How to Clean Gold Jewelry: a Practical Guide

Practical advice on cleaning precious gold jewels in the best way possible

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By Alex

how to clean gold jewelry

To clean gold jewelry and gold-plated objects it is important to take some precautions, because they could be scratched or damaged: let’s see what they are in this guide.

How to Clean Gold? What you should know first

We are all deeply fond of our gold jewelry and would like to always have it clean and shiny. To keep it always beautiful and shiny, it is advisable to carry out periodic cleaning and not to let too much time pass without thorough cleaning. Periodic cleaning allows the gold not to oxidize.

Why gold oxidizes

It must be said that gold is a noble metal and does not oxidize easily. However, gold also comes in contact with air, oxygen and moisture and can oxidize, becoming darker.

There are other habits that result in the oxidation of gold, particularly with regard to routinely worn gold jewelry, such as the use of perfumes, creams or aggressive soaps and detergents.

These normal daily habits make gold jewelry less shiny and make it more opaque.

How to clean gold jewelry with natural remedies

When gold jewelry or objects become dull, dark, dirty you need to clean them. There are many do-it-yourself remedies with readily available natural raw materials.

How to clean gold with detergent

Pour dish detergent into a basin with barely warm water and stir. Carbonated water is recommended for best results.

  • soak the jewelry in this solution and leave it for about 20 minutes so that the dirt dissolves.
  • in the meantime, with a soft-bristled toothbrush, gently brush into the crevices of the gold object.
  • rinse with warm water
  • dry with a soft cloth or leave to dry on a towel

Warning: make sure the bristles are soft, otherwise you risk scratching the gold.

How to clean gold with baking soda

  • pour water, baking soda and dish detergent into a basin.
  • soak the gold objects: let them soak for about 10 minutes
  • scrub with a soft-bristled brush gently to clean any blackened crevices
  • rinse with lukewarm water
  • dry with a soft cloth or leave to dry resting on towel.

Caution: we do not recommend using paper towels, which would leave traces in the crevices of the jewel

How to clean gold with ammonia

Ammonia should be used with great caution and gold items should only be cleaned for deep cleaning every so often, as it is still a corrosive chemical.

How to proceed:

  • each liter of water soak maximum 20 cl of ammonia and stir
  • soak the jewelry in the solution for a maximum of one minute
  • then drain with a colander and wash them in the sink under running water (remember to close the cap tightly)
  • dry the items with a soft cloth

Warning: never use ammonia on gold jewelry that also contains pearls, precious stones or platinum.

How to clean gold with toothpaste

Another way to clean gold items is with toothpaste. Strange, but true! In fact this is one of the most useful tricks you can perform with toothpast. Just follow these steps:

  • mix water and toothpaste until a fluid cream is created.
  • scrub with a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • rinse with lukewarm water

Cleaning very dirty gold: with boiling water

To clean very dirty gold objects a boiling treatment is an excellent solution. Here’s how to do it:

  • boil water in a saucepan
  • pour the boiling water into a bowl and immerse the gold, which must be completely covered with water.
  • soak until the water cools (if the water becomes dirty it means it is working!)
  • remove gold objects
  • dry with a soft cloth or leave to air dry

Very dirty gold can be cleaned easily with boiling water, but be careful because stones such as coral or pearls could be damaged and could lose their luster. The only stone not affected by this type of treatment is diamond.

Another very important thing to keep in mind: if valuables are set in gold objects, hot water could dislodge them by dissolving the glue.

How to clean rose gold

Rose gold is an alloy made by mixing gold with copper or silver: to clean rose gold objects, use a sponge soaked in water and ammonia.

How to clean white gold

White gold is an alloy that mixes gold with other noble metals such as platinum, silver, or palladium: wear and tear can cause obvious yellowing of white gold objects or jewelry.

Here there are no effective DIY natural remedies: to clean white gold objects, it is advisable to contact a jeweler, who will use suitable specialized products to make them shiny.

How to polish antique gold

To clean antique gold, which is reddish in color, redder than that in use today, we recommend a bath of alcohol and dishwashing detergent, as follows:

  • fill a pot with water and submerge the objects you want to clean
  • put the pot on the stove
  • bring to a boil and turn off the fire
  • add lemon or vinegar dishwashing liquid to the water.
  • soak the gold for an hour
  • rinse well with running water
  • dry with a soft cloth
  • prepare a wad of absorbent cotton with denatured alcohol
  • scrub antique gold objects and jewelry well: they will regain their luster

How to clean gold jewelry and stones

Cleaning gold jewelry with set stones requires special care:

  • avoid hot water, which would dissolve the glue
  • avoid leaving them to soak
  • these jewels should be cleaned with a damp, soapy cloth. They should then be rinsed with water and dried gently by dabbing with a cotton, lint-free cloth.

To remove any residual moisture leave to drain on a cotton cloth overnight.

How to polish gold wedding rings

Wedding rings by tradition must be made of pure gold: 18kt, 14kt or at least 9kt . They can be made of yellow, white or rose gold.

Wearing them all the time, wedding rings need frequent cleaning: in addition to the remedies for cleaning it at home, it is recommended and every two years to have a polishing by the jeweler. That way they will look perfect for a lifetime!

clean gold
Gold rings and wedding rings need more frequent cleaning if they are worn all the time

How to clean gold-plated objects

Gold-plated items are called vermeil gold and are sterling silver-based with a very thin 10-karat gold foil coating about 1 micron thick.

Gold lacquered objects do not oxidize: however, they risk scratching and losing or ruining the lacquer coating.

To clean them you can use the same baking soda or detergent-based remedies used for gold, but you must but you must brush absolutely gently so as not to ruin the lacquer

It is advisable, if the object is already scratched, to contact an artisan goldsmith who in extreme cases will be able to re-plate the jewelry.

Commercial gold cleaning products

There are various products and cleaners for cleaning gold. Among the various products available on different markets, we recommend:

    • Sidol gold
    • Wenko gold
    • Duraglit gold and silver

On the market they sell special cloths for cleaning both white and yellow gold. They should be rubbed directly on the jewel, which should then be wiped with a clean cotton cloth.

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