How to Clean Gold Jewelry and Décor and Keep It Shining

how to clean gold

getty images / olena ruban

Gold is a jewelry classic for a reason—it's durable, stunning, and easy to maintain. And when you do need to maintain your gold (whether it's jewelry or something else), you can be assured that cleaning is easy-as-can-be.

Gold-cleaning requires little time and skill, and you probably already have all the supplies you need at home. Ready to get started? Keep reading to find out how.

how to clean gold

getty images / aitor diago

How Often Should You Clean Gold?

Gold should be cleaned depending on frequency of wear (if it's jewelry) and exposure to dirt and dust. For pieces that are rarely worn or for décor that's tucked away, a once-a-year cleaning should be enough. For items that are worn more often or get more exposure to dust and dirt, consider cleaning them every few months. But for gold jewelry that's worn daily, try to clean it monthly, as this will keep the gold in tip-top shape.

What You'll Need

Before you restore the shimmer and shine to your gold, you'll need to gather your supplies. Thankfully, you don't need much. Here's what you'll need:

  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Bowl
  • Toothbrush
  • Soft cloth
  • Sparkling water (optional)
  • Baking soda and salt (optional)

Step 1: Combine Water and Dish Soap

To begin the easy process of cleaning gold, you'll first need to combine a small bowl of warm water with a tablespoon of dish soap. Make sure the dish soap you use is mild, as you don't want to damage your gold. Need to clean a larger piece of gold décor, instead of gold jewelry? Just use a larger bowl, and adjust the amount of dish soap accordingly.

how to clean gold frame

rikki snyder

Step 2: Let It Soak

Next, you'll place your gold in the soapy mixture and let it soak for 15 minutes. This will help break down any dust or dirt and get it looking nice and clean.

Step 3: Brush It Out

After your gold has soaked, take it out of the soapy water and gently scrub any nooks or crannies with a small, soft-bristled brush like a toothbrush. This will further remove any grime that's hidden in tight spots.

Step 4: Rinse and Dry

Finally, you'll rinse any remaining soap off your gold by running it under fresh water. (Make sure the gold is carefully held as you don't want to drop it down the drain.) Pat it dry with a soft towel and let it air-dry.

The Sparkling Water Method

Have sparkling water on hand? Put it to use cleaning your gold. To clean gold with sparkling water, fill a bowl full of it and place the gold items in it so that they're fully submerged. Let the gold soak in the bubbly water for 10 to 15 minutes, then gently brush away any dirt or grime. Rinse away any remaining bubbles and let dry for good-as-new gold.

how to clean gold jewelry

getty images / Merethe Svarstad Eeg

The Baking Soda and Salt Method

Another gold-cleaning method can be found with a few pantry staples: baking soda and salt. Combine the two together, using equal parts of each to form a paste. Add the paste to some warm water and let the gold soak in the mixture for up to 15 minutes. Brush away any dirt, rinse clean, and let dry.

How to Keep Gold Clean Longer

To keep your gold jewelry clean longer, make sure to take it off when doing messy or dirty tasks with your hands, like gardening or kneading dough by hand. Debris can get stuck in the corners and nooks of jewelry and build up over time. Additionally, don't wear gold jewelry in the pool, as the chlorine can damage the gold.

If you're storing gold for a long amount of time, make sure whatever the jewelry is stored in protects it from dust, and don't forget to take it out every once in a while to clean it too.

To keep gold décor clean, display it away from high-traffic areas to minimize dust or oil collecting on it. If it is placed in a busy area, make sure to dust it regularly and wipe it down with a damp microfiber cloth. This will help you extend the time in-between needed 'deep' cleanings.