How to Safely Clean Gold
Do you treasure any gold you own? I sure hope so. Even if you treasure your gold items, they still can get dirty, tarnished, and worn. How can you clean your gold without damaging it? We have the answers.
First off, what can lead your gold to look not quite as good as when you first got it? Your skin has oils that can rub off onto your gold jewelry and make it dirty. Gold is a soft metal so it is more prone to general wear and tear.
Since gold is soft, jewelers will often mix it with other metals. These other metals can react to chemicals like chlorine and cause blackness on the skin or on the gold itself. To avoid blackening of the skin and metal, consider getting a higher karat of gold in your jewelry or removing your ring when you are going to be getting wet, whether that's from exercise, swimming, cleaning, or showering.
It's important to know that the BEST way to clean your gold jewelry is to take it to a jeweler. They are the professionals and know exactly how to clean and polish your jewelry without damaging it. Many times, your jeweler will offer free cleaning and polishing any time you come in. If you do have to pay, remember it's worth it to keep your gold looking good and to avoid ruining your jewelry.
If going to a jeweler is not an option, we've got how not to clean your gold and also the best at-home ways to clean your gold jewelry.
Best Ways to NOT Clean Gold
- Toothpaste: This is a common myth! Do NOT use toothpaste on your gold. Since gold is so soft, the abrasiveness of toothpaste will scratch it and damage the surface.
- Chlorine: Especially at high temperatures, chlorine can damage and discolor your gold. So avoid chlorine bleach and hot tubs!
- Bleach: As mentioned above, do not clean your gold with bleach and try to not expose your gold to any bleach. Bleach can cause discoloration and could potentially lead to your gold beginning to turn black.
- Alcohol: You may think alcohol can aid you in removing grease buildup on your gold jewelry but it actually coats the metal and ultimately damages it. If you have gemstones on your gold jewelry, alcohol can dry them out and lead to cracking. Some believe vodka is a great cleaning tool, but it does the same amount of damage as any alcohol and should be kept far from your gold jewelry.
- Boiling Water: Extreme heat can cause the metal to expand. If you have gemstones in your jewelry, boiling water could cause them to fall out or crack.
- Most Soaps: It's best to avoid most soaps, especially if they have strange ingredients. That's why we recommend you remove your gold jewelry before showering.
The Right Way to Clean Gold
- Mix warm water with a few drops of Dawn Dish Soap. (You can use other types of soap, but just make sure there are no phosphates in the ingredients!)
- Let your gold jewelry soak for a few minutes.
- Remove from the liquid and gently brush your jewelry with a soft toothbrush. We recommend this one.
- Rinse with lukewarm water
- Wipe off with a soft cloth.
Making Your Gold Shine
A few drops of ammonia can help increase the shine of your gold. But use it sparingly. If you use ammonia often, it can erode and damage the gold. Ammonia can be great for cleaning diamonds but it isn't good for all gemstones. Be wary of ammonia. And remember, the best option for increasing the shine is to go to a professional jeweler.
How to Remove Tarnish
Washing your gold in warm water and dish soap is the best way to remove tarnish. As mentioned above, a jeweler can also do a great and safe job of removing tarnish. We also recommend getting a gold polishing cloth like this one. It's cheap and easy and will help remove tarnish and polish your gold.
How to Clean Fake Gold?
- Soak your jewelry in a mixture of warm water and Dawn Dish Soap. (If there are gemstones, make sure the water isn't too hot and that you don't soak for too long.)
- Remove and gently scrub with a soft toothbrush.
- You can use some vinegar to increase the shine of the jewelry. Since the gold is fake, you don't have to worry as much about possible damage to the metal. Lemon juice can also do the trick.
- Dry with a soft cloth after rinsing in lukewarm water.
Sanitizing is Just as Important
Cleaning and taking care of you gold is important. Another important part of cleaning is sanitizing. The PhoneSoap 3 makes quickly sanitizing your jewelry to remove 99.99% of germs and bacteria extremely easy. Just remove your jewelry and pop it into the PhoneSoap for 10 minutes at the end of your day to keep your jewelry from spreading harmful germs.
Don't Forget: 6 Steps to Follow
The best way to avoid tarnish, discoloration, grime, and damage to your gold jewelry is to take care of it! Below are a few tips:
- Visit your jeweler frequently. We recommend going in every six months for inspection and cleaning. Some jewelers offer this for free when you purchase your jewelry but others still offer these surfaces at a fairly low cost.
- Remove your jewelry when you are cleaning, cooking, showering, or sweating. The chemicals and soaps can coat your ring and cause damage and discoloration.
- Before applying lotion or perfume, take off your ring. If you can avoid getting unnecessary products on your ring, do it!
- You don't need your gold at the pool. Hot temperatures and chlorine are especially bad for gold, so leave it at home when you take a pool day.
- Try not to handle your jewelry a lot. If you're wearing a ring, don't spend the day twisting and touching. The added oils from your fingers can cause harm to the metal.
- Build habits! Make it a habit to take your jewelry off before you do any of the things above. And make sure to create a safe place to put your jewelry so you don't lose or misplace it.
All that glitters can be gold if you take care of it and follow our steps and tips above.