How to Clean Tarnished Jewelry
Gold-plated jewelry has a similar appearance and texture to real gold, but it may tarnish more easily due to its composition of gold and less expensive metals.
If you have a favorite watch, chain, or bracelet, it is recommended to clean it regularly to keep it in good condition, especially when it becomes tarnished.
Here is all the information you need.
What are the causes of gold plating tarnishing?
Gold is a durable metal that can withstand most elements and is of higher quality compared to other metals. However, gold plating tends to tarnish for this very reason.
Yellow or white gold plating involves applying a thin layer of gold onto a base metal, creating the appearance of real gold at a lower cost. This method can be more budget-friendly than gold-filled jewelry by combining the plated material with a less expensive metal alloy.
Metal alloys are often prone to tarnishing, which may not occur with pure gold. Despite the presence of precious stones and other decorations, these pieces often lose their original shine over time.
Gold-plated pieces have a tendency to wear away more quickly than solid gold jewelry due to their chemical composition. However, certain habits and lifestyles can further accelerate this wear.
Firstly, abrasive cleaning solutions, bleach, and detergent have the potential to diminish the shine of your jewelry. These substances can erode the outer layer of gold pieces, resulting in a loss of luster and a pristine appearance. Although it may be tempting to use dishwashing liquid or toothpaste for a thorough cleaning, it is generally not recommended.
Please ensure that you remove any gold-plated items before cleaning the house or using harsh detergents. Also, be cautious not to use abrasive materials or harsh scrubbing tools like toothbrushes when cleaning your plated pieces. We will discuss this further later on.
Water, including soapy water, can have a negative impact on metal. Oxidation, a chemical reaction, occurs when metals come into contact with water. With frequent exposure to liquids, a piece of metal can lose its shine and potentially develop rust, giving it an aged appearance.
Moisture typically does not impact the gold in a gold-plated piece, but it can be abrasive towards the other metals in the alloy. It is recommended that you remove your gold-plated pieces before activities such as showering, swimming, or engaging in strenuous exercise that may cause excessive sweating.
Wear and Tear
If you enjoy wearing your gold-plated pieces frequently, it is important to note that while gold itself is a durable metal that resists tarnish, repeated wear can result in smudges, knicks, and scratches.
Additionally, the storage method for gold-plated objects can impact their long-term appearance. Gold is relatively soft and can develop scratches and wear away its plating if stored alongside other metals.
Cleaning Gold Plated Jewelry
There are various methods available for cleaning gold-plated jewelry, depending on the extent of the damage.
As a first step, it is recommended to gently clean the gold jewelry with a microfiber cloth to remove any visible dirt and smudges. This method is safe for almost all types of gold jewelry and ensures that the gold plating remains intact and the piece retains its shine.
If necessary, you can clean your jewelry by soaking it in a solution of mild liquid soap and warm water. In a small bowl, create a soapy foam and let the jewelry sit in the solution for 10 to 20 minutes.
To clean the piece, first rinse it under lukewarm water to remove residue. Then, use a soft cloth to remove dirt and debris, ensuring to dry the piece completely before storing. If a lint-free cloth is not available, air drying is also an option.
If there are only a few physical dirt or smudges on the outer surface of your piece, a simple wipe down with a cleaning cloth or soft cotton swab should suffice.
How to address the issue of worn-away gold plating.
If the gold plating on your necklace or ring has become tarnished and lost its outer layer, you may consider getting it replated. Most jewelers offer this service at a reasonable cost. However, since gold-plated pieces are typically inexpensive, it may be more practical to replace the item altogether.
To avoid any inconvenience, it is recommended to purchase your jewelry from a trusted retailer. Icetruck is a well-known provider of hip-hop jewelry and offers a 1-Year guarantee on all plated pieces. If your jewelry breaks or becomes damaged due to regular use, we will assist you in resolving the issue.
Explore our collection of gold-plated jewelry to discover the perfect piece for you, showcasing quality and confidence from the very beginning.
Tips on safeguarding your gold-plated items.
To keep your gold-plated pieces clean, it's best not to expose them in the first place. Storing them in a dark environment, away from the elements, is crucial. Jewelry boxes are a good choice for this purpose, as they also prevent scratching. At Icetruck, we provide soft jewelry pouches with our pieces for added protection.
It is important to remove your favorite piece of jewelry before swimming or cleaning as chemicals and moisture can damage gold-plated jewelry.
Gold-plated jewelry resembles solid gold fine jewelry but is less durable due to its thin layer of gold and metal alloy base, which is less resistant to wear and tear.
If your piece is exposed to moisture, chemicals, or hard objects, it can become tarnished. However, if you notice grime, body oils, or grease on the piece, there are simple methods to clean it.
The recommended method involves using mild soap and warm water to clean the jewelry. Soak the jewelry, then remove and rinse it under water before drying it with a microfiber cloth. Alternatively, you can use a polishing cloth to wipe away any smudges on the outside.