Wedding rings. Grandma’s brooch. Christmas gifts from your children. Solid gold or gold-plated jewelry often carries far more sentimental value than the material itself is worth.
But gold does not rust or tarnish and, when cared for well, will last decades. With a simple DIY gold jewelry cleaner, looking after your treasured gold jewelry could not be simpler.
Not sure what the best gold jewelry cleaner to make is? Here are some options which will work as a yellow, rose, or white gold jewelry cleaner.
DIY Gold Jewelry Cleaner N.1: Dish Soap
Everyone has dish soap in their home and it might surprise you to learn it makes a great DIY gold jewelry cleaner, too. This option will work on all types of gold jewelry, including those with gemstones and other metals.
Mix a few drops of dish soap with lukewarm water. Boiled water will destroy the settings of semi-precious stones and cold water will harden any dirt, so lukewarm is ideal.
Soak the jewelry for around 30 minutes. Next, grab a soft-bristled toothbrush and scrub into the crevices of your gold jewelry. This step is essential if you have a gold link chain or watch to clean.
Be gentle and resist the urge to scrub harder to get the dirt off quicker. This will only tarnish and scratch your gold jewelry.
With delicate gold pieces, opt for a Q-tip instead of a toothbrush. And if you have gold jewelry with a lot of gemstones, use a washcloth.
Run your jewelry under a lukewarm tap to remove the grime you have scrubbed off. Be careful that you do not drop your jewelry down the sink! Make sure you cover the drain with a bowl or sieve.
Pat your jewelry dry and leave it to completely dry out (away from direct sunlight) on a towel. Be sure to position any gemstones downward so any trapped liquid drips out of the settings.
If you have a gold jewelry polishing cloth, you could give your gold a gentle buff afterward.
DIY Gold Jewelry Cleaner N.2: Ammonia
Not every DIY gold jewelry cleaner will work on every single piece of gold jewelry. Some are more fragile than others and some are dirtier. If your jewelry is very grimy, cleaning gold jewelry with ammonia might be a good option.
But you need to be careful. If your jewelry contains other metals and gems like pearls or opals, then an ammonia solution might not be the best DIY jewelry cleaner. And you should avoid cleaning gold-plated jewelry or fragile jewelry with this method.
To start, mix one part of ammonia with six parts of water. Stir well. Let the jewelry sit in the mixture for no more than one minute or else the chemicals in the fluid will start to corrode your gold jewelry.
Be mindful not to touch the ammonia with your bare hands. Wear gloves if you don’t have any tools to touch the jewelry with.
Wash the ammonia off the jewelry with lukewarm running water, as stated in the method above. Pat the gold jewelry dry with a towel and then leave it to dry completely.
DIY Gold Jewelry Cleaner N.3: Boiled Water
Like the ammonia method, using boiled water is not a good option for every piece of gold jewelry. But it is a less corrosive alternative to using ammonia.
Plain, solid gold can boil with no side effects. So if you have a gold chain bracelet, necklace, or ring then boiling is ideal. But if you have gold jewelry with glued-in gemstones then the temperature increase may loosen their settings.
Also, some gemstones do not react well to high temperatures. Opal, pearl, and moonstones are some examples. But hard stones like diamonds can handle the heat.
And it is an ideal method for very grimy jewelry.
Boil enough water to fill a small mixing bowl with a kettle or on the stove. You can even heat water in your microwave, but be careful not to leave it in for too long.
Put your gold jewelry in a heatproof dish and pour the boiling hot water over the top. You should pour only enough for the water to cover the jewelry.
Wait for the water to cool—around 30 minutes should be more than long enough. Remove the pieces of jewelry, one by one, and scrub each piece.
Again, do not scrub your jewelry too hard. The boiling water should have dislodged the grime, so all you are doing is removing the dirt from the jewelry completely. Pat dry your gold jewelry and leave it out so any trapped moisture can evaporate.
This is one of the most satisfying gold jewelry cleaning techniques because the water should look dirty as it cleans the jewelry. So you can be 100% sure if this method is working.
DIY Gold Jewelry Cleaner N.4: Mixture
If you are not happy with the results of these one-ingredient gold jewelry cleaners, you could try this mixture. It needs more prep but is effective on most gold jewelry.
Mix one tablespoon of salt, one tablespoon of baking soda, and one tablespoon of dish soap in one cup of warm water.
Line a mixing bowl with aluminum foil and pour the mixture on top of the foil. If the mixture starts to fizz, that means it’s working. Add your gold jewelry to the water and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Remove the jewelry from the mixture and scrub with a soft toothbrush. Rinse the jewelry under running water, like the other methods above, and pat dry with a towel.
Once it is dry, you can use a polishing cloth to shine your jewelry to perfection.
Keep Your Bling Sparkling Clean
Cleaning jewelry is a household chore that many skip during their spring clean, but it is 100% worth it and necessary. Jewelry can carry a lot of germs and a regular clean can prolong its wear.
And now you know several ways to make a DIY gold jewelry cleaner, you can keep your jewelry both clean and sparkling for years to come.
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