How To Clean Gold Jewelry: A Step by Step Guide

There is a reason we call great things “the gold standard.” Glistening, glittery gold is oh-so-premium and adds a touch of luxury to your everyday wares. Even if you are just wearing a plain white t-shirt and jeans, you can throw on some solid gold chains or a stack of gold rings and automatically turn simple into chic. 

Gold is a high-profile precious metal. With its deep, brilliant orange-yellow hue, any gold piece is a showstopper. In its purest form, gold is a very delicate metal. This makes it very malleable, which makes it a great choice for jewelry because it can be molded into all sorts of designs. 

Today, we will be describing how to keep your gold pieces pristine in a few simple steps — but first, we’re going to explain the many lovely types of gold, so you can understand why these methods are so effective.

What Are the Different Types of Gold?

Most of the jewelry you buy will not be solid gold, as it is far too delicate. Most gold jewelry is made from gold alloyed with a mixture of other metals — such as silver, copper, and zinc — to strengthen the material. This creates pieces that will last you a lifetime. 

Depending on the metals that are mixed together, each type of gold will gift us with a different hue. For example, more copper mixed in will create a rose gold shade. If more zinc or nickel is alloyed, you’ll get a whiter coloring. This is how rose gold, yellow gold, and white gold are made. 

Then, there is the question of karats. Karats are the units used to measure the purity of gold. The higher the karat, the more pure gold in the item. So, an 18-karat piece has more pure gold in the metal mixture than a 14-karat piece

Not sure what type of gold your favorite piece is made of? The gold is usually stamped with a hallmark: an engraving that denotes the amount of pure gold content in the piece. 

But gold is more than just a beautiful metal. Besides the obvious ooh-la-la luster, it is much more resistant to rust and less likely to tarnish than its gold-plated or gold-filled counterparts. The care for solid gold jewelry and plated gold is quite different. 

Today, we are focusing on jewelry care for pure gold pieces. And like anything that you’d want to look and feel its best, your favorite gold baubles will need some extra TLC. 

How To Deep Clean Your Gold Jewelry At Home

There are plenty of easy, affordable ways to return the sparkle and shine to your favorite gold jewelry from the comfort of your home. Want to know how? Let’s get into it.

Clean Jewelry With a Toothbrush, Mild Dish Soap, and Water

All you’ll need for this method is lukewarm water or warm water, soap, a soft-bristled toothbrush, a bowl, and a lint-free cloth. This DIY cleaning method works for all sorts of gold jewelry, even pieces with gemstones on them, too. 

Step 1: Fill a small bowl with warm water (not hot water) and add a bit of dish soap. Mix the soap and water until you see suds appear. 

Step 2: Soak your piece of jewelry in the jewelry cleaner. Simply place your pieces in the bowl and leave them for about fifteen minutes. 

Step 3: Take your jewelry out of the bowl, piece by piece. Then, take your toothbrush and gently brush all of the nooks and crannies where dirt and grime may be embedded, like links and tight chains. 

Step 4: Rinse everything under cold water for a few seconds. This will get all of the suds off and help release any leftover gunk the brush may not have reached. 

Step 5: Lay every piece down to dry. Make sure you are using a flat surface. Once dry, you can use a soft cleaning cloth to add that final shiny touch. 

Use a Special Cleaning Solution 

While we love a DIY method, a pre-made cleaning solution is convenient and can be a major time saver. Many jewelers or jewelry stores sell their own jewelry cleaning solutions specifically formulated for all sorts of precious metals and delicate gemstones. These products will restore the brilliance to your favorite rings, necklaces, and earrings immediately. 

Once you find a solution you like, just follow the directions on the packaging to make sure everything goes according to plan!

Send Your Pieces to the Jeweler

You can never go wrong with an expert opinion. Sending your jewelry to a jewelry store or a jeweler for a professional cleaning ensures your pieces will be thoroughly cleaned with attention to detail and a whole lot of care. You can trust that your pieces will be taken care of and returned to you looking good as new.

How Do I Know When It’s Time to Clean My Gold Jewelry?

Because it is durable, you shouldn’t need to deep clean your gold pieces too frequently. Still, you should be caring for them every day. It all starts with caution and being cognizant of what you do while donning your talismans and how you store them once you take them off.

Wear With Caution 

We believe jewelry is meant to be enjoyed. It should be easy, fun to wear, and should not be something you have to overthink every time you step outside of your house. That said, knowing which products can hurt your metals in the long run is seriously valuable information. 

Without further ado, here are the elements and activities you should only engage in sans gold if your goal is to keep your favorite jewelry sparkling: 

  • Excessive water: Showering, going for a swim, or taking a dip in the ocean all sound lovely, but these activities will not do any favors for your jewelry. While water won’t affect your gold immediately, over time too much water exposure can cause discoloration. So, take that anklet off before you dive in the deep end!
  • Playing sports and exercising: Not only can contact sports cause dents and cracks in metal, but they also make it too easy for you to lose your favorite pieces. Imagine you’re running fast — but all of a sudden, you look down and your favorite ring is gone. To avoid making this sad tale a reality, take off your gold before you go for a run, hike, or boxing tournament. 
  • Cleaning the house: Cleaning products usually contain strong chemicals that can damage your gold pieces. This is why we recommend taking your jewelry off before you get too involved in anything that could feature these corrosive chemicals. Even bleach, baking soda-based products, or dishwashing detergent can be harsh enough to damage jewelry in some cases.

Store Your Pieces Well

A dry, dark, and absorbent environment is the perfect place for your little baubles to live. If you don’t have a jewelry box, go for dainty jewelry pouches. These are a favorite because they’re convenient, easily portable, and keep things organized. 

If you don’t have a jewelry pouch, a Ziploc bag will do just fine. You can also find and buy a pouch at a jewelry retailer you love.

Buff, Buff, Buff

Taking your jewelry on and off frequently is sure to leave fingerprints behind. If your favorite ring is scratched or smudged, an easy way to freshen it up is with a jewelry polishing cloth. Just take the cloth and rub it around your gold piece gently, moving in circular motions. This should help restore the sparkle and shine on your gold pieces. 

All That Glitters Is Gold

There’s nothing like the feeling of finding an amazing new accessory you want to wear time and time again. Whether it’s a lustrous yellow gold ring or a vibrant pair of white gold earrings, there is so much magical gold jewelry out there that you’ll never want to take off. You shouldn’t have to reserve your jewelry for special occasions.

That’s kind of our whole mission at BISOULOVELY: to make jewelry that adds a touch of whimsy and fun to your life every single day. There is never a bad time to wear your favorite bits and bobs! 

So, throw that gold chain on. Stack up those bangles. Create the earscape of your Pinterest dreams. Just make sure to refer to this guide when those pieces start looking a little dim and need to get their glimmer back 😉

Sources:

What Types of Alloys Are Used in Jewelry? | Sciencing

Platinum, Gold, and Silver Jewelry | Consumer Information

About Gold Jewellery | World Gold Council


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