.

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