How to clean gold

Gold care – How to clean gold

Everyday use can take its toll on gold jewellery, oils from your skin, chlorine from swimming pools, or day-to-day cleaning products can all tarnish or damage gold, leading to the need to revive your precious metals such as in wedding rings. It is worth bearing in mind that, like any soft metal, gold needs to be treated with particular care and there are various factors to consider when deciding how to clean gold jewellery.

One thing to look for is the purity of your gold. Pure gold is 24ct, and will correspondingly be the softest. If you have jewellery with a carat below this number, it will be a gold alloy made through the combination of gold and other varieties of metal.

Does White Gold Tarnish?

White gold or rose gold are both alloys, and more durable than pure 24ct gold. Nonetheless, these two shades of gold are still susceptible to tarnishing, and upkeep - though perhaps required less frequently than with pure gold - is key to keeping its shine. How to clean white gold rings is, in this respect, no different from maintaining one of pure gold.

The majority of gold used in today’s jewellery is either 9- or 18-carat, making it more scratch-resistant and easier to clean. If you have antique jewellery, the gold is more likely to be above 22ct and require extra care.

How to clean gold – Step by step

  • Begin by soaking your gold in warm water with a small amount of non-conditioning shampoo or washing up liquid. Gentle detergents like these can help loosen oils.
  • A gentle wash cloth or soft toothbrush should be used to scrub the piece, paying careful attention to the area beneath the ring’s stone, where dirt is liable to gather. A soft toothbrush is better suited to cleaning gold jewellery with particularly small crevices.
  • After the gold jewellery has been soaked and gently scrubbed, it should be pat dry. Let the piece air dry before giving it a final buffer with a soft, lint-free cloth.

If there are noticeable scratches, you may need to take your gold to a jeweller for repair. In addition to the above steps, you can also have white gold jewellery re-coated to refresh its appearance and shine.

In many cases the best way to clean gold is simply to keep a regular routine of polishing with a soft cloth. With proper care, gold can glitter for generations to come.