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Over time gold jewelry can lose its shine and begin to look dull. Luckily, you can avoid this happening by cleaning your jewelry regularly at home. While a period professional checkup is recommended for gold jewelry, the following tips will keep your gold looking bright and new with little effort.
How to Clean Plain Gold Jewelry
Plain gold jewelry is a lot easier to take care of than heavy jewelry with many gemstones. Here are some simple tips you can follow to keep your plain gold jewelry pieces clean and shining.
1. Warm Water and Washing Liquid
- Fill a bowl with warm water and add some drops of mild soap or dishwashing liquid to it.
- Place your plain gold jewelry in the solution and leave to soak for 10-30 minutes. Soaking allows the warm soapy water to get into tiny spaces or crevices where they will loosen up all the dross.
- You’ll know it’s time to take the jewelry out if you see dirt in your water. If your pieces are still looking dirty, scrub them gently with a soft-bristle paintbrush or baby toothbrush to release unyielding dirt.
- Rinse the jewelry carefully under running water to clear any remaining grime.
- Dry your jewelry using a soft towel or cloth without leaving any water or moisture behind. If you wear wet or damp jewelry, you run the risk of irritating your skin. You can also use a paper towel to remove all the moisture.
2. Ammonia Solution
Ammonia is highly effective for cleaning gold jewelry but remember to avoid using it too often. Regular use of ammonia can damage or tint your jewelry. Although ammonia might sound like a dangerous chemical, it’s actually organic and safe to use if used correctly.
- Mix ammonia with water in the ratio of 1:6.
- Place your jewelry in the solution for one minute. Don’t keep it any longer since ammonia can damage jewelry if not handled correctly. If you have lots of tiny jewelry pieces, use a strainer to remove them quickly from the solution.
- Hold the strainer under warm running water and make sure all the jewelry pieces are washed well.
- Now blot out the water from the jewelry with a light cloth or paper towel. Lay out the jewelry on a clean cloth or another paper towel and leave it to air dry completely.
3. Baking Soda and Salt Solution
You might be surprised to know that you can use the things that are easily available in your kitchen to clean your plain gold jewelry. Using baking soda, salt, hot water and aluminum is a great way to clean your gold jewelry naturally. The salt removes visible dirt while the baking soda cleans the metal.
- Line a small bowl carefully with aluminum foil.
- Sprinkle salt and baking soda on the foil. The amount of baking soda and salt you’ll need depends on the amount of jewelry you’re planning to clean. A teaspoon of each should suffice for a small collection of jewelry.
- Pour the hot water into the container and soak your gold jewelry for up to 10 minutes.
- Your jewelry should be clean by this time but if not, take them out and rub them with a soft cloth to remove any excess debris.
- Rinse your jewelry carefully using warm water and dry with a flannel cloth.
How to Clean Gold Jewelry with Gemstones
If your gold jewelry contains gemstones, you’ll need to be extra careful when cleaning it. Gemstones can get damaged or fall out, so make sure to be as gentle as possible when handling the jewelry.
Cleaning Gold Jewelry with Diamonds, Sapphires and Rubies
Diamonds, sapphires and rubies are all very tough gemstones that score 9 and above on the Mohs’ scale of hardness. If you have any of these gemstones in your gold jewelry collection, the good news is you won’t have to worry too much about cleaning them since they’re highly durable and resistant.
- One of the easiest ways to clean gold jewelry with these gemstones is by adding some ammonia into your warm water, along with some clear washing liquid.
- Dip your gold jewelry in this solution and use a soft toothbrush to gently clean them.
- Rinse in warm water and dry well with a soft kitchen towel. It’s as simple as that.
Cleaning Other Types of Gold Gemstone Jewelry
Most other gemstones such as azurite, moonstones, pearls and opals are quite soft and don’t tolerate being handled roughly. Because of their porous and fragile nature, these and other soft gemstones should not be immersed in any solution or scrubbed hard since it can scratch their surface and dull their shine. Instead, try these tips:
- Using a mixture of warm water and soap, dampen a clean, dry piece of cloth.
- Clean your gold jewelry with this damp cloth by rubbing gently over the gemstones and the jewelry settings.
- Carefully rinse using another wet cloth.
- Wipe the jewelry and leave it on a dry fluffy cloth or a paper towel to air dry completely.
If your jewelry has hard-to-reach spots that a cloth may not reach, moisten a soft toothbrush (make sure it’s SOFT), and use it to gently clean those difficult areas.
Machine Cleaning Gold Jewelry
If you’ve tried the simple cleaning methods on your gold jewelry and you’re not satisfied with the result, you can consider machine cleaning instead. This means you’ll have to visit your jeweler who will clean your jewelry using a machine such as an ultrasonic cleaner, ionic cleaner or a steam cleaner. Jewelers know what’s best for your gold jewelry and will advise you on how to take good care of it.
Tips for Proper Cleaning and Care of Gold Jewelry
It’s crucial to follow the steps for cleaning gold jewelry to avoid spoiling your valuable accessories. Aside from cleaning, there are also some things you’ll need to avoid and pay extra attention to. These include the following:
- Avoid using harsh chemicals – Chemicals like bleach or chlorine can discolor your gold jewelry and ruin its appearance. Therefore, make sure to keep your gold jewelry away from these chemicals. We also recommend taking off your jewelry before swimming in a pool since chemicals in the water can damage the pieces. Consider using light soaps and chemical-free detergents to clean the jewelry.
- Avoid using hot water – Hot water is not recommended for cleaning as it can crack fragile gemstones on your gold jewelry.
- Invest in special polishing and cleaning cloths – Polishing cloths, like this one, are specially made so that they won’t cause any damage to your gold jewelry.
- Use only soft-bristled brushes – Use a baby-sized or small soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your gold jewelry clean. Avoid using anything with hard bristles since these can cause minute scratches on the surface of your jewelry.
- Avoid showering with your gold jewelry – They may accumulate a film or soap scum on their surfaces.
- Store your gold pieces separately – This is the best way of keeping them from hard blows and scratches. If possible, hang chains and necklaces when storing to avoid entanglement. You may also roll them up in anti-tarnish tissue before storing them safely in a jewelry box.
- Don’t use toothpaste or commercial metal cleaners on your jewelry – These can actually do more harm than good. Always go for simple, safe solutions.
- Be careful with your gold jewelry – Pay a little extra attention to your gold jewelry to avoid losing or damaging them. Don’t wash them directly under running water especially in a sink since they can easily fall down the drain and be lost for good. Use a small bowl where you can keep an eye on them or use a strainer and always plug up your sink.
The best thing about gold is that it doesn’t tarnish, making it an easy metal to care for. Cleaning your gold jewelry regularly at home will return the sparkle and keep them shining for a long time to come.
Not only is gold jewelry a symbol of status and wealth, but it’s also a great investment. So, giving your gold pieces some much needed attention and care will be well worth it and your jewelry will last for decades.