There’s no denying that gold jewellery is the ultimate ageless companion; an essential fashion statement for both men and women, bringing a touch of elegance and sophistication to any outfit or style, thanks to its timeless, glowing lustre and beauty.
While gold doesn’t tend to tarnish very easily though, every now and then it can lose its shine. This is usually due to daily ‘wear and tear’, caused by exposure to moisture or humidity, perspiration, perfume, hairsprays and deodorants, or exposure to products containing trace amounts of chlorine or sulphur.
Cleaning Gold - Where Do You Begin?
As gold is a soft, easily scratched, and a highly valuable metal, when in doubt, it’s always best to first have it examined and cleaned by a professional.
However, with the right amount of care and attention, and the proper cleaning methods, you can clean most gold jewellery at home – just remember that the easiest method with the least amount of harsh ingredients is always the safest!
Before undertaking any cleaning yourself however, it’s important to first understand some basics of the metal itself…
Understanding the Properties of Gold
When it comes to the true properties of gold, ‘pure gold’ is always 24 karats (24K) – though you’ll likely never find 24K jewellery as it’s generally much too delicate and soft for jewellery.
In order to reinforce gold to make it more durable for jewellery, it must be mixed and combined with other metals. Although some gold jewellery contains 22K gold, the most popular types are 18k (75% gold), 14k (58% gold), and 10k (approximately 42% gold).
Depending on the exact mixture of metals used, this will create:
- Yellow gold - gold mixed with some silver and copper.
- White gold - gold mixed with palladium and silver, or a mix of nickel, copper, and/or zinc with rhodium plating.
- Rose gold - pure gold mixed with copper.
Although different in appearance, all of these variations of gold are equal in their durability. So, as long as you’re careful, you can usually clean them using the same method.
How to Clean Gold Jewellery?
The simplest (and safest) way to clean precious gold jewellery such as rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc., is with a mild dish soap and warm water solution.
This universally tried and tested home remedy is the gentlest way to clean and shine your gold – also minimising the risks of scraping or scratching particularly softer jewellery pieces containing 18K or 22K gold.
- Pour a tablespoon of mild dish soap into a dry glass bowl and fill with lukewarm water.
- Add the gold jewellery and allow to soak for around fifteen minutes.
- Remove the jewellery and gently scrub with a new soft-bristled toothbrush to loosen any build-up of grime – remember to be extremely careful to avoid scratching the soft metal.
- After each pass with the brush, gently rinse the gold using warm tap water (directly over a bowl or strainer to avoid dropping it down the drain!).
- For particularly stubborn grime, simply repeat steps 1-4 until clean.
- Gently dry and polish using a clean microfiber cloth.
For gold pieces containing gemstones, remember to be extremely careful whilst cleaning to avoid loosening the prongs holding the stones in place. When in doubt, always consult a professional jeweller!
We’ve been manufacturing, selling, and cleaning jewellery for decades, right from our Dublin City centre shop. Simply drop into our store on 5 Mary St, Dublin 1, or alternatively, just give us a call now on (01) 872 8726 and we’d be happy to help.
For more information on our other jewellery cleaning services, click here.