Close
Home

EncycloBEADia

Beading Resources > EncycloBEADia > Gemstone Cleaning Chart

 Gemstone Cleaning Chart 


Follow the guidelines in this Gemstone Cleaning Chart to properly care for and clean your gemstone beads and jewelry.

Gemstones require different cleaning methods based on their hardness, this chart lists the recommended cleaning methods for each stone in order to achieve desired results.

Cleaning Gemstones
Gemstone
Toughness
Mohs Hardness
Steaming
Ultrasonic
Boiling
Soap
Untreated Cloth
Alexandrite
Excellent
8-1/2
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Poor
6 - 6 1/2
Never
Never
Never
Safe
Yes
Poor
2 - 2 1/2
No
No
No
Luke-warm soapy water is safe. Do not use a brush because it may leave scratches.
Yes
Good
7
Risky
Usually Safe
No
Yes
Yes
Fair
5
Never
Risky
Never
Safe
Yes
Good
7 1/2 - 8
Usually Safe (unless it contains feathers or fractures)
Usually Safe
No
Yes
Yes
Fair - Poor
3 1/2 - 4
Never
Never
Never
Usually Safe
Yes
Fair - Poor
3
Never
Risky
No
Cool soapy water is safe
Yes
Good
7
No
Usually Safe
No
Yes
Yes
Good
7
No
Usually Safe
No
Yes
Yes
Fair
3 1/2 - 4
Risky
Risky
No
Yes
Yes
Poor
2 to 4
No
No
No
Luke-warm soapy water is safe. Do not use a brush because it may leave scratches.
Yes
Good
8-1/2
Safe
Safe
Safe
Safe
Yes
Good
10
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Poor
5 1/2 - 6
Never
Risky
No
Safe
Yes
Poor - Good
7 1/2 - 8
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Poor
4
Never
Never
Never
Safe
Yes
Good
7 - 7 1/2
No
Usually Safe
No
Yes
Yes
Fair
3 - 3 1/2
Risky
Risky
Never
Safe
Yes
Fair
7 - 7 1/2
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Exceptional
6 1/2 - 7
Safe
Safe
Safe
Safe
Yes
Exceptional
6 - 6 1/2
Safe
Safe
Safe
Safe
Yes
Poor
4 - 7 1/2
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Poor
6 - 6 1/2
Never
Never
Never
Safe
Yes
Fair
5 - 6
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Poor
3 1/2 - 4
No
No
No
Safe
Yes
Poor
6 - 6 1/2
Never
Never
Never
Safe
Yes
Poor
2 1/2 - 6
Risky
Never
No
Safe
Yes
Poor
2 1/2 - 6
Risky
Never
No
Safe
Yes
Very Poor - Fair
5 - 6 1/2
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Poor
2 1/2 - 4
No
No
No
No
Yes
Fair - Good
6 1/2 - 7
No
Risky
No
Safe
Yes
Poor
6 - 6 1/2
Never
Never
Never
Safe
Yes
Poor
3 1/2 - 4 1/2
No
No
No
Cool Soapy Water
Yes
Poor - Good
5 1/2 - 6 1/2
Safe
Usually Safe
No
Warm Soapy Water
Yes
Excellent
9
Yes
Yes
No
Lukewarm Soapy Water is safe.
Yes
Excellent
9
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Poor
2 1/2 - 6
Risky
Never
No
Safe
Yes
Fair
3 1/2
Risky
Risky
Risky
Safe
Yes
Poor
5 - 6
Risky
Never
Never
Safe
Yes
Good
8
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Poor
6 - 6 1/2
Never
Never
Never
Safe
Yes
Poor
6-7
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Poor
8
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Fair
7 - 7 1/2
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Poor - Good
5 - 6
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Zircon
Poor - Fair
6 - 7 1/2
No
No
No
Yes
Yes


Toughness:

Toughness is a material's resistance to breakage. The combination of hardness and toughness largely defines the durability of a gemstone.

Hardness:

A measure of a mineral's hardness and its resistance to scratching, invented by Austrian mineralogist, Friedrich Moh. The scale goes from talc (number 1) being the softest, to diamonds (number 10), being the hardest substance known by man.

Customer Comments

We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article "Gemstone Cleaning Chart" as featured in an email newsletter. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

''Hi! I just received your latest Jewelry Maker's Newsletter - what a wonderful guide you included with the gemstone cleaning guide! I immediately printed a copy to keep with me! Really, really helpful.

Thanks!''
- Julie

''Hey Fire!!!! Your "Gemstone Cleaning Chart" is GREAT, Thank you. I will pass this on when I give a gemstone necklace or bracelet. Thanks again.''
- Maxine

''Awesome information. Thanks.''
- BJ

''Thank you so much for including the methods for cleaning gemstones in your newsletter. It will become a permanent addition to a lot of beaders' information.''
- Sharyn

''Thank you SO much for the gemstone cleaning chart. I've been looking for something like this forever.''
- Debbie

''The recent newsletter was full of things I wanted to know. Thank you. I especially liked the gem cleaning chart. I found some rough gemstones and was wondering how to clean them.''
- Sally

''Gemstone Cleaning Chart: AWESOME. BEAUTIFUL. LOVELY. What a wonderful tool to have. Thank you for making that available. YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!''
- Lisa


How did you like this resource? Your feedback helps us provide resources that matter to you most.

Products sold by Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® are intended for experienced jewelry-makers and designer-artists;
children 14 years of age or younger should use these products with adult direction.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Inc. - One Fire Mountain Way, Grants Pass, OR USA 97526-2373
Copyright 2008-2014 Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Inc. All rights reserved.