How to Clean Beads

Glass beads in particular look much more lustrous after cleaning.
Glass beads in particular look much more lustrous after cleaning. (Image: bead image by Henryk Olszewski from Fotolia.com)

Beads are found on many jewelry items, and can add flare to just about anything. They do, however, accumulate dirt and grime over time and need to be cleaned every so often. Oils from your skin, sweat and outside dirt all contribute to a lackluster appearance. However, with regular household items, it is a simple task to clean your glass, plastic or metal beads, leaving them looking as vibrant as ever.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bowl
  • Dish soap
  • Soft toothbrush
  • White vinegar (optional)
  • Soft cloth

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Fill a plastic bowl with about 2 cups of warm water. Glass can damage glass, so when cleaning glass beads, it is preferable to use a plastic bowl.

Add a squirt of dish soap to the water and stir with the toothbrush to disperse the soap evenly.

Add the beads to the water and let them soak for at least five minutes. You may want to let the beads soak longer, depending on how dirty they are.

Scrub gently any residue on the beads with the soft toothbrush. It is typically preferable to do this with the beads still submersed in the soapy water.

Add a small squirt of white vinegar to the mixture if the beads need a more powerful cleaner. Add a higher concentration of vinegar if you are cleaning very rusty metal beads. Then repeat Steps 3 and 4.

Remove the beads from the bowl and rinse them with clean water before drying them with a soft cloth.

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