How To Clean Gold Plated Jewelry

Welcome to my article all about how to clean gold plated jewelry!

Gold plated jewelry has a lovely look and it’s less expensive than solid gold items.

This makes it a terrific addition to many jewelry boxes.

But challenges may arise when you try to clean gold plated jewelry.

If you use something too abrasive, it can rub the plating off, reducing the piece’s integrity and appearance.

So how do you clean gold-plated jewelry while ensuring it doesn’t get ruined?

This article will provide a few easy to follow methods below.

But first, a little more information about what gold plated jewelry is.

What Is Gold Plated Jewelry?

Gold plated jewelry is jewelry that has a thin gold plating applied on top of another metal like copper or silver.

The advantages are that it’s much cheaper than solid gold jewelry, while still looking expensive and luxurious.

But whilst it’s a great every-day fashion item, you do run the risk of having the plating come off during cleaning or due to general wear and tear.

That’s why it’s important to take care of your gold plated jewelry, and clean it carefully as we’ll outline below.


General Care for Gold Plated Jewelry

It’s a good idea to wipe down your gold-plated jewelry with a cotton ball or microfiber cloth after every time you wear it.

This will get rid of oils and surface dirt and grime.

But occasionally, you will want to do a deeper clean.

How To Clean Gold Plated Jewelry

With A Cleaning Solution

If your jewelry feels sticky or has visible dirt on it, you will be best off cleaning it with a solution that consists of water and about 2 drops of dishwashing liquid.

Soak the piece in the solution for about ten minutes.

If dirt is embedded into carved parts of the jewelry, you can get it out using a small jewelry brush or cotton swab. Avoid using sharp objects for this task.

Once the jewelry is clean, rinse it with warm water and dry it with a soft, lint-free cloth.

With Dish Soap

This method is recommended if your jewelry has accumulated dirt and is looking dull in general.

Start by soaking the jewelry in a solution of water and a few drops of dish soap.

Or, for better results, use club soda or sodium-free seltzer instead of water. The carbonation will help lift out the dirt.

Let the jewelry soak for 15 to 30 minutes.

Then take it out of the water and scrub it with a jewelry brush or a soft bristled toothbrush.

If you use a toothbrush, make sure it has very soft, flexible bristles that won’t scratch the jewelry.

If you notice dirt remaining in the crevices, work on removing it with a Q-tip.

Rinse the jewelry in warm, not hot, water that is flowing in a gentle stream.

If the water is too pressurized, it can damage the jewelry.

Make sure the drain is covered so the jewelry doesn’t fall through.

You may want to rinse your jewelry in a strainer to keep this from happening.

Place the jewelry on a towel and allow it to air dry.

With Ammonia

Ammonia is an abrasive chemical so it should only be used for occasional jewelry cleanings.

It should not be used on pieces that feature pearls or platinum.

Start by mixing a 6:1 water to ammonia solution.

Stir it well to ensure there is not too much ammonia in any portion of the water.

Because the ammonia is potentially corrosive, you won’t want to leave your jewelry in the solution for more than a minute.

Once the jewelry has been submerged, rinse it off under warm tap water taking steps to make sure it doesn’t get lost down the drain.

How To Clean Gold Plated Jewelry with Glued in Gemstones

gold plated jewelry with gemstones being cleaned

With Dish Soap

Gold plated jewelry with gemstones should not be submerged underwater, particularly those with gems that are glued in.

The water can affect the integrity of the glue causing the gems to fall out.

A better method is to mix up a dish soap and water solution.

Use a soft, lint-free cloth to gently dab the solution on to the jewelry making sure not to leave behind a heavy soapsuds’ residue.

There is no need to rinse off the jewelry. Simply allow it to dry.

The excess moisture will drop off without getting into other parts of the item.

With Boiling Water

Boiling water can be an effective way to clean jewelry.

However, it should never be used on delicate gemstones such as pearls, moonstone, and coral.

It should also never be used on glued in jewels as it can cause the glue to weaken so the stones fall out.

Instead, only use boiling water to clean jewelry that has hard stones that are clasped in.

Start by boiling a small amount of water. It’s likely that you won’t need much to clean your jewelry, so why be wasteful?

Place your jewelry in a bowl or dish so that no pieces overlap.

This will ensure that the water covers every bit of the jewelry to get it sufficiently clean.

Pour the water over the jewelry being careful not to let any splash on to skin and cause burns.

Once the water cools, you may remove your jewelry.

Then use a soft brush to get rid of any remaining dirt.

Dry the jewelry off with a soft, lint free towel. Then allow it to sit so it air dries completely.

How To Clean Gold Plated Jewerly: Tips

Here are some tips that will ensure your jewelry stays in the best condition possible:

  • If you are cleaning multiple pieces at a time, arrange them so they don’t scratch each other.
  • Make sure that your hands are clean and oil free before cleaning jewelry.
  • Always use a plug or some kind of cover to ensure your jewelry doesn’t slip down the drain
  • Take off jewelry when preparing acidic meals, applying perfume, makeup, or hairspray and while swimming in chlorinated water.
  • Take your jewelry off if you are planning on engaging in a physical activity that may cause you to sweat.
  • Store your jewelry pieces separately to minimize scratching.

Should I Use a Store-Bought Jewelry Cleaner?

Jewelry cleaners can be purchased in select stores.

These may be effective in cleaning jewelry, but they may also contain abrasive chemicals that can damage jewelry and may be especially harmful to gold-plated jewelry and delicate stones.

A dishwashing soap and water solution is a gentler, safer option. Plus, it’s also cheaper and more convenient!

How To Clean Gold Plated Jewelry: Conclusion

Gold plated jewelry looks great, but it can easily get damaged during the cleaning process.

The tips in this article will ensure your pieces sparkle and shine with every cleaning.

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