Golden Days Ahead With These Expert Jewellery Cleaning Tips
Save yourself some cash and learn how to clean your gold jewellery at home! There are so many methods out there, each with their pros and cons. You might find yourself speaking to a jeweller offering the traditional method of cleaning gold with ammonia, a technique that is effective but not necessarily your preference. If you’re after something gentler and simpler, this post will show you how to clean your Gold Jewellery at home in five easy steps.
Properties of Gold
Before we get started, let’s consider the properties of gold that you might be working with. Pure gold is always 24 karats. A piece that’s stamped less than 24 karat, most likely 18k, 14k, 10k or 9k indicates that the pure gold is mixed with other alloys to increase hardness and durability. This is not necessarily a bad thing as pure gold is very soft and not suitable for active lifestyles.
A quick guide to the purity of a piece is:
24k = pure gold;
18 karats = 75.0% pure gold;
14 karats = 58.3% pure gold;
10 karats = 41.7% pure gold and
9 karats = 37.5% pure gold.
9-karat and 18-karat gold are the most common metals sold in Australia – you’ll find the purity of your piece hallmarked (stamped) on your gold jewellery.
Cleaning Your Jewellery At Home
Fill a small bowl with lukewarm water (not hot) and add a few drops of dishwashing detergent. Mix gently.
(Tip: Do not use hot or boiling water, especially if your jewellery contains fragile or precious stones. Stones like opal can crack if subject to rapid temperature changes.)
Soak your jewellery in the mixture for 10-20 minutes. The warm water will work its way through the intricate parts of your piece and loosen those hard-to-reach dirt build-ups!
Gently scrub your jewellery individually with a soft bristled toothbrush (the softer the better). Be sure to get into the finer parts of your jewellery where dirt may be hidden.
Rinse each piece in warm running water, placing a bowl or strainer underneath (it would be devastating if you lost your precious piece down the drain!).
Pat dry with a soft cloth or tissue and leave out to completely air dry.
How to Clean Jewellery with Precious Stones?
Diamond, sapphire or ruby.
The above method is completely safe for any gold jewellery set with either diamonds, sapphires or rubies. Although be mindful of any loose stones before cleaning. Scrubbing a loose stone may cause it to fall out. If unsure, visit your local jeweller for an inspection.
Emerald, opal or turquoise.
The best way to clean these stones is with warm soapy water or a warm soapy cloth. Do not soak your emerald, opal or turquoise and avoid harsh detergents. And as always, be mindful of any loose stones before cleaning.
Pearls should be treated even more delicately and should only be cleaned very gently. Clean with warm water and mild dish soap, scrubbing gently. Do NOT submerge a pearl necklace in water, as it will weaken the silk thread.
5 Expert Tips For Your Gold Jewellery
1. Polish with a gold polishing cloth. If you don’t have one handy, visit your local jewellery store to have your piece professionally cleaned and polished.
2. Always store your jewellery safely, separately and out of direct sunlight to avoid tarnishing.
3. For those more valuable pieces that feature diamonds, pearls or coloured gemstones – you’ll want to prevent losing a gem or your piece entirely. We recommend having your jewellery checked over by a jeweller for any loose stones, broken clasps or weak points.
4. Your gold is a valuable item. No matter how old or worn your piece may be it can always be repaired, reused or recycled into something special.
5. Have your most precious pieces valued every 2 years for insurance purposes.
A Few Tips To Avoid Tarnishing
1. Avoid wearing your gold jewellery in the shower or while swimming in chlorinated pools. Chlorine can react with gold causing it to turn darker. Chlorine may also cause damage to certain stones such as pearls, opals and turquoise.
2. Before you embark on any strenuous activity, be sure to remove your jewellery to reduce the chances of damaging your piece.
3. Avoid wearing your jewellery while sleeping. Unnecessary pressure on clasps and links can occur throughout the night as you toss and turn.
4. Store your delicate jewellery in a dark and dry place.
With over 25+ years’ experience in the jewellery industry, Claude and Me Jewellery offers a professional service for all your jewellery cleaning and repairs.
Our Services include:
Visit our boutique jewellery store located in one of Brisbane’s most iconic suburbs, Milton. Our friendly staff will be more than happy to assist you with your repair enquiry.
Stay sparkling x