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Ultrasonic VS Steam Jewelry Cleaner: What is the Difference?

Ultrasonic VS Steam Jewelry Cleaner: What is the Difference?

Buying a piece of jewelry can be an immense investment: not only for the financial expenditure but also for its sentimental value. Buying a piece of jewelry can be an immense investment: not only for the financial expenditure but also for its sentimental value. Cleaning jewelry manually with a soft brush is by no means an outdated method: however, the ultrasonic and steam cleaning methods of jewelry cleaning are increasingly gaining worldwide attention. So, what is the difference between ultrasonic cleaning and steam cleaning? This guide will delve into the ultrasonic vs steam jewelry cleaner debate, helping you get the basic knowledge of ultrasonic cleaning and steam cleaning and make an informed decision on which is better suited for your jewelry care needs.

What is Ultrasonic Cleaning?

Ultrasonic cleaning utilizes high-frequency sound waves to create a cleaning action. This process involves a tank filled with water and a small amount of cleaning solution, into which the jewelry is submerged. The device then emits ultrasonic waves that generate microscopic bubbles through a phenomenon known as cavitation. These bubbles implode with force when they hit the surfaces of the jewelry, effectively dislodging dirt and debris from inaccessible parts.

There are many high-quality ultrasonic cleaners for jewelry on the market now. If you are currently in the market for ultrasonic cleaners, CREWORKS’ ultrasonic cleaners for jewelry can be a good choice for you. The following jewelry ultrasonic cleaner can stand out as an example.

This 60W ultrasonic jewelry cleaner uses 40kHz sound waves to agitate the water in its 0.5-gallon basin, generating cavitation that thoroughly and safely cleans intricate and delicate jewelry surfaces. Besides, its 100W heating capability enhances the cleaning process, efficiently removing dirt. Constructed from durable stainless steel and equipped with surge protection, this compact, portable machine is designed to provide long-lasting performance.

What is Steam Cleaning?

Steam cleaning, on the other hand, employs a high-pressure blast of steam to achieve a thorough cleanse. The steam is generated within a sealed tank where water is heated to a high temperature, creating a powerful jet of steam when directed onto the jewelry. A steam cleaning machine also has its unique benefits that attract people. For example, it can provide a deep cleaning using high-pressure steam that can penetrate the tough grime and disinfect surfaces without the use of harsh chemicals, making it environmentally friendly and safe for households with pets or allergies. Besides, it can eliminate the need for multiple cleaning products, simplifying the cleaning process and reducing clutter.

Ultrasonic vs Steam Jewelry Cleaner: A Specific Analysis

Suitability by Jewelry Type: Not all jewelry can be treated equally when it comes to different cleaning methods. Ultrasonic cleaning is safe for many hard gemstones like diamonds, rubies, and sapphires, as well as metal-only jewelry. However, it is not recommended for porous stones such as pearls, opals, emeralds, or other soft or heavily included gemstones, which can be damaged by high-frequency vibrations. Steam cleaning, while effective for hard gems and metal-only jewelry, can cause damage to heat-sensitive stones or those with enhancements such as oil or resin fillings, which may deteriorate under high temperatures.

Ease of Use and Safety: Ultrasonic cleaners are typically more user-friendly. All you need to do is fill the tank, place the jewelry inside, and press a button. The simplicity of the process is also the reason why it is an attractive option for regular home use. Steam cleaners, while also relatively straightforward compared with cleaning manually, do require careful handling to avoid burns from the high-pressure steam, making them slightly less convenient for quick or frequent use.

Cost Considerations: On the cost aspect, ultrasonic cleaners generally present a more economical option compared to steam cleaners, as you can get a more high-quality ultrasonic cleaner at the same price as a basic steam cleaning machine. Ultrasonic jewelry cleaners are usually less expensive to purchase and maintain, as they do not require as much power to operate. Steam cleaners, by contrast, might involve a higher initial investment and potentially greater running costs due to the energy needed to produce steam.

Ultrasonic VS. Steam Jewelry Cleaner: What is the Difference?

Important Notices about Cleaning Your Jewelry 

Before deciding which cleaning method to use, please make sure that your jewelry is suited for it. In case of uncertainty, please consult with a professional jeweler or seek expert cleaning services. If you will take your jewelry to a professional cleaner, please also be aware that not all jewelry cleaners know all the knowledge about jewelry. It is helpful to inform them about the specific conditions or vulnerabilities of your jewelry. If you have any reservations about their expertise regarding the proper care of your jewelry, you can find another one. This is important for maintaining the integrity and appearance of your jewelry, especially when dealing with high-value or delicate pieces.


For the method of cleaning your jewelry manually with a soft brush, you can enjoy the time you spend with your jewelry. For cleaning your jewelry with an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner or a steam cleaning machine, you can enjoy the efficiency and convenience brought by them. Through this ultrasonic vs steam jewelry cleaner debate, you are sure to have mastered their differences. In a word, no matter what cleaning method you use to clean your jewelry, it all shows the importance of your jewelry and your affection for it. 

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