Are you looking for how to clean your gold jewelry? If you are a lover of gold like I am, you would understand and appreciate the value of bright jewelry.
So if you find that your gold jewelry looks dull, it is time to give it some good ol’ cleaning. And one of the ways to do this is by using baking soda and vinegar.
In this guide, I will show you how to clean gold jewelry with baking soda and vinegar in simple steps.
What You Will Need
- Two small containers, preferably plastic
- Baking soda
- Sponge or wads of cotton wool
Steps to Clean Your Gold Jewelry with Baking Soda and Vinegar
The following are steps you take when you want to clean gold jewelry with baking soda and vinegar:
Step 1: Mix Baking Soda and Water
Measure out the baking soda. It would be great if you have a measuring cup or spoon. I measured out 3 teaspoonfuls of baking soda. But if you have none, don’t worry.
Simply pour a small amount of baking soda into one of the plastic containers. Separate it into 3 equal sizes. Then, pour an amount of water equal to just one part of the soda into the container.
Turn the soda and the water to mix them thoroughly. Keep turning them until you have a paste in the container.
Before you measure out the soda, bear in mind the jewelry you want to clean. How many are there? What size are they?
If you want to clean just one gold ring, there is no need for you to pour out a lot of baking soda. A little amount would suffice. And the amount would inform you of the amount of water with which to mix it.
Step 2: Apply Paste to Jewelry
Scoop the paste in small quantities and apply it to the jewelry. Use a sponge or a wad of cotton, whichever is available to you.
I like to use wads of cotton wool because they are easier for me to handle. And though they are more absorbent than sponges, they do the job better.
Make you cover every surface of the gold jewelry with the baking soda paste. This is why you need to take your time and pay attention.
When the jewelry is completely covered with the paste, put it into the second plastic container.
Step 3: Soak Jewelry in Vinegar
Pour some of the vinegar into the container with the jewelry. Be sure that the vinegar covers the jewelry so that it is totally immersed. White vinegar is usually the best for this cleaning process.
Now, allow the jewelry to soak in the vinegar for about 5 minutes. During this time, do not touch it or move the container. Leave it to sit still.
Step 4: Rinse in Water
After 5 minutes, take the jewelry out of the vinegar. Put it under running water, preferably warm, and rinse it thoroughly. Make sure you remove every trace of the baking soda paste so there is no leftover residue.
It is better you use running water because the paste will flow out. If you rinse in a bowl of water, you would be simply leaving room for the soda to stick to the jewelry.
And no matter how many bowls of water you use, they won’t be as effective as rinsing under running water. You would be doing more harm to the gold than good. Believe me, I know.
Step 5: Dry Jewelry and Inspect
With a soft cloth or towel, dry the jewelry, removing every trace of moisture. Do a thorough job of this; you don’t want water on your gold in storage.
Now inspect the gold jewelry to see if the cleaning process got all the dirt on it. If it still looks dull or you are not satisfied, repeat the cleaning process.
This method is easy, simple and, best of all, cheap, right? None of us can resist this combination. I know it works like magic.
It is important to point out the importance of using a cotton wad or a sponge. I know the desire to thoroughly scrub the jewelry to remove ingrained dirt so you want to use a brush. Don’t give in to it.
If you use a brush, you will scratch the surface of the jewelry, permanently defacing it. This is one thing you cannot fix.
One more thing: if that piece of jewelry you want to clean has any gemstone embedded in it, don’t use this cleaning method. It is likely to damage or tarnish the stone.
Other Methods to Use
There are a few other methods of cleaning your gold jewelry that I want to share with you. The ingredients needed are not as harsh as those used in the first method. What’s more, they are friendlier to gemstones and precious stones.
So, if you would rather not use baking soda and vinegar, try any of the following:
Baking Soda in Boiling Water Method
This is a mild solution but it still works wonders in cleaning gold jewelry.
What You Will Need
- Baking soda
- Boiling water
- Baking bowl or pan
- Aluminum pan or aluminum foil
The following are steps to clean your gold jewelry using boiling water and baking soda:
Step 1: Line Bowl with Aluminum
Take the baking bowl and line it with some of the aluminum foil. Place the shiny part of the foil face up. If you have an aluminum baking or frying pan, all the better.
Why I am stressing the aluminum part is that the gold needs to be touching it while in hot water.
Step 2: Cover Jewelry with Baking Soda
Place the gold jewelry inside the bowl and cover it with baking soda. You need to pour the baking soda so that it covers every inch of the jewelry. Leave no part peaking out.
Step 3: Pour Boiling Water
Take the boiling water and pour it over the gold jewelry covered with baking soda. Depending on the number of gold pieces you are cleaning, you can measure the water using cups.
Just make sure to submerge the jewelry completely. Then, allow it to sit in the hot water for about 5 minutes.
Step 4: Rinse Jewelry
After 5 minutes, scoop the jewelry out of the water and rinse it under running water, preferably cold this time.
You can also choose to rinse it in a bowl of cold water. I know, I said not to do this when rinsing the jewelry. But this is why it is permissible here:
In the first method, you applied a thick paste to the jewelry. In this method, you soaked the jewelry in water and baking soda. The presence of the water won’t allow much of the soda to adhere to the jewelry.
In other words, the chances of the soda sticking to the jewelry are far less in the second instance than in the first. Besides, you are not using vinegar.
The most important part here is to rinse the jewelry until no residue of the baking soda remains on it.
Step 5: Dry Jewelry
Dry the jewelry completely with a soft cloth or towel, removing every trace of moisture. It helps to let it sit out a bit before you store it so that it can air-dry.
Baking Soda and Dish-washing Soap Method
This method also employs a mild solution that is not harsh on gems.
What You Will Need
- A bowl
- A cup of water
- A teaspoon of dish-washing soap
- A teaspoon of baking soda
- A toothbrush with soft bristles
- A soft cloth
Note: These measurements are the bare minimum. If you have a lot of gold jewelry to clean, you can increase the measurements according to your needs.
Take the following steps to clean your gold jewelry using baking soda and dish-washing soap:
Step 1: Mix Ingredients
Pour the baking soda, dish-washing soap and water into the bowl. Stir all the ingredients until they mix thoroughly.
Step 2: Soak Jewelry
Put the jewelry into the bowl with the mixture and allow it to soak for about 20 minutes.
Step 3: Scrub Jewelry
Take the toothbrush and scrub the jewelry gently after it soaks for 20 minutes. You can also choose to use your fingers to scrub it. This depends on the dirt.
Step 4: Rinse Thoroughly
Rinse it thoroughly under running water to remove traces of the soap and soda. Dry it completely after this.
Tips for Maintaining Your Gold Jewelry
Here are free tips to keep your jewelry looking great all the time. They work for me:
Don’t Wear It While Working Out or Cooking
Sweat or heat makes it look old and dull. If you don’t want to constantly clean your gold jewelry, remove them before going to the gym or the kitchen.
Separate Different Jewelry Types
Putting two different types of jewelry in one box may cause damages. If one has sharp edges or baubles, it may roll and scratch the other, defacing it.
Store in Airtight Boxes
It is best to use a box that is lined with cloth. It will help preserve the polish better. If you cannot find a box like this, wrap the jewelry in a soft cloth before storing it.
Using baking soda and vinegar to clean your gold jewelry is one of the simplest and cheapest methods.
But you have other methods to choose from, methods that don’t involve harsh ingredients. They are:
- Boiling water and baking soda method
- Baking soda and dish-washing soap method
However, whichever method you choose to use, make sure you speak with your jeweler to know what is best for it.
Feel free to ask questions, if you have any, in the comment section.