Isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol, is a common household cleaner that can be used to disinfect and clean surfaces. It is also effective at removing dirt, grime, and oils from metal jewelry. However, isopropyl alcohol can damage some types of jewelry metals, especially those that are made from plastics or acrylics. It can also dry out the natural oils in gemstones, which can cause them to crack or fade.

Here are some types of jewelry metals that you should not clean with isopropyl alcohol:

  • Plastic
  • Acrylic
  • Copper
  • Inferior metals

Here are some types of jewelry metals that you can clean with isopropyl alcohol:

  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Sterling silver
  • Tungsten
  • Silver-plated titanium
  • Platinum

Isopropyl alcohol can damage some gemstones, especially those that are porous or have a soft coating. Here are some gemstones that should not be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol:

  • Pearls: Pearls have a natural coating that can be damaged by alcohol. This coating helps to protect the pearl from drying out and fading. If you clean pearls with alcohol, they may become dull and lose their luster.
  • Opals: Opals are also porous gemstones that can be damaged by alcohol. Alcohol can dry out the opal and cause it to crack.
  • Emeralds: Emeralds contain natural oils that help to protect them from damage. Alcohol can dry out these oils and cause the emerald to crack.
  • Turquoise: Turquoise is a soft gemstone that can be damaged by alcohol. Alcohol can also cause turquoise to fade.
  • Amethyst: Amethyst is a relatively stable gemstone, but it can still be damaged by alcohol if it is not used properly. If you clean amethyst with alcohol, be sure to rinse it thoroughly with water to remove any remaining alcohol.

Step-By-Step Guide: 

Yes, you can clean earrings with isopropyl alcohol, but it's important to do so properly and carefully to avoid damaging the jewelry or causing any irritation to your skin. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to clean earrings with isopropyl alcohol:

Materials Needed:

  • Isopropyl alcohol (70% or higher concentration)
  • Cotton swabs or soft cloth
  • Small bowl or container
  • Warm water


  1. Prepare Your Cleaning Area: Set up a clean and well-lit area where you can comfortably clean your earrings without any distractions.
  2. Remove Earrings: Take off your earrings from your ears. This will allow you to clean them more effectively.
  3. Mix the Cleaning Solution: In a small bowl or container, mix a solution of isopropyl alcohol and warm water. You can use equal parts of both or a slightly higher concentration of alcohol, such as 70%. This will help to disinfect and clean the earrings.
  4. Dip a Cotton Swab or Cloth: Dip a cotton swab or a soft cloth into the isopropyl alcohol solution. Make sure it's not dripping wet, but moist enough to clean the earrings.
  5. Gently Clean the Earrings: Gently wipe down the earrings using the moistened cotton swab or cloth. Pay special attention to the areas that come into direct contact with your skin and any crevices where dirt or debris might accumulate.
  6. Rinse and Dry: After cleaning, rinse the earrings with clean water to remove any residual alcohol. This step is essential to prevent any skin irritation that might be caused by alcohol residue. Dry the earrings thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth.
  7. Inspect for Residue: Examine the earrings to ensure they are free from any cleaning solution residue. Any remaining alcohol or dirt can potentially cause irritation or damage.
  8. Reattach or Store: Once the earrings are completely dry and free from any residue, you can reattach them if you want to wear them immediately. If not, store them in a clean and dry place, preferably in a jewelry box or pouch.

Important Tips:

  • Avoid using excessive force while cleaning, as it could scratch or damage the earrings.
  • If your earrings have gemstones or delicate parts, be extra gentle while cleaning to avoid dislodging them.
  • Some earrings, particularly those with certain coatings or finishes, might not be suitable for cleaning with alcohol. It's always a good idea to check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Remember, while isopropyl alcohol can effectively clean and disinfect earrings, it's crucial to ensure that your skin and the jewelry itself are not adversely affected. If you experience any irritation or have concerns about cleaning specific types of earrings, consider consulting a professional or the jewelry manufacturer for guidance.