No need to pack up your favorite gold rings and bracelets to take in to your local jeweler for a cleaning. You only need a few simple household tools and ingredients to restore the shine and get rid of the grime. Luckily,gold doesn’t develop that dull tarnished finish over time like silver does. But, gold can still easily build up dirt and grime with just normal, every day use. Below are just a few of my most useful tips and tricks for getting your gold jewelry sparkly once again.
Dish Detergent – Just a few drops of liquid dish detergent in a bowl of warm water will do wonders. Instead of ordinary tap water you can also try a sodium-free seltzer water or club soda. The carbonation from these can help loosen accumulated dirt and debris. Allow the jewelry to soak for about 15 minutes. Then, gently scrub the jewelry with a soft-bristle toothbrush, the softer the better. (Note: Rinse with warm running water. If you’re rinsing your jewelry in a sink, plug or cover the drain so that you don’t accidentally lose your jewelry if it slips out of your hands.) Blot dry your jewelry with a soft cloth. And finally let the jewelry sit out on a towel to air dry completely
Toothpaste – Mix a small quantity of toothpaste and water. Squeeze about an inch of toothpaste into a bowl and mix with a tablespoon or two of water to make a light paste. As a mild abrasive, toothpaste is good for loosening up grime that’s accumulated on your favorite pieces of gold jewelry without scratching the jewelry. You can use this method for frequently-worn gold items that need a quick clean. Then scrub with an old, soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub off grime. The toothpaste can be applied to a cloth to hand polish an item as well. Rinse generously in clean water.
Boiling Water – Gold itself can be boiled with no problems. But, boiling delicate gemstones (like opals, pearls, coral, and moonstones) can cause them to crack, especially if the jewelry is cold before boiling. However, boiling is a great choice if you’re looking to clean very dirty jewelry made entirely out of gold or gold jewelry that contains only stronger gemstones (like diamonds). Firstly, bring water to a boil. You don’t need to boil a lot of water, just enough to immerse all of the jewelry in. Place your gold jewelry in a sturdy bowl or dish that won’t be damaged by boiling water (Pyrex or metal cooking bowls/dishes are perfect choices). Carefully pour the water over your jewelry. (Note: Be very careful not to spill or splash by pouring too rapidly – boiling water can cause serious burns.) When your jewelry is completely submerged, you’ve added a sufficient amount water. Then, just wait for the water to cool. When you can comfortably touch the water, you can remove the jewelry. Scrub each piece of jewelry with a soft brush, then dab it dry with a soft towel and allow it to sit and air-dry completely.
Ammonia – Ammonia is a good candidate for occasional deep cleans, but should never be used frequently. It’s very effective in removing dirt and grime, but cleaning too frequently with ammonia can leave your gold jewelry damaged. Add one part ammonia to six parts water and stir gently to ensure an even mixture. Soak your jewelry in the mixture for no more than one minute. Rinse the jewelry thoroughly under running water. Gently dry the jewelry with a soft polishing cloth. Allow jewelry to air dry on a towel completely before wearing it. (Note: Do not do this with jewelry containing pearls, because it could dull or damage their delicate surface.)