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If you want to achieve professional-level cleaning at home, you have two choices: ultrasonic or steam jewelry cleaner.
Both device types are capable of bringing the shine back to your pieces in affordable ways.
In this post, we’ll consider the pros and cons of each, and share the best players in their categories.
For those who do not want sacrifice either one, we point to a hybrid model which brings ultrasonic cleaning and steam jet power in one single device.
Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner
If you want fast and easy jewelry cleaning, an ultrasonic cleaner is perfect for you.
These cleaners generate ultrasonic waves, which produce oscillations and bubbles.
The resulting pressure differences and popping bubbles loosen dirt and grime stuck on your shiny pieces.
By this way, ultrasonic cleaners can reach the hard parts of necklaces, bracelets and alike.
Ultrasonic cleaners work with cleaning solutions or, many times, just clean tap water.
However, for more stubborn dirt, you may add few drops of soft dish soap for enhanced cleaning.
Ultrasonic cleaner is a safe device which is easy to operate.
Unfortunately, ultrasonic machines are not the ultimate jewelry cleaner which can clean all pieces no matter what material they are made of.
These machines are not suitable for fragile and defected gems.
High frequency sound waves may damage these items beyond the point of return.
Make sure you never put soft and porous stones in an ultrasonic cleaner.
Ultrasonic waves don’t play well with pearls, corals or similar soft stones.
You may want to check our detailed post on What not to put in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner for this subject.
Clean your jewelry in very little time
Many ultrasonic cleaners have digital timers with presets.
This makes using the machine extremely easy.
Check our best ultrasonic jewelry cleaners post to compare top products on the market.
Steam Jewelry Cleaner
Steam cleaners use heat and steam to clean dirt and grime.
This category of devices only uses plain water and no chemicals.
For this reason, steam cleaners are considered more eco-friendly alternatives to ultrasonic devices which can also use chemicals or commercial cleaning solutions.
These cleaners use water(preferably distilled water) to create steam.
This steam is jetted to blast away stubborn oil, dust and other dirt.
Steam cleaners are often preferred by professional jewelers due to their cost-effectiveness.
Unfortunately, steam is not good for every jewelry type.
Just like ultrasonic cleaners, jewelry with soft gems and organic stones should be avoided.
Steam and hot water hitting with speed may damage stones like pearls, shells or opals.
The Verdict: Ultrasonic or Steam Jewelry Cleaner?
If you have a large collection of jewelry and plan to add shaver heads, mouth pieces, eyeglasses occasionally, an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner is more convenient.
Fill the tank with water.
Add few drops of soft soap.
Lower down your pieces with the tray.
Close the lid and start your desired program.
The waves and bubbles will take care of the rest.
They will clean your pieces without physical contact in very short time.
If you have no problem spending more time and more money, a steam cleaner may be a better choice.
You will clean your pieces one by one with zero chemicals.
While it gives superior cleaning, it is not a rose without thorns.
You can’t clean every piece with a steam cleaning machine.
Especially, soft gems and fragile materials like turtle shells must be cleaned with other methods.
Ultrasonic and steam power together: can we get the best of both worlds?
Would you like to get a cleaner with both ultrasonic and steam jet capabilities?
Is there such a device?
Yes, there are such models that combine ultrasonic and steam power in one box.
These give you the freedom to choose between methods as you want.
If you prefer to clean many items at once, use ultrasonic cleaning.
If there are few pieces with hard to reach parts, the steam jet is at your service.
But if you’d like, you may go one level higher and choose a model with ultra-violet light sanitization too.
Enter GemOro BrilliantSpa Pro.
This hybrid jewelry cleaning machine offers ultrasonic, steam and ultraviolet light for cleaning jewelry and sanitizing it afterwards.
It is capable of generating high-frequency ultrasound waves of 43,000 Hz.
These waves get in all cavities and hooks to take that dirt off in its 1-pint volume tank.
GemOro 03479 is a premium and compact jewelry steamer cleaner for diamonds, gems, gold, silver, and platinum jewelry.
It also offers triple steam jet high-pressure steam.
The cleaner provides 3x 55 PSI steam blasts, which will return the shine to your jewelry.
It comes with jewelry holding tweezers, large handheld basket, and combo water residue cup water funnel/measuring fill cup.
Last but not the least, the UV-C light helps drying and sanitizing your pieces.
To sum up, this multi functional device can clean and sanitize eyeglasses, mouth guards, retainers, dentures, and your jewelry.
If you don’t want to leave behind either of ultrasonic and steam cleansing, this multi-talented device can be your choice!