How to Clean Gold Jewelry at Home, According to Experts

How to Clean Gold Jewelry

PHOTO BY ERIC KELLEY 

From stunning wedding bands to family heirlooms, gold jewelry has a special place in our hearts. The hands of time can be cruel and leave these pieces looking worn and dull, so cleaning your gold jewelry regularly is a must. That means it's a task you will likely have to approach at home.

Luckily, you don’t need to be an expert to shine up your gold pieces, but we’ve enlisted some insiders to offer their tips and tricks.

How Often Should You Clean Gold Jewelry?

“I would suggest cleaning your jewelry every few weeks to keep them looking sparkly,” explains jeweler Sophie Arnott from Anvil and Ivy. “However, I wouldn’t suggest continual repolishing as this can wear the metal away more quickly. I would aim to repolish jewelry with a polishing cloth every few months.”

How to Clean Gold Jewelry at Home

“Cleaning jewelry from home is actually quite an easy process,” explains Arnott. “There are several products that you can buy to help with the process but the best and by far the cheapest option is to use washing up liquid and warm water.”

Step 1: Fill up a bowl

Fill a bowl with warm, not boiling, water and add a few drops of washing up liquid.

Step 2: Leave jewelry to soak

Pop your jewelry into the water and leave for 10-15 minutes to soak.

Step 3: Scrub with a soft brush

Use a soft-bristle toothbrush or paintbrush to loosen any stubborn dirt between settings or details.

Step 4: Rinse and dry

Rinse under the tap and then dry the jewelry by gently patting it with a kitchen towel.

How to Clean Gold Rings with Gemstones

“You can clean your diamond, ruby, and sapphire jewelry easily and safely yourself using household items you probably already have, such as a soft toothbrush and some Windex or some ammonia, warm water, and clear dish soap,” says Stephen Silver, founder of Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry. “However, please do not use this solution on any gemstone besides diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. It is safe to clean these three stones using this at-home cleaning method, but most other gemstones like emeralds, opals, and turquoise, for example, are too porous and delicate and will be negatively affected by these solutions.”

Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Gold Jewelry

Ready to give cleaning your gold jewelry a go for yourself? Before you get started, there are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind.

Do soak the jewelry before and after.

“We recommend soaking the jewelry first in cold water or detergent bath or if available use your Allurez jewelry cleaner,” says CEO and ring expert Raphi Mahgereft from Allurez. “Afterwards, soak the jewelry in hot water.”

Do purchase special cloths.

“I recommend purchasing some cleaning and polishing cloths to help you with periodically repolishing your jewelry,” suggests Arnott. “My favorite brand is ‘Town Talk.’ They have a range of products for different metals. I would recommend the gold dual polishing cloth.”

Do seek advice about gemstones.

“Each gemstone has different characteristics, so we advise asking your jeweler about the best cleaning methods for your specific gemstone,” says Kostelny. “However for a quick shine, wipe your gemstones with a gem cloth, these can be purchased at your local jeweler.”

Don’t use harsh cleaning products.

The type of cleaning product you use is crucial. “Avoid any cleaning products that are too strong like bleach and if unsure do a test patch on an inconspicuous area first,” says Arnott.

Instead, opt for light soaps or chemical-free household detergent.

Don’t use a large brush.

Choose your brush with care. “When cleaning your gold and platinum jewelry, it is best to use a new, baby-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush,” says jewelry recovery specialist Kay Kostelny from Jewelers Mutual.

Don’t use soap with unknown ingredients.

You should always read the label when it comes to cleaning products. “Avoid any soap with unknown ingredients,” advises Kostelny. “You should remove your gold jewelry before showering to avoid accumulating a film from other body washes.”

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