Gold is known for its brilliance, chicness, and durability, but when it isn’t properly cared for, it can become dull and tarnished. By learning how to clean gold jewelry at home, you can maintain your prized pieces and protect them from damage. Knowing how to clean and care for your gold jewelry is step number one.
Read on to see exactly what you need to do to care for your precious gold pieces properly.
Why Does Gold Jewelry Need Regular Care & Cleaning?
Since gold is a soft metal, it’s vulnerable to damage. Thankfully, even if it becomes tarnished or scratched, cleaning gold jewelry can help restore all of that former brilliance. Basic gold care ensures the jewelry you love lasts for a lifetime.
How to Clean Gold Jewelry – A Step-by-Step Guide
Gold can be damaged easily, which is why it needs to be cleaned in the right way. Whether you need to know how to clean rose gold, how to clean 14k gold, or you'd like to polish the white gold pieces in your collection, this guide will walk you through each step of the process.
1. Mix dish detergent with warm water
Add a few drops of dish detergent to a bowl of warm water to create a safe, effective gold cleaning solution. Alternatively, you could use a professional-grade jewelry cleaner that you purchase from your favorite jeweler or online. You can even make your own cleaner for gold jewelry by mixing one part warm water, three parts baking soda and one cup of white vinegar.
2. Soak your gold jewelry for up to 3 hours
Place your jewelry in the cleaning solution and allow it to soak for up to three hours – don’t worry, your gold won’t be damaged if you let it soak for a few minutes longer. You do want to make sure, though, that the water is warm rather than hot before you put your jewelry in to soak.
3. Remove jewelry from the cleaning solution and wipe down each piece
Once your gold is finished soaking, remove each piece and gently rub it clean. If you don’t know what to use to clean gold jewelry, cotton swabs, clean toothbrushes, and even your fingers are all great options. To prevent scratching, make sure you handle each piece with care and don’t use anything that would be too abrasive.
4. Rinse gold jewelry in warm water
Run each piece of jewelry you’ve cleaned under warm water to rinse away any remaining soap or suds. Keep rinsing the jewelry off until the water starts to run clear. Make sure that you block the drain before rinsing off any small jewelry items in the sink.
5. Thoroughly dry gold jewelry with a soft cloth
Your jewelry could become tarnished if you store it while it’s still wet. Carefully wipe away water with a soft, dry cloth. You may want to allow your jewelry to air dry overnight to ensure that it’s fully dried off.
Tips for Maintaining Gold Jewelry
Regular cleaning can keep gold looking brilliant, but you’ll also want to take a few more precautions to keep your jewelry in great shape. The following jewelry care tips will teach you how to protect your gold jewelry.
- Don’t use harsh cleaners: While it’s useful to learn how to polish gold at home, you should always use gentle cleaners. Anything that’s even just mildly abrasive could scratch your jewelry.
- Remove your jewelry to prevent damage: Part of learning how to protect gold jewelry is recognizing potential hazards. Before showering, gardening, or even just doing the dishes, you should remove your jewelry to keep it safe.
- Avoid chlorine: Don’t wear gold when you take a dip in the pool! Chlorine can discolor certain metals (like gold!) and can even erode its finish.
- Learn how to properly store jewelry: If you store two pieces of gold jewelry in the same storage compartment, the pieces could be scratched or tangled together. To avoid this, whenever possible, store jewelry separately. If you need to store jewelry together, wrap pieces in cloth to prevent damage.
How Often Should I Clean My Gold Jewelry?
While you should always clean pieces that are visibly dirty, you also want to schedule routine jewelry cleanings. How often should you clean gold jewelry? Most experts suggest cleaning gold pieces every six months.
How Should I Store Gold Jewelry?
When it isn’t stored correctly, gold can become scratched or tarnished. To protect gold pieces from damage and moisture, wrap them in a soft cloth or store them in a fabric lined jewelry box.
You can learn more about how to properly store gold jewelry by reading our jewelry organization guide.
Read How to Organize Jewelry to learn more!
How Do You Protect Gold Jewelry?
While you should practice basic gold care at home, you also might want to have your jewelry cleaned by a professional periodically. During annual cleanings, a jeweler can inspect your pieces and look for signs of damage.
If certain pieces you own are starting to yellow, and you're wondering how to clean white gold, a professional can even apply a new rhodium coating and restore or protect your jewelry.
Shop Jewelry at Bryan Anthony’s
Gold jewelry is beautiful to look at, but it’s also surprisingly wearable. Although gold can be damaged by water, it doesn’t rust, and tarnished jewelry can generally be restored with proper gold care.
Now that you've read through these jewelry care tips and know how to protect your gold, take the time to shop the impressive selection of options and styles available at Bryan Anthonys.
How can I brighten my gold jewelry?
Cleaning and polishing gold jewelry is an easy way to restore its luster. If you want to add shine quickly, simply wipe down your gold with a jeweler’s cloth.
What is the best homemade gold cleaner?
You can easily make gold cleaner by mixing a mild dish detergent and water, but you can also make a natural cleaner with baking soda and white vinegar.
Can I use vinegar to clean gold jewelry?
As long as it’s diluted, white vinegar can be used to clean gold. Make a paste with baking soda and water and add a splash of vinegar.
Can you use baking soda to clean gold jewelry?
You can use baking soda to make a homemade jewelry cleaner, but you should never use it to scrub gold. Gold is very soft, and even something as gentle as baking soda might scratch it.
Can tarnished gold jewelry be cleaned?
Yes, tarnished gold jewelry can be cleaned and restored. It's important to learn how to protect gold jewelry, but know that most times, it is possible to clean gold, even if it's been damaged.
What can damage gold?
Gold can easily be scratched by abrasive materials like dirt and rocks. It can also be discolored if it’s exposed to chlorine.
Can you use toothpaste to clean gold?
Since toothpaste is abrasive, it should never be used to clean delicate jewelry like gold. Learn more about how to care for gold jewelry and use the step-by-step guide above if you need a safe cleaning method.
How can I make my gold chain shiny at home?
Soaking gold jewelry in a mixture of water and dish detergent is an easy way to add shine. Just make sure you rinse off the soap and dry your jewelry before you put it away.