The Ultimate Guide on How to Clean Gold Jewelry

gold locket


Do you have gold jewelry that has seen better days? It needs a little something-something to make it shiny and clean again. You can clean your gold jewelry at home using a fairly straightforward cleaning method and some common cleaners around your home.

We’ve got the ultimate guide on how to clean your gold jewelry from home and give a few tips on getting your jewelry to shine. To avoid a costly cleaning bill from a jeweler, you’ll want to try one of the cleaning solutions below.

How to Clean Gold Jewelry from Home

To clean gold jewelry at home, the process is pretty basic. You’ll want to:

  1. Choose a cleaning solution. Each cleaning solution will have a slightly varied method for cleaning your gold jewelry.
  2. Apply the cleaning solution based on the preferred method for the solution. This may mean soaking your jewelry in the solution, spot cleaning with a sponge or toothbrush, or wiping with a soft cloth.
  3. Rinse your gold jewelry to remove the cleaning solution. After cleaning, you’ll want to give your jewelry a thorough rinse to remove any residue from the cleaner. Then pat the jewelry piece dry with a soft towel or paper towel.
  4. Buff the metal after the jewelry has dried for extra shine. This isn’t a necessary step, but if you like your gold to shine, then it’s essential.

Related Link: Sterling Silver vs. White Gold: Which is Right for You

A Few Don’ts Before You Start Cleaning

Before we tell you what DIY cleaning solutions you can use to spit-shine your gold jewelry, we need to cover some absolute NO NOs. Do not skip this section. We don’t want you to damage or destroy your jewelry while trying to clean it.

A Few Don’ts You Shouldn’t Mess With:

  • Don’t use boiling water or baking soda when cleaning gold jewelry with gems or diamonds. Boiling can cause the stones to come loose from their settings.
  • Don’t use vinegar if you’re not 100% sure that your jewelry is real gold. If your jewelry is gold-plated, then the vinegar can discolor the metal.
  • Don’t use dark ale beer if using beer as a cleaner.
  • Don’t clean gemstones with household cleaners because they can be porous and could damage. Household cleaners CAN clean diamonds, sapphires, and rubies safely without damaging the stones.
Soap bubbles in a person’s hand.

What Liquid Cleans Gold Jewelry?

You can safely use any of the following cleaning solutions to sparkle your authentic gold jewelry. If your jewelry is gold-plated, you may want to stick to solutions that won’t discolor or tarnish the metal. The best at-home cleaning solutions for gold:

  • Jewelry cleaner: It’s actually designed specifically for cleaning jewelry without tarnishing or discoloring the metal. You’ll have to pay for it, but it’s a sure thing. Follow the cleaning instructions on the bottle.
  • Liquid soap: Your liquid dish soap mixed with warm water is a safe solution for gold and gold-plated. You’ll want to soak the jewelry in the warm soapy solution for about 20 minutes and then scrub with a soft brush like a toothbrush.
  • Vinegar: Only use with real gold jewelry. You can use either apple cider vinegar or white vinegar. You’ll want to fill a cup with enough vinegar to submerge the jewelry. Do not dilute with water. Soak the jewelry in the vinegar for ten to fifteen minutes. If you are worried about your gemstones reacting to the vinegar, you can soak a soft cloth and gently scrub the jewelry instead. Then scrub with a toothbrush to remove any additional dirt.
  • Baking Soda: Mix a ¼ cup baking soda with 2 Tbls of water to form a paste. Dab a sponge in the paste and scrub your jewelry gently. 
  • Beer: Using a soft cloth, you can dab it in the beer and gently rub the gold jewelry.
  • Be careful not to rub gems or diamonds. Use a second towel to dry the jewelry when done.

At LaCkore Couture, we love gold. Shop our favorite collections for high fashion statement pieces.

Related Link: What is 925 Sterling Silver and How Do You Recognize It

2 bottles of apple cider vinegar

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Gold Jewelry

We answer your most pressing questions. If you have a question that isn’t in this section, leave it in the comments, and we’ll try to answer it.

Can You Use Vinegar to Clean Gold Jewelry?

Yes. Because gold is a stable metal, vinegar does not cause discoloration, disintegration, or developing crystals on real gold jewelry. Gold-plated jewelry is another story. You’ll want to avoid vinegar because it can tarnish and discolor jewelry that has other metals.

What is the Best Homemade Gold Cleaner?

This is a bit debatable. But we would have to say using Dawn dish soap mixed with warm water is probably the best because it can clean your gold jewelry and your gold-plated jewelry without damaging or discoloring.

While some cleaners may do a better job with real gold, if you don’t know if your jewelry is authentic gold, you could accidentally damage your pieces. Dawn is a fairly safe and gentle cleanser. And most homes have Dawn dish soap under their kitchen sink, so it’s very easy to use.

How Often Should You Clean Gold Jewelry?

According to Brides magazine, their experts recommend cleaning your jewelry every couple of weeks, but polishing should be done every few months because it can wear on the metal.

How Do Professionals Clean Gold Jewelry?

Jewelers use ultrasonic cleaners with high-frequency sound waves that pull dirt and grime away from your jewelry. They also use safe chemicals to treat your jewelry without damaging or scratching the piece. This ensures that the jewelry isn’t damaged during cleaning.

A professional cleaning should restore your jewelry to look new. While it can be more expensive than at-home care, you’re paying for their expertise, tools, and high-quality cleaning solutions.

How Often Should You Professionally Clean Your Gold Jewelry?

Most jewelers recommend that you professionally clean your jewelry at least once a year. If your jewelry uses white gold, you will definitely want to take it to a professional cleaner because they can coat and polish the white gold to restore its luster.

How Can I Brighten My Gold Jewelry Quickly?

Is your gold jewelry looking a touch dull? If you are sure the jewelry is 14 - 18K gold, you can quickly brighten it using this at-home cleaning remedy:

  1. Line a cup or bowl with aluminum foil.
  2. Mix 1 T baking soda, 1 T salt, and 1 C hot water, and pour the mixture into the aluminum-lined cup.
  3. Soak your jewelry for ten minutes.
  4. Rinse your gold jewelry and pat dry with a soft cloth for improved brightness.

Keep in mind this is for 14 – 18K gold. Cleaning using this method could affect gold-plated or fake gold jewelry by turning the metal a different color. If you aren’t sure if your gold jewelry is real gold, you may want to hold off cleaning with this method.

Also, if the jewelry has gemstones, be sure to remove the jewelry after ten minutes because the solution could loosen the stones from their setting. Best not to leave it unattended so that you don’t get distracted. Otherwise, your jewelry might be damaged if you hop in the tub for a deep soak or get sucked into an episode of Bridgerton.

Can Tarnished Gold Jewelry be Cleaned?

Yes. Depending on the severity of the tarnish, it may take several cleanings before removing all the tarnish. But each cleaning should improve the appearance. For particularly stubborn tarnish, you may want to take your gold jewelry to be professionally cleaned. The jeweler will use more effective chemicals for better, faster results.

Does Coke Clean Gold Jewelry?

Yes. Coke can remove grime that tarnishes gold and other metals. Soak your jewelry in a Coke bath overnight. Then drain the Coke and rinse your gold jewelry in warm water. Pat dry and admire that shine.

Take Caution: Coke can be very abrasive to some jewelry pieces. It can strip rust and paint off metal from long exposure. While this method can work, we won’t necessarily recommend it. You’re probably better off with one of our previously mentioned cleaning solutions that are so hard on gold.

Do you love gold jewelry as much as us? Check out LaCkore’s bestselling gold jewelry.

Related Link: How to Clean Beaded Jewelry: Clean Beads Easily

Cleaning Your Gold Jewelry At Home is a Good Idea

By cleaning your gold jewelry at home, you’ll save time, money and keep your jewelry looking sparkly and clean. And the best part is that it doesn’t take that long to clean your jewelry, making something you can add to your monthly cleaning routine.

LaCkore Couture sells unique, artisan jewelry that can elevate your style and create a standout look. LaCkore offers sophisticated statement pieces and timeless signature jewelry to complement your everyday look.

Discovered one of your necklaces isn’t real gold? Shop LaCkore’s full line of trendy gold and silver necklaces.

Related Link: What is Rose Gold? Everything You Need to Know