Do you love white gold? Have you always been attracted to the sight and appearance of it? Did you make it clear to your significant other that you wanted your engagement ring to be in white gold? Have you received other white gold jewelry from them?
If so, then you probably have numerous white gold items that you have come to love and cherish. To take care of your white gold, you will need to clean it often and do everything you can to protect it.
Why you are right to love white gold
Before you learn how to care for your white gold, you should have confidence in the value of it. White gold is real gold. Like yellow-colored gold, it is mixed with other metals to make it stronger and more durable.
White gold is plated with an alloy called rhodium, which protects it from scratching and scuffing. The coat of rhodium is what gives this form of gold its bright white sheen. Although white gold is less expensive than platinum, it is no less valuable. And of course, it is absolutely stunning.
You may have other jewelry that you received as gifts or purchased on your own. If they are all made of white gold, then you must do your utmost to keep them looking as shiny and bright as the day you got them.
To maintain the luster of white gold, you will have to clean it regularly. This must be done to remove dirt, soap, lotion, and makeup residue, and the many other oils that you put on your body. Over time, these will dull the surface of your jewelry and degrade the shiny finish that you have come to love.
You can clean your white gold with products that are already in your home. You should carry out this cleaning at least once a month. It should take you no longer than 30 minutes, but this will depend on how many items you have to clean.
Here are the steps to clean your gold:
Step 1. Get your cleaning supplies together
Clear out a space on your kitchen or bathroom counter and lay out your gold. You should clean all your white gold jewelry at once to save time and effort.
Gather all the supplies you will need in the same spot. These include a bowl, warm water, mild dish soap, baking soda, a soft brush, and a microfiber towel. In fact, you may want to purchase a towel that has been made specifically for polishing jewelry.
After you have gathered your supplies, you should inspect the jewelry for loose gemstones or damaged holding prongs. You want to do this to avoid accidentally knocking your diamond off the ring and down the drain as you clean.
Step 2. Soak the white gold
The next step is to add a few drops of mild dish soap to warm water in your bowl. Stir this solution and insert your gold.
Let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes. It is best to use a timer to avoid leaving it for too long. You should never use hot water to soak your white gold.
Step 3. Clean the white gold
To clean the gold, you will need to use your soft brush and baking soda. First, form a paste by mixing the baking soda with water. Next, apply a little paste to your item and scrub it using a soft brush.
You can purchase soft brushes specifically designed for this task, but a soft toothbrush will do. Be gentle when you scrub to avoid scratching the jewelry or wearing down the rhodium plating on it.
Step 4. Rinse the white gold
You will now need to rinse the cleaning products off your jewelry. Before you do so, block the drain. This will prevent you accidentally dropping your ring down the drain. To rinse the white gold, place it under a stream of warm water.
Again, do not use hot water to clean white gold. Make sure that you get all the cleaning products off, as cleaner residue can degrade the appearance of your jewelry.
Step 5. Dry
Use the soft cloth to pat dry the white gold. Remove all moisture from the crevices.
You can also use the cloth to buff the jewelry, which will increase its luster. Careful drying will also help remove leftover cleaning residue and prevent water spots.
Cleaning soft stone white gold jewelry
If your white gold engagement ring and other jewelry has stones that are tough and durable, you can use the cleaning method laid out above.
You must use a different technique for pearls, onyx, and other less durable stones. You should not soak these stones in cleaning solutions.
It is better to dip your cloth into soapy water, and then rub and dab the metal parts of the jewelry. You can then wipe the stones with a damp cloth.
You may need the help of a professional
If you have cleaned your white gold jewelry and it still does not shine, then you may have a different kind of problem. The rhodium plating on white gold wears down after a while.
A process of yellowing kicks in which no amount of cleaning can stop. The only way to arrest the fading of your white gold is to take it to a jeweler.
The latter can re-coat your jewelry, which will restore its shine. You can also have a jeweler clean your white gold if you do not have the time or inclination to do it yourself.
Caring for your white gold
There are actions and measures you can take to preserve the sheen and finish of your white gold. Here are some of them:
- Excessive friction can wear down the rhodium plating. That is why you should store your white gold separately from jewelry that is made of other metals. This will not only preserve the plating; it will also avoid it from being scratched.
- Store your white gold in a soft-lined box. You should lay the pieces out separately. Do not throw everything into a bag. This will also cause dullness and damage.
- Avoid exposing your white gold to ammonia and chlorine. Rhodium plating is vulnerable to such harsh chemicals. Chlorine is an especially destructive. It will wear down your ring parts over time and can cause damage that is irreparable. Remove your white gold before you do household chores and other hands-on tasks. You should also remove it before you go swimming. Do not wear your jewelry while bathing, showering, or soaking in a hot tub.
- You probably do not want to remove your white gold engagement ring and wedding band before you go to bed, but it is best to do so. You will preserve the quality and shine of the ring much longer if you get into this habit.
- Unless you have protective gloves, you should remove your white gold rings while gardening. The last thing you want to do is lose your rings in the dirt. And if you garden without protective gloves, the dirt will get into every nook in your rings, making them harder to clean.
- With the exception of your wedding rings, you should try not to wear your white gold jewelry every day. You should get into the practice of donning white gold necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and other items only on special occasions.
What if your white gold is damaged or scratched?
If your white gold jewelry is scratched, then you should take it to a professional jeweler to have the scratches polished out. Try not to do this too often, as over-polishing your items will wear them down faster.
In any case, you should have your white gold jewelry re-plated every two years. You may need to get your wedding rings done more frequently if you prefer not to take them off while bathing, swimming, or doing household chores.
You will also need to take your gold in for re-plating if you work a great deal with your hands or come into different chemicals frequently. It may not be practical for you to take off your white gold rings whenever you come into contact with harsh chemicals.
In this instance, you should plan to visit your jeweler more often.
There are many reasons to love white gold. It has a warm and elegant appearance, and it gives off a sheen that is simply beautiful. If you have received or purchased white gold jewelry, you will need to take steps to clean and maintain it if you are to treasure it for years to come.
You can clean your white gold jewelry with products that you probably keep in your cabinets. To maintain the luster of white gold, you should clean it at least once a month. In between cleanings, you want to get into habits that will help preserve your jewelry.
You should avoid exposing your white gold to harsh chemicals, especially chlorine. You should get into the practice of removing your jewelry before swimming, bathing, and sleeping. You should also set your jewelry aside when gardening and doing other hands-on tasks.
To maintain the look of your jewelry, you will need to have it re-plated every couple of months. If you are in a job or profession that brings you in constant contact with chemicals, then you may need to re-plate your gold more often.