I usually clean my jewelry in a soloution of warm water and a few drops of Dawn dish detergent. If it's safe for cleaning oil off of ducks it should be pretty good right?
There are many other ways to clean jewelry.
First of all we need to discuss what types of jewelry.
Pearls should not be cleaned with any type of product that has ammonia in it. Wearing perfume on the neck and body lotions may discolor the pearl. Same with polymer clay. oils in perfumes and lotions may effect the surface of the clay.
Clean pearls with a gentle soap such as ivory flakes and warm water.
Rinse and use a soft cloth. Don't use a toothbrush to scrub. Let them soak for a bit.
Use dawn or ivory flakes and use a new baby size soft toothbrush. Scrub gently. Sometimes this may loosen old gemstones of their glue or glue on knots holding jewelry togehter so be cautious.
Most of the silver I make and sell I polish with a polishing cloth. I can get one for you- just ask
In cases where stains are stubborn I found this recipe:
jewelry cleaner: 1 T salt; 1 T baking soda; 1 T Dawn; 1 C H2O; 1 piece aluminum foil. heat water in microwave 4 1 or 2 min. Cut piece of foil that covers bottom of small bowl. Pour hot H2O into bowl. Place salt, soda, & dishwashing liquid in bowl. Place jewelry on top of foil & let it sit 4 5 to 10 min. Rinse jewelry in cool water & dry jewelry completely w/soft cloth. Discard solution after use & make new batch next time. works well 4 gold-filled, brass, nickel silver & sterling silver.
You have to be careful as some sterling silver has gemstones attached or set inside and this method could damage it. Sterling is sometimes "oxidized" or black is added so recessed details show better. If you use the above method it could remove the oxidization. Best to use the polishing cloth. Any handmade items may be tricky so opt for the most gentle way to clean.