How Do I Clean My Gold Jewelry?

bucks county, pa jewelry store

When you first bought your gold jewelry, it was sparkly and new, the type of thing you were proud to put on and show off.

But it’s been a few years, and your jewelry has lost some of its gloss. But don’t worry: You can clean your gold jewelry using things you likely have lying around the house.

Before we start, we should note that you should use caution with any of these jewelry cleaning methods. If you’re not sure about something, pay a visit to a Bucks County, PA jewelry store that you trust to get some guidance.

With that said, let’s look at some of the ways you can give your gold jewelry the shine it deserves.

1. The dish soap method

Start by mixing a few drops of liquid dish soap into a bowl of lukewarm water. You can use regular tap water, but (sodium-free) carbonated water can help fizz away built-up dirt.

The water has to be lukewarm. If the water is too hot, you’ll risk damaging your gem stones. If it’s too cold, you won’t get an effective clean.

Let your jewelry soak in this mixture for about 15 minutes to half an hour, which allows the water and soap to get into the piece’s crevices and loosen dirt.

Then use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub the jewelry. Do this gently, using as soft a brush as possible. A stiff-bristled brush can damage your jewelry.

Finally, rinse the jewelry with lukewarm water, and pat it dry with a soft cloth. Make sure your jewelry is dry before you wear it again.

2. The ammonia method

Use caution with the method. Ammonia is a powerful chemical, too powerful, in fact, for some gold jewelry. Cleaning with ammonia too often can cause damage. And don’t use ammonia If you need to clean anything with pearls or platinum.

Add a drop of ammonia to a bowl of water, and let the jewelry soak for a minute, no longer. Use a small strainer to lower/retrieve the jewelry from the mixture.

From there, rinse the jewelry under running water. Keep it in the strainer to prevent your pieces from slipping out into the sink. Gently dry the jewelry with a soft cloth. Again, let it dry completely before wearing it.

3. The toothpaste method

Just as with ammonia, you’ll want to be careful when cleaning gold jewelry this way, as toothpaste can scratch silver or gold, and leave film behind.

Mix about an inch of toothpaste with two tablespoons of water in a bowl until you have a light paste. Apply the mixture to the jewelry by hand or with a cloth. Then, use a toothbrush – soft bristles! – to scrub away the grime.

4. The boiling water method

Like we said earlier, using water that’s too hot can damage delicate gemstones such as pearls and opals. And boiling water can cause glued-in stones to come loose from their settings. But if you need to clean jewelry made entirely from gold, boiling can work.

Start by putting the piece you want to clean in a bowl. Boil enough water for you to submerge your jewelry, and then pour it over the piece. (Use caution. After all, you’re working with boiling water.)

Once the water has cooled, you can reach into the bowl, pluck out the gold jewelry and scrub it with a soft brush. As with the other methods, finish the cleaning by dabbing it dry with a soft cloth.

What if I have jewelry with glued-in gemstones?

It’s not like gems get plucked out of the ground and added to a piece of jewelry. They are enhanced or otherwise treated following their extraction, and this can affect how you conduct your cleaning.

You can clean these pieces by wiping them down with a wet, soapy cloth rather than soaking them, and then rinsing them using a different cloth that’s been dampened in water.

Again, if you’re unsure how to proceed, we’d recommend visiting your trusted Bucks County, PA jewelry store for advice.

Doylestown Gold Exchange would be happy to offer that guidance. For 25 years, customers looking for a trustworthy Bucks County, PA jewelry store have sought us out for everything from jewelry repair to diamond engagement rings.

Visit us today to learn how we can help protect your treasured gold jewelry or add to your collection.