If you have gold-plated jewelry like my five sisters, you know how important it is to keep it looking shiny and new.
In this how to clean gold plated jewelry guide you´ll discover all the essential tips you´ll ever need.
Gold plating is a thin layer of gold applied to a base metal, and it can wear off over time if not properly maintained. Cleaning your gold-plated jewelry regularly will help prevent tarnishing and keep it looking its best.
Here’s a table of different types of gold plating:
|Type of Gold-Plating||Description|
|Flash gold plating||A thin layer of gold electroplated onto a base metal, typically used in costume jewelry.|
|Vermeil gold plating||A thicker layer of gold electroplated onto a sterling silver base.|
|Heavy gold plating||A thicker layer of gold electroplated onto a base metal, typically used in fine jewelry.|
|Gold-filled||A layer of gold mechanically bonded to a base metal, often brass or copper, with a minimum weight of 1/20th of the total metal weight.|
|Rolled gold||Similar to gold-filled, but the layer of gold is thinner and the base metal is typically nickel or brass.|
Note that these are just a few examples of different types of gold-plating, and there may be variations or other types available as well.
How Often Should You Clean Your Gold Plated Jewelry?
If you wear your jewelry every day, you may need to clean it once a week or every other week. If you only wear your jewelry on special occasions, you may only need to clean it a few times a year.
It’s important to note that cleaning your gold plated pieces of jewelry like pendants, bangles, engagement rings or brooches and even anklets too often can actually damage it.
Over-cleaning can cause the gold plating to wear off more quickly, which can make your jewelry look dull and faded.
Therefore, it’s critical to strike a balance between keeping your favorite shiny objects clean and not over-cleaning it.
One way to determine when it’s time to clean your gold plated jewelry is to pay attention to how it looks and feels.
If your jewelry looks dull or has lost its shine, it’s probably time to give it a good cleaning. If your jewelry feels sticky or greasy to the touch, it may have come into contact with oils from your skin or hair products, which can cause it to tarnish more quickly.
How to Clean Gold-Plated Jewelry With a Soap Solution
Gold-plated jewelry can lose its shine and luster over time due to exposure to air, moisture, and oils from your skin.
Cleaning it with a soap solution can help restore its original shine and keep it looking like brand new.
Here are the best steps to clean your gold-plated jewelry with a soap solution:
- Fill a small bowl with warm water.
- Add a few drops of mild dish soap to the water and stir to mix.
- Place your gold-plated jewelry in the bowl and let it soak for 15-20 minutes.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub the jewelry, paying extra attention to any crevices or hard-to-reach areas.
- Rinse the jewelry under running water to remove any soap residue.
- Pat the jewelry dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
It’s important to note that you should not use any abrasive cleaners or scrubbers, as they can scratch or damage the gold plating.
Also, avoid using hot water, as it can cause the gold plating to peel or flake off.
By following these simple steps, you can keep your gold-plated jewelry looking shiny and new for years to come.
How to Clean Costume Jewelry With Gemstones
If you have costume jewelry with gemstones, it’s key to clean it properly to avoid damaging the stones. Here are the necessary steps to follow:
- Remove any dirt or grime on the surface of the jewelry by soaking a toothbrush in hot soapy water and gently scrubbing the stones.
- If possible, remove the stones from their setting for a more thorough cleaning.
- Be careful not to use any abrasive materials or harsh chemicals that could scratch or damage the stones.
- Rinse the jewelry under lukewarm water and dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth.
Note that some gemstones, such as pearls and opals, require special care and should not be cleaned with soap and water.
If you’re unsure about how to clean a particular type of gemstone, please consult a professional jeweler.
Tools and Materials
The good news first, when it comes to cleaning gold plated jewelry, you don’t need anything fancy. In fact, you probably already have most of the tools and materials you require at home.
Here’s a tools and materials list of what you’ll need:
A soft-bristled toothbrush is the perfect tool for cleaning gold plated jewelry. The bristles are gentle enough to avoid scratching the delicate surface, but firm enough to remove dirt and grime.
Look for a toothbrush with soft or extra-soft bristles, and use it to gently scrub your jewelry.
Mild Dish Soap
You don’t need any special jewelry cleaning solutions to clean your gold plated pieces. In fact, most commercial cleaners are too harsh and can damage the finish.
Instead, reach for a mild dish soap. Mix a few drops of soap with warm water to create a gentle cleaning solution.
Warm water is the best temperature for cleaning gold plated jewelry. Hot water can damage the finish, while cold water may not be effective at removing dirt and grime.
Fill a small bowl with warm water and add a few drops of mild dish soap to create a cleaning solution.
Finally, you’ll need a soft cloth to dry and polish your jewelry. Look for a lint-free cloth, such as a microfiber cloth or an old T-shirt.
Avoid using paper towels or tissues, as they can scratch the surface of your jewelry.
Can You Polish Gold-Plated Jewelry Regularly?
The answer is yes, but it’s important to exercise caution. Over-polishing gold-plated jewelry can cause the plating to wear off quickly, leading to discoloration and corrosion.
To restore shine to dull or tarnished jewelry, use a gentle polishing cloth or brush. Avoid rubbing too hard to prevent scratching and wearing off the plating. Alternatively, use a specialized gold-plating solution following instructions carefully and avoiding overuse.
Cleaning Gold-plated Jewelry vs. Replating It
If you have a piece of gold-plated jewelry that has lost its shine, your first instinct may be to have it replated.
While jewelry replating can restore the piece to its original luster, it can also be costly and time-consuming.
Before you go that route, it’s worth considering whether cleaning the jewelry might be a simpler and more affordable solution.
When deciding whether to clean or replat a piece of gold-plated jewelry, there are a few factors to consider:
- First, consider the condition of the piece. If it’s only slightly tarnished or dirty, cleaning it may be all that’s necessary. However, if the plating has worn off in places or the piece is heavily damaged, replating may be the better option.
- Another factor to consider is cost. Replating can be expensive, especially if the piece is large or intricate. Cleaning, on the other hand, can be done at home with simple household items and little expense.
- Finally, consider the sentimental value of the piece. If the piece has sentimental value, it may be worth investing in replating to restore it to its original condition.
However, if the gold-plated choker, band, or earpiece is not particularly important to you, cleaning may be a more practical solution.
By carefully considering all factors, you can make an informed decision about how to best care for your gold-plated jewelry.
Tips to Keep Gold Plated Jewelry Longer Clean
Gold plated jewelry is a beautiful and affordable alternative to solid gold. However, it requires proper care to keep it looking its best.
Here are some tips to help you keep your gold plated jewelry clean and shiny for longer:
- Remove gold plated jewelry before exercising, showering, or swimming. Sweat, water, and chemicals can all cause the gold plating to wear off faster.
- Avoid exposing gold plated jewelry to harsh chemicals, such as perfumes, lotions, and cleaning products. These can all damage the gold plating and cause it to tarnish or discolor.
- Store gold plated jewelry in a dry and cool place, away from direct sunlight. Exposure to air and light can cause the gold plating to oxidize and lose its shine.
- Wipe down gold plated jewelry with a soft cloth after each wear to remove any dirt, oil, or sweat that may have accumulated on the surface. This will help prevent tarnishing and keep the jewelry looking its best.
By following these simple tips, you can help prolong the life of your gold-plated jewelry and keep it looking clean and shiny for longer.