How to Clean Gold Jewellery
Who doesn’t love the glitter of gold? No woman has ever said that she has too much jewellery! But as much as the majority of women and men love gold, they also dread when their jewellery loses its original shine. The thought of having to go to an expert to get it cleaned also gives people unwanted headaches. However, there are easy ways to keep your gold ornaments clean and radiant. And you can do it all by yourself at home. So don’t lose heart. You don’t have to lock up your favourite gold necklaces or bangles just because they don’t sparkle as much as they used to. Here is everything you should know about cleaning your gold jewellery.
What Makes Gold Jewellery Tarnish?
Before we start talking about the tips and tricks of cleaning gold ornaments, it’s important that we understand the factors that cause them damage. There are many reasons why both new and old gold trinkets lose their shine over time. The primary culprit why your gold trinkets lose their natural sheen is – yes, you guessed it right - regular use. The more and longer your wear them, the more they lose their sheen and glitter. But that’s not all. From dirt to cosmetics and everyday chemicals, there are many factors that affect gold’s natural shine. Even the perfumes your wear and moisturisers you apply on your body can damage your gold accessories.
Then there are some reasons owing to the chemical composition of the gold used for making your jewellery. As you know, the purest form of gold or 24k gold is extremely soft. To make it sturdy enough to use in the making of ornaments, it’s mixed with other metals such as nickel, palladium, silver, zinc, and manganese. Based on the ratio of gold to other metals, you get different purities of gold such as 22k, 18k, and 14k. Gold is an inert metal and doesn’t tarnish on its own. But the other metals mixed with it react on exposure to oxygen and air moisture. These reactions can make your gold jewellery dark or discoloured. The discolouration depends on the metal used to form the gold alloy.
How to Clean Your Gold Jewellery at Home?
Yes, you heard it right. You don’t have to make a trip to your local jeweller every time your gold chains or earrings start losing its sheen. One of the easiest and the most effective way to clean your gold ornaments is by using water and soap. Don’t be sceptical! A simple soap and water solution is all you need to clean plain gold necklaces, bracelets, earrings, bangles, and other ornaments. Cleaning your plain gold jewellery with soap water rids it of accumulated dirt and oils. This method is one of the fastest ways to restore your gold jewellery’s shine without any hassles.
However, remember that you shouldn’t use this method to clean gemstone-studded pieces. We will get to that later. So how do you clean your plain gold ornaments with soap and water? Here you go.
- First, take a bowl and fill it with warm water. Add mild soap and mix to form a solution. You can use mild detergents or a few drops of dishwashing liquid to make the solution.
- Dip your gold jewellery into this mixture. Let it soak for 15-20 minutes.
- Next, rinse with cold water and lay it flat on a soft, clean, and dry cloth or towel. Let it air dry completely.
- You can also use a soft-bristled brush to remove dirt from the nooks and crannies. Don’t rub the jewellery hard, though.
- Don’t forget to store it safely and properly, preferably in a jewellery box.
- This soap-water-brush method can be used for cleaning jewellery made of yellow, white, and rose gold.
ALERT: Don’t use boiling or freezing cold water. Instead of tap water, you can also use sodium-free seltzer water or club soda. These carbonated liquids will loosen up the dirt accumulated in your jewellery. Alternatively, you can use a jewellery cleaning solution from a professional jeweller.
How to Clean Gemstone-Studded Gold Jewellery?
Gold jewellery studded with gemstones is a pure delight to own and wear. From precious stones like diamonds and rubies to semi-precious varieties such as topazes and tourmalines, any gemstone adds to the beauty of gold. Although you can use soap water solution, never soak gemstone-studded jewellery in water. Soaking it can trap water in the setting and make it rust or discolour over time. Instead, rinse it and use a very soft toothbrush, perhaps a baby toothbrush to clean it. Before washing, check your ornament and ensure that it doesn’t have any loose stones. After washing, let it dry completely before storing. You should make sure that the water is not hot, especially if your jewellery contains fragile gemstones like opals.
Does Your Gold Jewellery Need Machine Cleaning?
Tried every home remedy to clean your gold ornaments without any results? If your diamond rings or sapphire pendants still look discoloured or dark, it might need more than your household items. The next level of cleaning is machine cleaning. Many jewellers have the automatic jewellery-cleaning equipment to clean ornaments of all sizes and types. It can be an ultrasonic cleaner, a steam cleaner, or an ionic one. They might be the right people to advise whether either of these techniques is safe for your ornament. If it is, then let them clean your gold for you.
Things to Keep in Mind for Cleaning Gold Jewellery
- To ensure the longevity of your gold jewellery, you should be extra careful while cleaning it. Never use any cleaner, solid or liquid that contains bleach. It can permanently discolour gold. Pay extra attention to items studded with precious gemstones.
- Also, always use a bowl to clean your gold trinkets. Never wash them directly under tap water in the sink or wash basin. If you are rinsing the ornaments in the sink, make sure that the drain is covered. You don’t want your favourite ring or earring to end up in the drainage, do you?
- When rinsing your gemstone gold jewellery, do not allow the tap water to flow in a powerful stream.
Gentle cleaning can help your plain gold and gemstone-studded pieces retain their natural sheen. Whenever you are in doubt, visit a trusted jeweller.