How to Clean Gold Jewelry

originated by:Daniil Filipenco, Nicole Willson, Krystle, Sondra C (see all)

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Although gold doesn't tarnish, it can easily get dirty. To clean your precious rings, bracelets, necklaces and other gold jewelry, just follow the steps below.


edit Steps

Dish Soap Method

  1. 1
    Put a few drops of liquid dish detergent in a bowl of warm water. Mix gently. For even better results, you can use sodium-free seltzer water or club soda...the carbonation loosens soil and removes debris.[1]
  2. 2
    Soak the gold jewelry in the solution for 15 minutes.[2]
  3. 3
    Scrub each piece of jewelry with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Stiff bristles can scratch the surface of your jewelry. Special brushes designed for this purpose are best, but an eyebrow brush will also work.
  4. 4
    Rinse each piece in warm running water.
  5. 5
    Blot dry with a soft cloth.

Ammonia Method[3]

Use this method sparingly. Even though it's very effective, doing it too often can damage your gold. (Ammonia can also darken platinum.)

  1. 1
    Mix one part ammonia to six parts water.
  2. 2
    Soak the jewelry in the mixture for no more than one minute. Using a strainer can help with pulling it all out quickly at once.
  3. 3
    Rinse the jewelry thoroughly under running water.
  4. 4
    Dry the jewelry with a soft polishing cloth.

For Jewelry with Gemstones[1]

Pieces of jewelry with gemstones that are glued into the setting should not be submerged in water.[3]

  1. 1
    Wipe the jewelry with a cloth that's been dabbed in dish soap solution, as instructed above.
  2. 2
    "Rinse" the jewelry with a cloth dampened with plain water.
  3. 3
    Lay the pieces upside down after cleaning so any remaining moisture won't soak into the setting.

Toothpaste Method

  • Use an old toothbrush and tooth paste to gently scrub off grime. The toothpaste can be applied to a cloth to hand polish an item as well. This method will dull a perfect mirror finish, but so will wearing it. Use this method for gold items that you often wear. Rinse in clean water.

Boil In Water Method

  • If you need to get oil, grease, or wax off of gold jewelry boil it in water. So long as the item is submerged in water no harm will come to it or any stones. Oil, grease, and wax will float to the top of the water.

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edit Tips

  • You can remove stubborn grease from gold jewelry by dipping it into alcohol (unless the gemstones are glued in).[4]
  • Remember that you can always take your jewelry to a professional.
  • Store your gold jewelry in a way that avoids scratches. Each piece of jewelry should be stored in its own cloth bag.

edit Warnings

  • Don't use bleach...In fact, don't expose the jewelry to any kind of chlorine, as it can permanently discolor it.
  • If you have a gold ring with a diamond or any kind of gemstone, make sure that its prongs are not damaged and the stone is safe from falling out.

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Last edited:
December 31, 2009 by Kirby

Featured Articles | Cleaning Metals | Jewelry and Watch Repair

Recent edits by: Chris Hadley, Mark Davis, Difu Wu (see all)

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