How to clean gold

Does your gold jewellery need a bit of a clean? Never fear – read this article for helpful advice about how to clean gold!

Updated

how to clean gold: gold bangles and gold and silver necklaces hanging from teal jewellery box

Key steps for cleaning gold:

  1. Soak your gold item in washing up liquid and warm water.
  2. Use a toothbrush to gently remove any dirt.
  3. Rinse and dry with a soft cloth.

Gold is sometimes called an ‘eternal treasure’. Archaeologists regularly find ancient golden objects, preserved through the centuries and reaching our time almost in their original state. However, even ‘eternal treasures’ lose their original shine and require correct cleaning. Here is how you can clean gold and preserve the shine of your gold jewellery at home. For other precious items - like silver rings - read our guide on silver cleaning instead.

Gold is a precious metal, so it needs to be cleaned with care. Avoid any abrasive cleaning products and instead use a specialised jewellery cleaner.

How to preserve gold

Gold jewellery can be delicate. To keep your gold jewellery looking its best, follow these few simple rules. If possible, take jewellery off before these activities:

  • Cleaning the house, to avoid contact with any cleaning products.
  • Cosmetic procedures.
  • Visiting the sauna or steam room, or doing any other treatments that involve rapid temperature changes.
  • Physical activities – particularly swimming in a pool, as the chlorine can affect the metal.
  • An x-ray examination.

If your favourite piece of gold jewellery doesn’t looks as good as it used to, it’s time to start cleaning!

Strategies for cleaning gold

If your piece of gold jewellery has a high market value – or if it is important for sentimental reasons – the most reasonable decision is to leave the work to specialists and have a professional jeweller clean your item. You can also buy a commercial cleaning product to clean your gold jewellery.

Also, if your piece of jewellery contains other elements – like diamonds, pearls, emeralds, or any other stones or features – it is important to consider how those elements should be cleaned. Pearls, for example, need to be cleaned with care in order to avoid damage.

How to clean gold jewellery gently

You can use a variety of household products to clean and polish gold. But, be careful – the wrong cleaning technique can damage your valuable delicate items, so, if possible, test any cleaning technique before using, or gradually increase the concentration of the solutions and the cleaning time.

  • A gentle way to clean gold involves a few simple ingredients – washing up liquid, warm water, and a soft toothbrush. Using a firm toothbrush or another brush with hard bristles can damage your piece.
  • Fill a bowl with warm water and a small amount of washing up liquid (you only need a few drops for this method).
  • Let your piece of gold jewellery soak for a few minutes.
  • Then, use the toothbrush to gently remove any dirt and grime.
  • When you have finished, rinse the item in clean water and dry with a soft towel or cloth.

Now that you know how to clean gold, you can apply this method to jewellery, ornaments, and fastenings – everything will be gleaming in no time! And if you have other metals that need a spruce up, check out our article on how to clean brass, copper, and pewter.

Originally published