How to Clean Gold Jewelry - dummies

By Gill Chilton

Because gold is a soft metal, it needs to be cleaned with care. Gold in jewelry is mixed with stronger metals, such as copper and zinc, before it’s made into jewellery. The higher the carat, the higher the gold content, and the more care you have to take in cleaning it.

Most gold sold today is either 9-carat, which is just over one-third gold, or 18-caret, which is three-quarters gold. Should you be lucky enough to have antique jewellery that’s 22-carat gold, it’s more than 90 percent gold and can be easily bent out of shape, so handle it with total care.

Polishing with a soft cloth is generally all the cleaning that gold jewellery needs or can handle. The soft cloth you use for cleaning your glasses makes a good gold-polisher. Use necklace wraps in your jewellery box to keep chains apart from each other and stones.

Use an old, soft toothbrush to get into the crevices of gold charms and initials. On chain-link watches, bend up each link and use a blunt-edged toothpick to get at dirt that collects in the hinges.

Make cleaning an opportunity to look for signs of wear. Do up the clasps of necklaces and bracelets. Inspect charms for snags.