How to Safely Clean Your Gold Jewelry at Home

As weeks have stretched into months during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all found ourselves looking for creative ways to pass the time and entertain ourselves from home.

When these activities also serve the purpose of being productive and helpful, it’s truly a win-win scenario.

One such activity you may not have considered:

Cleaning your valuable gold jewelry.

If you’re like bubble-bound NBA ballers Carmelo Anthony and James Harden (or 1980s action icon Mr. T), this is also an activity that could keep you busy for quite some time. But chances are, you don’t have an entire briefcase or closet full of thick gold ropes.

No matter how much gold jewelry you own, all of us here at Zillion are all about protecting your valued jewelry. But as much as we love to provide you with jewelry insurance that is easy to understand, easy to use and easy to afford…well, we can’t quite go so far as come over and clean your jewelry for you (especially not with these pandemic restrictions).

So we decided to do the next best thing — provide you with some safe, simple, easy-to-follow instructions on how to polish and buff your gold jewelry right back up into a Just Like New State.

The Dish Soap Method

Out, out, damn spot! Scrub-a-dub-dub. Etc. Etc. It doesn’t get much easier or more basic than this approach. Just make sure you have some dish detergent, a solid brush and some good ole fashioned elbow grease on hand…and follow these simple steps:

1. Mix a bit of dish detergent (such as Dawn) in warm (not hot) water in a bowl or other container. Mix gently. While tap water will work just fine here, you can also use sodium-free seltzer water or club soda, whose carbonation helps loosen dirt and grime from your jewelry. Do not use hot, boiling or freezing cold water.

2. Soak your jewelry in the solution. Allow each individual jewelry piece to sit in the water for around 15 to 30 minutes. As your jewelry soaks, the warm soapy water will work its way into the crevices and grooves, loosening hard-to-reach dirt buildup. One other note here: Be sure to place the soaking bowl or container somewhere out of sight from others — the last thing you want is someone in your house mistaking it for dirty dishes and/or water...and dumping it out.

3. Carefully brush with a new, baby-size, soft-bristled toothbrush. Make sure to be gentle here; don’t scrub too hard. Scrub each piece of jewelry individually, paying close attention to indentations where dirt may be hidden. The softer the bristles on the brush, the better. Eyebrow brushes will also work here.

4. To rinse, place each jewelry piece individually in lukewarm water. A good rinsing will help remove dirt that’s been loosened by your brushing. Once again, make sure the water is warm — not hot, boiling or cold. If you’re rinsing your jewelry in the sink, make sure to plug or cover the drain. You can also rinse your jewelry in a pasta strainer.

5. Blot dry with a soft cloth. Then let your jewelry sit on a towel to air dry completely. Make sure it’s dry before wearing it, since wearing wet jewelry can trap moisture against your skin — and possibly cause skin irritation or a rash.

The Boiling Water Method

It doesn’t get much simpler than this approach. However, this isn’t an advisable method for just any or every piece of gold jewelry. If you’re aiming to clean heavily soiled jewelry that’s made completely from gold, or gold jewelry that contains “strong” gemstones like diamonds, boiling is a good way to go. When not to employ this method? When you’re dealing with jewelry that contains delicate gemstones like opals, pearls or coral — or jewelry with glued-in gemstones.

1. Bring water to a boil. You don’t need to boil too much water; just enough to submerge all your jewelry in. As the water boils, place your gold jewelry in a sturdy bowl or another vessel that won’t be damaged by boiling water. Pyrex or metal cooking bowls or dishes can be a smart choice here. Arrange your jewelry in the dish or bowl so that no piece is covering any other piece.

2. Carefully pour the water over your jewelry. Be mindful not to spill or splash by pouring too fast. Add enough water so that all of your jewelry is fully submerged.

3. Wait for the water to cool. Once you can comfortably place your hands in the water, you can remove your jewelry too. Then you’ll want to carefully scrub each piece with a soft brush — then dab it dry with a soft towel. Let it sit long enough to air-dry fully.

We’re Here for You

We hope you find this blog post helpful. We’ve also put together a handy little primer on how to safely clean your diamond ring at home.

When it comes to making sure your jewelry is not only clean, but safe and secure, we’re ready to help you discover a whole new peace of mind, thanks to a jewelry insurance policy. Simply visit our site for a quick, easy, no-obligation quote — and we can get to work insuring your valued jewelry for the long haul!


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© 2020 by Zillion Insurance Services, Inc. 
3000 El Camino Real, Bldg. 4, Suite 200

Palo Alto, CA 94306