How to Clean Gold Plated Jewelry: Step by Step Guide

gold-plated earrings

Why We Love Gold-Plated Jewelry

Gold-plated jewelry is pretty and perfect for anyone who likes the look of gold. It's not too expensive and can be worn for all kinds of events, making it a popular choice.

What is Gold-Plated Jewelry?

Gold-plated jewelry has a thin layer of gold on top of another metal. It looks just like real gold but is much more affordable. This makes it great for all sorts of jewelry styles.

Does Gold Electroplate Tarnish?

Gold electroplated jewelry can get tarnish, or a bit dull and discolored, as time goes by. This happens when the thin gold layer on top wears away and the metal underneath starts to show. If it touches water or certain chemicals, it can change color. Taking good care of your jewelry helps keep it shiny and looking like new.

gold-plated jewelry

Cleaning Gold-Plated Jewelry: Step by Step

Proper cleaning is essential for keeping your gold-plated jewelry in top condition. Here’s a detailed guide on how to do it safely and effectively:

Step 1: Preparing Your Cleaning Space

Create a safe and clean area to work. Lay down a soft towel or cloth to protect the jewelry from any scratches. Gather all the necessary cleaning supplies: mild dish soap, warm water, a soft-bristled brush (like a toothbrush), and a lint-free cloth.

Tell if dish soap is mild:

The label should say "gentle" or "mild." Mild soap is usually pH-balanced and free from strong fragrances and dyes.

Avoid soaps with rough ingredients or strong chemicals. Hypoallergenic soaps are often a safe bet. If you're not sure, try the soap on a small part of your jewelry first to see if it's gentle enough.

Step 2: Creating a Gentle Cleaning Solution

In a small bowl, mix warm water with a few drops of mild dish soap to create a soapy solution. Avoid using hot water as it can be harsh on the gold plating.

Step 3: Soaking the Jewelry

Place your gold-plated jewelry in the soapy water. Let it soak for about 5 to 10 minutes. This loosens any dirt or oils that have accumulated on the surface.

Step 4: Gently Scrubbing

Take each piece of jewelry out of the water and gently scrub it with a soft-bristled brush. Focus on areas where dirt might accumulate, like crevices or engravings. Be gentle to avoid scratching the gold plating.

Step 5: Rinsing Thoroughly

After scrubbing, rinse each piece under lukewarm, running water. Ensure all soap suds are washed off as soap residue can leave a film on the jewelry.

Step 6: Drying and Buffing

Use a soft, lint-free cloth to pat the jewelry dry gently. Do not rub too hard as this might wear off the plating. Once dry, give it a gentle buff with the cloth to bring back its shine.

Step 7: Inspecting After Cleaning

After cleaning, inspect your jewelry for any missed spots or remaining dirt. If necessary, repeat the cleaning process but always be as gentle as possible to protect the plating.

Tips to Keep Your Jewelry Perfect

Gold-plated jewelry is a fantastic choice for its beauty and affordable. To keep it in perfect condition, here are some essential tips:

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Always remove your gold-plated jewelry before using cleaning products, swimming in chlorinated water, or taking a bath. Chemicals and chlorine can damage the gold layer, causing it to wear off more quickly.

Be Careful with Cosmetics

Apply lotions, perfumes, and hairsprays before putting on your jewelry. These products can leave a film on the gold, making it look dull.

Gentle Cleaning

Clean your jewelry with a soft, damp cloth after each use. This removes any oils or residues and helps maintain its shine. For a deeper clean, use a mild soap with water, but avoid harsh jewelry cleaners.

Proper Storage

Store your gold-plated jewelry in a cool, dry place. A jewelry box lined with soft fabric or a velvet pouch is ideal. This prevents scratches and protects the gold from tarnishing.

Handle with Care

Gold plating can be delicate, so handle your jewelry with care. Avoid bending any pieces and keep them away from sharp objects.

Keep It Dry

Moisture can damage gold plating. After cleaning, make sure your jewelry is completely dry before storing it. Also, remove it before swimming or exercising.

Regular Checks

Periodically check your jewelry for any signs of wear or damage. If the gold plating is wearing thin, a professional jeweler can reapply the plating.


Can I Wear My Gold-Plated Jewelry in the Swimming Pool?

Best to remove gold-plated jewelry before swimming in a pool. Chlorine and other chemicals in pool water can damage the gold layer, causing it to wear off or change color.

How Can I Tell When It's Time to Re-Plate My Gold-Plated Jewelry?

If you notice significant fading or wear in the gold layer, it might be time to get it re-plated. Look for areas where the base metal is becoming visible or if the jewelry loses its luster and shine.

Is It Safe to Sleep Wearing Gold-Plated Jewelry?

While sleeping with gold-plated jewelry occasionally is generally safe, doing so regularly can increase wear and tear. Friction from pillows and sheets can wear down the gold layer over time. It's a good idea to remove it before bed to extend its lifespan.


Gold-plated jewelry is a wonderful choice – it's pretty and not too pricey. You can enjoy wearing them on all kinds of occasions.

But, it needs a bit of care to stay shiny. Keep it dry, clean it gently, and store it carefully. This way, your gold-plated pieces will stay looking great for a long time. Remember, a little care can make your jewelry last and keep its beautiful shine!

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