ultrasonic cleaner 2

Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner vs Steam Jewelry Cleaner

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Daily wear and tear of jewelry pieces is normal as they are exposed to smoke, dirt, and elements such as moisture from air and sweat as well as oxidation. Due to the exposure, they gradually lose their luster and shine.

When you notice the accumulation of dirt and grime, it’s time to take them to the jewelers for thorough cleaning.

Unfortunately, jewelers may charge an exorbitant fee just for a few pieces.

However, what if you have a gold jewelry collections that need periodic care, you might consider buying your own cleaning machine to thoroughly clean without abrasion with brushing or rubbing with a cloth.

There are two types machines for jewelry cleaning: ultrasonic jewelry cleaner, and a steam cleaner. We’ll consider the pros and cons of each machine to help you decide what’s best for you.



Investing in a professional jewelry cleaning equipment mainly comes to answering to two questions about price and method.

You don’t want to break your budget. You simply want to buy the cleaning equipment that’s within your price range.

For the method of cleaning, you’ll want to consider it’s user-friendliness and the solutions used as cleaning agents.

Is this a method you can quickly learn and apply multiple times?

Is the cleaning solution going to cost too much down the line or is it something you can produce at home with already available materials?

One common denominator about these equipments is that they are handy and easily stored in a closet that you can take out when needed, fairly facile to manage and use.


Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner

If you want fast and easy jewelry cleaning, an ultrasonic cleaner is maybe perfect for you.

And if you are thinking about buying one, you’ll want to check our best ultrasonic jewelry cleaners post.

It works by emitting sonic waves in the tank water that produces minuscule bubbles that loosen and remove the dirt and grime as well as corrosion caused by the tarnishing process.

Using sound waves may sound fancy but it is not suitable for each and every jewelry. Check our detailed post on What not to put in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner for this subject.


  • Easy to use, all you have to do is fill up the tank with water as per direction, put in the cleaning solution and turn on the machine to do the cleaning.
  • Gentle on jewelry, no need for brushing or rubbing that can cause abrasion.
  • It’s easy to find cleaning solutions compatible with the equipment, in some cases plain water is enough to make the bubbles and clean the jewelry pieces.
  • Price range: while depending on the brand and model many good choices are available
  • Easy to order via online stores such as Amazon


  • The only disadvantage of the ultrasonic jewelry cleaner is the cleaning solution used with the water. If you are sensitive to chemical cleaning solutions, and simple water will not do to remove stuck dirt and grime, look for natural cleaning agents that will not harm your skin.


Steam Jewelry Cleaner

Steam jewelry cleaner is an eco-friendly alternative to ultrasonic as it uses plain water to clean the jewelry pieces thoroughly.

It uses the water to create steam that’s jetted to jewelry to remove stubborn dirt, grime, and corrosion. It is often opted by professionals due to cost-effectiveness and eco-friendly waste management.


  • It is easy to use as per direction. It is effective in removing corroded sulfur, dirt and grime that accumulated because of daily use or storage with the steam jet water.
  • No need for a chemical solution to loosen the accumulated debris.
  • Easy to store once done: many compact models for easy storage untill the next usage.
  • It restores and enhances the shine of jewelry better than any cleaning equipment. The steam jetting out cleans and buffs the pieces.


  • It is not ideal for jewelry with pearls. Pearls are porous and the high speed steam may alter their qualities.
  • They can be more expensive than ultrasonic jewelry cleaners, but most expensive models have a lot of bells and whistles as well as combined with ultrasonic cleaner function in one equipment.
  • Availability may vary, unlike the ultrasonic. Since they are mostly for professional jewelers, there’s a possibility of limited stock.

Steam jewelry cleaners are preferred by professionals to enhance and retain the original luster or shine of the pieces.

They are also easy to use and very convenient to store. There are models that combine ultrasonic and steam cleaning in one equipment, if you want to use both methods for a variety of pieces.

Remember not to clean jewelry pieces with pearls and similar fragile materials because the heat from the steam can affect the porous gemstone.

Take the time to consider what will suit you best, price and method.

People with a collection of jewelry prefer the ultrasonic jewelry cleaner because it’s convenient, just load the jewelry pieces into the tank or vessel, then fill up with water and the preferred cleaning solution.

The rest is done by the machine without direct contact. The bubbles the ultrasonic wave creates clean the items.

However, steam jewelry cleaner is the best-kept secret of jewelers in enhancing the shine of jewelry.

It is also eco-friendly. Nevertheless, cleaning can be limited to certain jewelry with gemstones. Especially, pearls can be affected by the hot steam.

Choose the best for your needs as well as your price range. Make sure that before you buy, you are well aware of how to use and store the equipment properly.