Gold jewellery is a woman’s ageless companion and an essential fashion statement. The strength, beauty and grandeur of gold make it a superior choice in the ornamental kingdom.
Even though gold doesn’t tarnish as easily as silver, it does lose its shine every now and then. 24 karat pure gold is not likely to tarnish; however, in lower karats (18K and 22K), where the gold is mixed with other alloys (like silver and copper), tarnish, dullness and patina will surely set in over time.
Understanding Tarnish In Gold Jewellery
You may own three common types of gold jewellery: yellow gold, white gold and rose gold. Additionally, you may have gold-plated jewellery too. Most of your gold jewellery will either be 18 or 22 karat gold.
As timeless as gold is, you will find that your gold ornaments accumulate blackness, dullness and tarnish with the passage of time. This could be due to moisture/humidity, improper storage, oxygen and sulphur in the air, perspiration, exposure to chlorine, perfume, hairspray and deodorants, or even exposure to a foodstuff which are rich in sulphur.
Fortunately, one of the advantages of owning gold jewellery is that the tarnish or dullness will set in at a slower pace and can be easily removed at home using quick and effective DIY techniques.
Check out our complete guide on how to clean your gold jewellery at home:
1. Use Dishwashing liquid to clean gold jewellery
This is a universally tried and tested home remedy to shine your gold.
- Take warm water and pour it into a bowl.
- Make sure the water is warm and not hot.
- Add some dishwashing liquid to it and mix.
- Soak your gold jewellery in it for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Use a small toothbrush to gently wipe off all the grime and dullness.
- You can use q-tips to reach those delicate nooks and crannies.
- Rinse in warm water and dry it off with a clean, soft cloth.
2. How To Clean Gold With Toothpaste
Try this common method of cleaning your gold jewellery using toothpaste.
- Squeeze some amount of toothpaste into a bowl or a glass.
- Pour a good amount of water into the bowl.
- Mix to make a paste of medium to thick density. Make sure the paste is not too thin.
- Take a small toothbrush and soak it in the paste.
- Apply the paste over your jewellery and gently scrub all over it.
- To get into the small crevices or cracks, you can also use an eyebrow brush.
- Rinse off with normal water and use a soft cloth to dry it.
(Always use a mild toothpaste, not teeth-whitening toothpaste or any other loaded with hard granules.)
3. Clean Gold At Home With A Polishing Cloth
Jewellery polishing cloths are available online or at jewellery stores. Buy a good brand that comes well-recommended.
- Use the polishing cloth to gently wipe the dirt and grime off your gold pieces.
- Rub it up and down.
- Do not use circular motions to wipe.
- Rinse in warm water and dry with a clean cloth.
- Do not use tissue to wipe or dry.
4. How To Clean Gold Jewellery With Baking Soda
Use this method to get the grime and dullness off your gold ornaments.
- Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a bowl.
- Pour a little water into the bowl.
- Mix to make a paste.
- Dip a small toothbrush in the paste.
- Clean your jewellery with the brush.
- Rinse in clean tap water and blot dry with a soft cloth.
5. Deep Cleaning Gold Jewellery With Ammonia
Use this method only rarely for deep cleaning your gold. Ammonia is chemically strong and can be abrasive. Do not use ammonia to clean jewellery pieces with precious and delicate gemstones, platinum and pearls.
- Pour half a tablespoon of ammonia in a bowl.
- Add half a glass of water in it.
- Mix them both properly.
- Soak your gold jewellery in the mixture for no more than a minute.
- Remove the jewellery using tongs or strainers.
- Hold it under running water and cleanse thoroughly.
- Dry with a soft, clean cloth.
6. Clean Gold Jewellery With Vinegar
Use vinegar to brighten your lacklustre gold jewellery.
- Take some white vinegar and pour it into a bowl.
- Place your gold jewellery in it so it is completely immersed.
- Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Rinse it thoroughly in running tap water.
- Pat dry with a clean, soft cloth.
7. Cleaning gold jewellery with attached gemstones or crystalline stones
Do not use any chemicals to clean such jewellery which has gemstones, pearls, platinum, etc. Instead, use this easy and harmless technique. Do not soak this jewellery in water.
- Take a soft cloth and dip it in soapy water or dip in water mixed with mild dishwashing liquid.
- Softly rub the cloth in up and down motion on the jewellery pieces.
- Use a different wet, soft cloth to clean off the soap water from the jewellery.
- Dry it with a clean, soft cloth or let it air out.
8. How To Clean Gold Plated Jewellery
Don’t use a polishing cloth (or any kind of polish), ammonia or baking soda to clean your gold plated jewellery. It will remove a gold layer off from your jewellery items. Try the method listed below.
- Pour some soapy water in a bowl. Don’t make it too runny.
- Dip an old, soft-bristled toothbrush in it.
- Scratch off the dirt and blots on your gold plated jewellery gently.
- You can also use a cotton ball to clean it.7
- Rinse it in clean water and pat it dry with a soft cloth.
9. How To Clean Rose Gold Jewellery
Rose gold is high in copper so it may be quicker to tarnish due to sulphur or air exposure. Check out an effective way to clean it simply at home.
- Take a bowl and line it with aluminium foil. (Be sure to have the shiny side up).
- Fill it with warm water.
- Add 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon baking soda, and half a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid.
- Stir the mixture evenly.
- Leave your rose gold jewellery in it for 10-15 minutes.
- Rinse generously with water and clean it dry with a soft cloth.
10. How To Clean Gold Chains At Home
Due to their intricate and minute design, it is more difficult to clean gold chains. But try out the methods listed below. They work.
Using Beer To Clean Gold Chains
- Pour some beer into a lint-free, soft, clean cloth.
- Rub it up and down over your gold chain evenly.
- Use q-tips to get to the insides.
- You can also use a small toothbrush to clean it.
- Rinse in water and pat it dry.
Using A Cleaning Solution To Clean Gold Chains
You can buy a good jewellery cleaning solution from a jeweller or find it online.
- Wear a pair of gloves.
- Spray the solution over your gold chain.
- Use q-tips to clean the inner areas.
- Wipe it dry with a dry, soft cloth.
11. How To Clean White Gold Jewellery
White gold is coated with Rhodium (similar to Platinum) which tends to wear off with the passing of time due to regular wear and tear. Luckily there’s a simple way to clean it at home.
- Take a bowl and add soap water in it. Mix a little dishwashing liquid.
- Stir evenly and let the bubbles rise.
- Leave your white gold jewellery in the mixture for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix baking soda in water and make a paste.
- Remove your jewellery, rinse it and clean it with the paste using a toothbrush.
- Gently rinse it under running tap water.
- Dry it with a clean, soft cloth.
Alternatively, you can use a jewellery cleaning solution too. But if you see that the Rhodium coating has worn off visibly, leaving behind a yellow colour, you should take it to the jewellers who would re-plate it professionally.
Necessary Measures To Take While Cleaning And Storing Gold Jewellery
- Before you start using the cleaning techniques we have listed above, cheque your jewellery pieces carefully for any loose prongs, stones, diamonds, or gems. If you find any, do not clean. Get it fixed at a jewellery store.
- Block your drain while holding any of your jewels under tap water, lest it falls and goes down the drain.
- Do not use abrasive cleaning methods like ammonia or baking soda on antique and delicate jewellery.
- In case if you find that you’ve tried several cleaning techniques and your gold jewellery is still not shiny or the tarnish persists, take it to a jewellery store for professional help.
- Ideally, each piece of gold jewellery should be stored in individual jewellery bags to avoid scratches and breakage.
- Store your gold jewellery in a fabric-lined jewellery box or in the original box it came in. If you wish to keep it in any regular box, make sure you cover it in a soft cloth or a jewellery bag.
- Keep it in a cool, dry place.
- Do not let your jewellery touch rubber items.
- Store jewellery with gemstones or diamonds separately in jewellery bags, away from other ornaments.
- You can also invest in a home safety locker specially designed to store jewellery.
- Do not get into a swimming pool or a hot tub wearing your gold jewellery.
- Do not wear your gold jewellery while using harsh cleaning agents such as bleach or acetone.
Caring for your gold ornaments and making them glitter will add a special sense of pride in you. We promise you will dote on your precious gold jewellery even more after trying these amazing DIY cleaning techniques.