How to Clean Gold Jewelry

How to clean gold jewelry

Figuring out how to clean your gold jewelry can be tricky. Do you wash it with soap, buy a specialized cleaner, or just throw it in the dishwasher, cross your fingers and hope it comes out sparkling like a spoon? Your jewelry is precious to you, so you want to keep it in pristine condition without damaging it while cleaning.

The good news is you can clean your gold jewelry at home easily and safely in just a few steps.

Steps for Cleaning Gold Jewelry at Home

Gold jewelry can harbor microorganisms that may cause skin diseases and other ailments. Many people don’t attempt to clean gold because they’re afraid of damaging their jewelry. However, it’s important to clean it regularly so it doesn’t build up bacteria and to keep it in good condition.

What is the best way to clean gold jewelry? Here’s a step-by-step guide for how you can make gold shiny again.

1. Gather All Your Gold Jewelry

It’s a good idea to clean out your jewelry box and gather all your gold pieces to clean together. It’ll save you time and effort. Plus, you can pick out quality pieces you don’t use anymore and take them to a high-end pawn shop for extra cash. Once you’ve gathered all your gold pieces, separate gem-set items, as these require additional care and can’t be soaked as long as the others.

2. Make the Cleaning Mixture

The best homemade gold cleaner is soapy water because it’s gentle enough for most gold jewelry. Dawn dish soap cleans gold well since it doesn’t bleach or destroy gold like other cleaners. The mixture is super easy to assemble, and you’ll have squeaky-clean jewelry in no time. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Fill a bowl with warm — not hot — water.
  2. Add a few drops of dish soap, depending on the amount of jewelry.
  3. Give it a good mix to ensure it’s soapy.

3. Soak Your Jewelry

Gold jewelry soaking in a bowl of soapy water

Soak your items for 10–15 minutes. When caring for gemstone jewelry, soak them for less time and keep the water lukewarm. The warm, soapy water helps loosen up the gunk and dust buildup and remove some surface dirt.

4. Scrub With a Soft Bristle Brush

Loosen any stubborn dirt and grime by gently brushing with a soft-bristle brush or toothbrush. After soaking the jewelry, any gunk stuck in the settings and details should be soft so you can brush it off easily. Use soft motions to remove dust without scratching or damaging your delicate pieces.

5. Rinse Your Jewelry Thoroughly

When you clean gold jewelry at home, giving it a good rinse is important. You don’t want to leave any soap or dirt behind, which could cause rust if your jewelry isn’t pure gold. Gently rinse it out in a bowl of clean water. Be careful not to tangle or bash delicate pieces against the bowl.

6. Dry Your Jewelry

The last step in learning how to clean gold jewelry at home is drying it out. While pure gold can tolerate water, it’s still a good idea to dry it to ensure dust doesn’t stick and water doesn’t leave spots as it dries, causing your jewelry to look dull. Gently pat your pieces dry with a soft kitchen towel or face towel.

7. Polish It for a Shiny Finish

Though this step is optional, polishing your jewelry gives it a perfect finish. Use a gold cleaning cloth to make the color stand out and sparkle. Buff your jewelry gently, and store it in protective packaging. You can polish your jewelry before wearing it to get a gleaming gold finish.

What Products Should You Not Clean Gold With?

While Dawn dish soap does the job, certain products can easily erode and dull your gold pieces. Jewelry education helps prevent damaging a potentially valuable piece. So, what should you not clean gold with?

Anything abrasive, like steel wool and metal brushes, could scrape your precious items. It’s best to steer clear of cleansers with chlorine, as these can permanently discolor your gold jewelry. To prevent damage, remove any gold pieces when working with chlorine. Mild dish soap is suitable for non-diamond jewelry, but if your pieces have diamonds, invest in a special diamond cleaning solution. The three DIY cleaning products commonly mentioned are baking soda, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, but are they suitable for gold?

Vinegar

Is vinegar safe for gold? Vinegar is safe for cleaning gold, but it can strip gold plating. It could make your jewelry shine, but it’s not worth the risk. If your pieces have pearls or gemstones, the high acidity of vinegar could change their colors or cause them to bubble.

Baking Soda

Baking soda might seem like a good option. However, cleaning gold jewelry with baking soda can cause permanent damage to your precious pieces. The abrasive nature of this common kitchen staple can scratch and dull gold jewelry.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Does hydrogen peroxide clean gold? While small amounts may not cause damage, larger concentrations can dissolve gold. It’s generally safe for pure gold but can be risky with gold-plated pieces or jewelry with gemstones. It’s best to avoid this chemical cleaner as it can damage your gold in the wrong amounts.

How Often Should You Clean Gold Jewelry?

If you wear your gold jewelry daily, clean it once a week to prevent dirt buildup. You can also polish it before big events to keep it in pristine condition. Set a reminder to clean the pieces you don’t use every day at least once a year. Gold can tarnish when exposed to moisture, so keep it in a sealed container with silica gel packets to preserve it.

When Should You Seek Professional Help

If you are unsure how to clean gold jewelry or you’re dealing with a high-luxury piece, it’s best to take it to a professional. It’s also important to learn how to clean silver jewelry and be educated about diamond care to prevent damage to your other jewelry pieces. With an extra dull or scratched piece, a professional may be able to restore it to its former glory.

Buy and Sell Gold Jewelry at the Vault Jewelry and Loan

Buy and sell gold jewelry at The Vault Jewelry And Loan

If you’re looking to buy gold jewelry for less than retail prices or want to sell one of your pieces for a fair amount, stop by one of our stores and let us negotiate a deal for you. We have luxury pieces at a fraction of the price you’d pay at a jewelry store, and we can make package deals for multiple items. Our friendly associates are ready to provide you with expertise and a memorable experience. Contact us with inquiries on loans, pawn items and purchases.

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