if you’re lucky enough to own a beautiful gold ring, you’ll want to keep it looking its best. But if you’re not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place!
We’re going to look at how to polish a gold ring, how often to do it, and how to get the best results. So if you want to restore your jewelry to its former glory, let’s get started!
1. How often to polish a Gold Ring
Like silver, gold is a relatively soft metal, so it needs to be handled with care. And the finer the gold, the softer and more fragile it is. A ring made of 9 karat gold will be more resilient than an 18 karat gold one.
Too much polishing can actually wear away the surface, so only do it when it’s really necessary. If you’re taking your ring to a jeweler for professional polishing, once or twice a year will be plenty.
If you’re using less abrasive methods, such as a polishing cloth, you’ll be able to polish more frequently. Even so, don’t clean your ring more often than once a month.
2. Avoid the need for frequent cleaning
So if cleaning your gold ring too often can damage it, it’s a good idea to avoid getting it dirty! Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can do this.
Remove your ring when you get into the shower. That might sound strange – after all, a shower is just clean water, right? Well, that’s usually not the case.
If you’re using soap or shower gel, it will leave behind an oily layer on your ring. That will dull the appearance of the gold. Each time you shower, another layer will build up. Over time, that will mean your ring no longer looks bright and shiny.
Set it to one side before you get into the shower, and the gold will stay looking brighter for longer.
It’s not just soap and shower gel that can cause this issue. Cosmetics, hairspray, hand lotion and perfume can also build up on gold. Avoid them coming into you contact with your ring to keep it looking its best.
Another good idea is to avoid wearing your ring in environments where it can get scratched and dirty. Gardening is a major culprit here.
Even with gardening gloves, particles of soil can get in at the cuff and find their way to your ring. It’s much better to remove your ring and keep it somewhere safe until you’ve finished. The same goes for sport, housework, or anything else where your hands may get knocked, sweaty or grubby.
And if you don’t wear your ring every day, keep it in a pouch or its own box. That way you’ll avoid it being scratched by other items in your jewelry box.
3. Preparing for a routine polish
No matter how careful you are, the time will come when you need to clean your gold ring. The good news is that you won’t need any expensive equipment or chemicals to do this. All that’s required is water, mild dish soap, baking soda, a toothbrush with soft bristles and a soft cloth.
There are a couple of things to bear in mind before you get started.
Firstly, not all rings are suitable for this treatment. If your gold ring is set with stones that aren’t white, red or blue, it’s best to take it to a jeweler. Stones with different colors can react adversely to even the mildest chemicals. Get some professional advice before proceeding.
Secondly, make sure that your toothbrush hasn’t been used for brushing anyone’s teeth! Although older toothbrushes are likely to be soft, they’ll almost certainly carry toothpaste residue. Toothpaste is abrasive and may damage your ring.
A new brush with soft bristles is what you need here. Baby toothbrushes are a good bet. They’re also smaller, making them easier to uses on little items like rings.
4. Polishing your Gold ring
Fill a bowl with warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap. The water shouldn’t be too hot. If it is, you risk scalding your fingers and damaging softer gemstones.
There are different views on whether baking soda should be added to the mix. It’s mildly abrasive, so if your jewelry isn’t very dirty it won’t be necessary.
But if soap and water alone isn’t cutting it, adding a small amount can make all the difference. Use it sparingly – no more than half a teaspoon – to avoid scratching your ring.
When you’ve prepared your soapy water, place your ring gently into the bowl. If you’ve got a plastic straining basket, place your ring inside to avoid it scratching against the bowl.
Leave it in the water for a few minutes, and no more than ten. Now remove the ring and scrub it gently with your soft-bristled toothbrush. Pay particular attention to any grooves or crevices in the design. But remember, be gentle. Scrubbing too hard can scratch the gold.
When you’ve finished, place your ring under warm running water to remove the soapy solution. If you’re doing this in a sink, make sure you put the plug in first! You don’t want to lose your ring down the drain.
When all the solution has been removed, take a clean, soft cloth and pat the ring gently dry. Take care to avoid catching the settings of any gemstones in the fabric. If you prefer to avoid this risk, you can leave your ring to dry naturally in the air. Don’t use a paper towel, as this can scratch the gold.
5. Using a jeweler’s cloth
Jeweler’s cloths are available from jewelers as well as many hardware stores and supermarkets. They’re not expensive, and they’re a good way of adding a final polish to your ring.
When you’ve finished cleaning with soapy water and your ring is thoroughly dry, it’s time to use the cloth. Simply rub it gently over the surface of the ring. The cloth will remove tarnish and any remaining debris.
Some cloths have two different sides, one for cleaning and the other for polishing. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully for the best results.
6. How to remove minor scratches from your Gold ring
It’s important to understand that by removing scratches, you’re actually removing part of the surface of your ring. That makes it particularly important not to do it too often and to take care as you polish.
For this process you’ll need a bowl of warm water, dish soap and ammonia. You can buy ammonia at a drugstore or hardware store. It’s a strong chemical, so make sure you wear rubber gloves when using it. If you do get any on your skin, rinse it off quickly with lots of clean running water.
The first step is to add a couple of drops of dish soap to the water. Place your ring inside and leave it to soak for a few minutes. Then remove it and rub it gently with a soft toothbrush.
Alternatively, you can add a couple of drops of dish soap to a soft wet cloth. Then use this to wipe the ring. If your ring has any gemstones in it, choose a cloth that doesn’t have long fibers. They may otherwise catch on the gemstone or its setting.
When you’ve brushed or wiped the whole surface, rinse the ring thoroughly under running water. Now leave it to air dry, just as with routine cleaning.
Now put on those rubber gloves. Take a second bowl and fill it with one part ammonia and six parts water. When the ring is completely dry, place it into the ammonia solution. Leave it there for one minute – no more.
Now remove the ring from the bowl. You can either dry it with a tissue, or let it air dry. Take a close look to see if the scratches have been removed. If not, return it to the ammonia solution, again for a maximum of one minute. Remove it, dry it, and inspect it again. Repeat as required.
7. How to remove deeper scratches from your Gold ring
The ammonia method can be effective for minor scratches, but it won’t work for deeper abrasions. If your ring has been more seriously scratched, take it to a jeweler. They will be able to use special welders with lasers to fill in the scratches.
After the lasers have done their work, the jeweler will buff and polish the ring to a smooth shine. You shouldn’t be able to see any sign of the scratches when it’s finished.
Bear in mind, though, that this is quite an intensive process. Doing it too often can weaken your ring, so don’t choose this option unless you really need to. Waiting until there are lots of scratches before taking action is the best way to prolong the life of your jewelry.
Ready for cleaner, brighter jewelry?
We hope we’ve shown that there are a range of ways to keep your gold ring looking great. The best approach is to minimize the need for polishing in the first place. Remove your ring when you shower or exercise, or when your hands may get dirty. That will keep the gold bright for longer.
Don’t be tempted to polish your gold too regularly either. Routine cleaning once or twice a year should be more than sufficient.
And when you do clean your ring, use mild soap and water. Baking soda can be used to remove heavier dirt, and ammonia for minor scratches. But if your ring has deeper abrasions, take it to a jeweler. They’ll be able to get good results with professional equipment.