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How to Clean Gold Jewelry: A Step-by-step Guide

on Jan 02, 2024

Gold jewelry is a timeless symbol of beauty and luxury. Its warm glow and graceful designs make any outfit shine. But like all fine things, gold needs care to stay bright and beautiful. 

Over time, dirt, sweat, makeup, and chemicals can make gold jewelry lose its luster. Tarnish and grime build-up, dulling the metal's natural shine. Regular cleaning keeps gold sparking and prevents lasting damage. With simple homemade solutions, you can care for gold jewelry yourself.

This guide shares tips for cleaning gold jewelry at home. Using gentle, everyday ingredients, you can remove tarnish and restore shine. We'll walk through techniques to safely clean all types of gold jewelry. Delicate necklaces, chunky rings, intricate earrings - keep them all looking their best. 

You'll also learn how to care for gold jewelry daily. Proper storage and handling prevent dirt buildup. Understand what causes tarnish and how to avoid it. With the right care, your gold jewelry will maintain its radiant glow for years to come.

Follow these handy gold cleaning tips and advice. Keep your cherished gold accessories looking as brilliant as the day you got them. With a little regular care, you can enjoy their timeless beauty for a lifetime.

Why Clean Gold Jewelry

Cleaning gold jewelry is not only a matter of aesthetics but also a way of preserving its quality and value. Here are some reasons why you should clean your gold jewelry:

To Prevent The Jewelry from Getting Tarnished

Tarnish is a thin layer of corrosion that forms on the surface of metals when they react with oxygen and moisture in the air. Tarnish can make your gold jewelry look dull, dark, and discolored. Tarnish can also damage the metal and cause it to lose its luster and durability. By cleaning your gold jewelry regularly, you can prevent tarnish from forming and keep your jewelry looking bright and new.

To Prevent Rust Formation

Rust is another form of corrosion that occurs when iron or steel reacts with oxygen and water. Rust can affect gold jewelry that contains other metals, such as copper, silver, or nickel. Rust can make your gold jewelry look reddish-brown, flaky, and brittle. Rust can also weaken the metal and cause it to break or crack. By cleaning your gold jewelry regularly, you can prevent rust from forming and keep your jewelry strong and intact. Learn more how to clean rust from jewelry!

To Preserve the Shine

Shine is the quality of reflecting light that makes your gold jewelry look glossy and attractive. Shine can be affected by dirt, oil, grease, and other substances that accumulate on the surface of your gold jewelry. These substances can make your gold jewelry look dull, cloudy, and dirty. By cleaning your gold jewelry regularly, you can remove these substances and restore the shine of your jewelry.

To Preserve the Value

Gold jewelry is not only a fashion accessory, but also an investment. Gold jewelry can retain its value over time, especially if it is made of high-quality gold, such as 18k or 24k. However, if your gold jewelry is dirty, tarnished, or rusted, it can lose its value and appeal. By cleaning your gold jewelry regularly, you can preserve its value and make it more attractive to buyers or appraisers.

How to Clean Gold Jewelry

Cleaning gold jewelry at home is easy and inexpensive. You don’t need to buy any special gold jewelry cleaner or take your jewelry to a professional jeweler. All you need are some common household items and a few minutes of your time. Here are the steps to follow:

Arrange Necessary Ingredients

To clean your gold jewelry, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Baking soda: Baking soda is a natural and gentle abrasive that can remove dirt, grime, and tarnish from your gold jewelry. Baking soda can also neutralize any acidic substances that may cause corrosion on your gold jewelry.
  • White vinegar: White vinegar is a natural and mild acid that can dissolve rust, mineral deposits, and hard water stains from your gold jewelry. White vinegar can also disinfect and deodorize your gold jewelry.
  • Dish soap: Dish soap is a mild detergent that can cut through grease, oil, and wax from your gold jewelry. Dish soap can also make your gold jewelry more shiny and smooth.
  • Lemon juice: Lemon juice is a natural and acidic substance that can brighten and polish your gold jewelry. Lemon juice can also remove any stains or discoloration from your gold jewelry.
  • Salt: Salt is a natural and coarse substance that can scrub and exfoliate your gold jewelry. Salt can also enhance the cleaning power of the other ingredients.

Prepare Necessary Tools

Use a soft cloth to clean your jewelry

To clean your gold jewelry, you will also need the following tools:

  • Toothbrush: A toothbrush is a handy and effective tool that can reach into the crevices and details of your gold jewelry. A toothbrush can also loosen and remove any dirt, dust, or debris from your gold jewelry. Make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush that will not scratch or damage your gold jewelry.
  • Container: A container is a vessel that can hold your gold jewelry and the cleaning solution. You can use any small bowl, cup, or jar that is large enough to fit your gold jewelry. Make sure to use a non-metallic container that will not react with the cleaning solution or your gold jewelry.
  • Soft cloth: A soft cloth is a material that can dry and polish your gold jewelry. You can use any lint-free cloth, such as a microfiber cloth, a cotton cloth, or a paper towel. Make sure to use a clean and dry cloth that will not leave any residue or fibers on your gold jewelry.

Make a Baking Soda Solution

To make a baking soda solution, you will need to mix baking soda and water in a container. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Fill the container with warm water. You don’t need to boil the water, just make sure it is warm enough to dissolve the baking soda.
  • Add a few teaspoons of baking soda to the water. The amount of baking soda you need will depend on the size of your container and the amount of gold jewelry you want to clean. You can start with one teaspoon and add more as needed. You want to make a thin paste that is not too runny or too thick.
  • Stir the mixture well until the baking soda dissolves completely. You can use a spoon, a fork, or a whisk to stir the mixture. You want to make a smooth and homogeneous solution that has no lumps or clumps.

Apply the Solution

To apply the solution, you will need to dip your toothbrush into the solution and gently scrub your gold jewelry. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Place your gold jewelry on a clean and flat surface, such as a plate, a tray, or a cutting board. You can also place a towel or a cloth under your gold jewelry to protect the surface from scratches or stains.
  • Dip your toothbrush into the baking soda solution and shake off any excess solution. You don’t want to soak your gold jewelry in the solution, just apply a thin layer of it.
  • Gently scrub your gold jewelry with the toothbrush, using small and circular motions. You want to cover the entire surface of your gold jewelry, paying special attention to any crevices, details, or stones. You don’t want to scrub too hard or too fast, as this may damage your gold jewelry.
  • Repeat the process until you have cleaned all your gold jewelry. You can use a fresh toothbrush or rinse your toothbrush in between each piece of jewelry. You can also make a new batch of baking soda solution if the old one gets dirty or cloudy.

Let the Solution Sit

Baking Soda cleaning gold jewelry

To let the solution sit, you will need to leave your gold jewelry coated with the baking soda solution for a few minutes. Here are the steps to follow:

  • After you have scrubbed your gold jewelry with the toothbrush, do not rinse or wipe it off. Instead, let the baking soda solution sit on your gold jewelry for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will allow the baking soda solution to work its magic and remove any stubborn dirt, grime, or tarnish from your gold jewelry.
  • If you have any stones or gems on your gold jewelry, you may want to check them periodically and make sure they are not loosening or falling off. If you notice any signs of damage or deterioration, you may want to stop the cleaning process and rinse your gold jewelry immediately.
  • If you have any delicate or antique gold jewelry, you may want to skip this step and rinse your gold jewelry right after scrubbing it. This will prevent any potential damage or discoloration from the baking soda solution.

Rinse the Jewelry

To rinse the jewelry, you will need to wash off the baking soda solution from your gold jewelry with clean water. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Fill another container with clean and lukewarm water. You can use tap water or distilled water, depending on the quality of your water source. You want to use water that is not too hot or too cold, as this may shock or warp your gold jewelry.
  • Place your gold jewelry into the container and swish it around gently. You want to remove all traces of the baking soda solution from your gold jewelry, especially from any crevices, details, or stones. You don’t want to leave any residue or film on your gold jewelry, as this may dull or damage it.
  • Drain the water and repeat the process until your gold jewelry is completely clean. You can use fresh water or change the water in between each rinse. You can also use your fingers or a soft cloth to gently rub or wipe your gold jewelry during the rinse.

Soak in White Vinegar Solution

To soak in white vinegar solution, you will need to immerse your gold jewelry in a mixture of white vinegar and water for a few minutes. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Fill another container with equal parts of white vinegar and water. You can use any type of white vinegar, such as distilled white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar. You want to make a 50/50 solution that is not too acidic or too diluted.
  • Place your gold jewelry into the container and let it soak for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will allow the white vinegar solution to dissolve any rust, mineral deposits, or hard water stains from your gold jewelry. The white vinegar solution will also disinfect and deodorize.

Dry

To dry your gold jewelry, you will need to pat it dry with a soft cloth. Here are the steps to follow:

  • After you have soaked your gold jewelry in the white vinegar solution, take it out and place it on a clean and flat surface. You can also place a towel or a cloth under your gold jewelry to absorb any excess moisture.
  • Use a soft cloth to gently pat your gold jewelry dry. You want to remove all the water from your gold jewelry, especially from any crevices, details, or stones. You don’t want to rub or twist your gold jewelry, as this may scratch or damage it.
  • Let your gold jewelry air dry for a few minutes. You can leave your gold jewelry on the surface or hang it on a hook or a rack. You want to make sure your gold jewelry is completely dry before storing or wearing it.

Polish

polish your gold jewelry 

To polish your gold jewelry, you will need to buff it with a mixture of lemon juice and salt. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Squeeze some fresh lemon juice into a small bowl or cup. You can also use bottled lemon juice, but make sure it is pure and natural. You want to use enough lemon juice to cover your gold jewelry.
  • Add a pinch of salt to the lemon juice and stir well. You want to make a slightly abrasive solution that can brighten and polish your gold jewelry.
  • Dip a soft cloth into the solution and wring out any excess solution. You don’t want to soak your gold jewelry in the solution, just apply a thin layer of it.
  • Gently buff your gold jewelry with the cloth, using small and circular motions. You want to cover the entire surface of your gold jewelry, paying special attention to any dull or tarnished spots. You don’t want to buff too hard or too fast, as this may damage your gold jewelry.
  • Repeat the process until you have polished all your gold jewelry. You can use a fresh cloth or rinse your cloth in between each piece of jewelry. You can also make a new batch of lemon juice and salt solution if the old one gets dirty or cloudy.

Conclusion

Cleaning gold jewelry at home is a simple and effective way to keep your gold jewelry sparkling and shiny. By following the steps in this guide, you can clean your gold jewelry using natural and inexpensive ingredients that you can find in your kitchen. You can also prevent your gold jewelry from getting dirty, tarnished, or rusted by storing it properly and avoiding contact with harsh chemicals or substances. By cleaning your gold jewelry regularly, you can preserve its quality and value and enjoy its beauty for a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions and answers about cleaning gold jewelry:

How often should I clean my gold jewelry?

There is no definitive answer to how often you should clean your gold jewelry, as it depends on how often you wear it and how dirty it gets. However, a general rule of thumb is to clean your gold jewelry once every few months or whenever you notice any signs of dirt, dullness, or tarnish. You can also clean your gold jewelry before or after a special occasion, such as a wedding, a party, or a holiday.

Can I clean gold jewelry at home?

Yes, you can clean gold jewelry at home using simple and natural ingredients, such as baking soda, white vinegar, dish soap, lemon juice, and salt. These ingredients are safe and effective for cleaning gold jewelry, as they can remove dirt, grime, tarnish, rust, and stains from your gold jewelry. However, you should avoid using any harsh or abrasive substances, such as bleach, ammonia, toothpaste, or baking powder, as they can damage or discolor your gold jewelry.

Does gold tarnish?

Gold itself does not tarnish, as it is a noble metal that does not react with oxygen or moisture. However, gold jewelry can tarnish if it contains other metals, such as copper, silver, or nickel, which can react with oxygen or moisture and form a thin layer of corrosion on the surface of the gold. This can make your gold jewelry look dull, dark, and discolored. You can prevent your gold jewelry from tarnishing by cleaning it regularly and avoiding contact with chemicals or substances that can cause corrosion.

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    Author: Joosep Seitam
    Author: Joosep Seitam
    Joosep was born in Tallinn, Estonia - a small country in northern Europe. He is an entrepreneur and one of the co-founders of Icecartel. Joosep has been in the jewelry industry since 2019, the year when he started the brand from scratch. During these years, Joosep has learned everything there is about the jewelry industry and he's here to share it all!
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    Author: Joosep Seitam
    Author: Joosep Seitam
    Joosep was born in Tallinn, Estonia - a small country in northern Europe. He is an entrepreneur and one of the co-founders of Icecartel. Joosep has been in the jewelry industry since 2019, the year when he started the brand from scratch. During these years, Joosep has learned everything there is about the jewelry industry and he's here to share it all!

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