BlogHow to Clean Gold Plated Jewelry

How to Clean Gold Plated Jewelry

Preserve the brilliance of your gold-plated treasures! Dive into effective cleaning methods, maintenance rituals, and expert tips for sparkling, long-lasting jewelry.

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How to Clean Gold Plated Jewelry

When you invest in a beautiful piece of jewelry, you want its sparkle and shine to extend far into the future. Keeping your jewelry clean and well-maintained is the best way to enjoy its radiance for years to come.

However, different types of jewelry require different types of maintenance. In fact, using the wrong tools and products could end up damaging your pieces.. Fortunately, if you’re looking to learn how to effectively keep your gold plated pieces in dazzling condition, you’ve come to the right place. 

In this guide, we’re uncovering everything you need to know about gold plated pieces, including how to clean gold plated jewelry and why this type of jewelry remains such a fashionable, elegant, and budget-friendly option for people all across the globe.

What is Gold Plated Jewelry?

Solid gold and silver jewelry have set the standard for years, but these days, more and more people are opting for luxurious options that won’t break the bank. One of these options is gold plating.

Gold plating uses a chemical process to coat a less expensive metal with a layer of solid gold. Many jewelers will opt for metals like titanium steel or stainless steel to help ensure longevity. The resulting pieces have that same rich, luscious finish that’s synonymous with solid gold jewelry, but they come in at a much more reasonable price point.

Even better? The exterior layer of gold holds up well to the test of time, especially with proper jewelry care.

Why Should You Choose Gold Plating?

As the popularity of gold plating continues to grow, you may ask yourself: is gold plating right for me? Ultimately, it depends on your individual wants and needs.

When shopping for your next piece, keep the following benefits of gold plating in mind:

  • It’s a cost-effective alternative to solid gold
  • It retains the elegant appearance of gold jewelry
  • Thicker layers of gold help resist tarnishing and oxidation
  • With proper care, gold plated jewelry can last years

Exactly how long does gold plated jewelry last? In general, up to five years—but of course, the longevity of your jewelry depends entirely on your handling of it, as well as the quality of the pieces themselves.

How to Ensure High-Quality Gold Plating

While gold plated jewelry offers exceptional beauty at a budget-friendly price point, not all gold plated pieces are made by high-quality jewelers. For this reason, you’ll want to keep an eye out for these potential downsides when you’re shopping for your next piece:

  • Thin layers of gold plating that may wear down more easily
  • Metals beneath the gold could irritate people with skin sensitivities

The good news is that you can avoid these pitfalls by investing in high-quality gold plating that boasts a thicker gold layer with more robust protection and a coating that will last a long time.

How Can Gold Plating Be Damaged?

One of the first steps in learning how to care for your jewelry items is understanding what sort of damage may occur to it in the first place.

Some of the most common types of damage seen in gold plated jewelry are:

  • Tarnishing – This happens to many types of metal due to the oxidation process. In these instances, the base metal begins to discolor, turning a darker shade and losing its luster and sparkle.
  • Chipping – The gold plating on the outside of your jewelry can begin to chip and flake away if it’s damaged. This is why you want to avoid doing anything that could scratch the jewelry’s surface, like storing your pieces together loosely.
  • Wearing down – Likewise, areas of gold plating may end up wearing down and rubbing away. This is most likely to happen in areas where the jewelry comes in constant contact with your skin.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent these issues from happening—and it all boils down to the care and cleaning of your pieces.

Keeping Your Gold Plated Jewelry in Top Condition

Maintenance is extremely important for gold plated jewelry as it’s what keeps your pieces in the best and brightest condition. So, what can you do to maintain your gold plated jewelry?

Luckily, it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to keep your gold plating shining like the day you bought it. Simply follow these tips:

  • Apply perfume or moisturizer before putting on your jewelry – The chemicals and oils in these products can tarnish your gold plating or cause it to start rubbing off.
  • Stay away from water – Water can cause your gold plating to thin, which means it’ll start to rub off even if you invest in a piece with a thick gold exterior. Additionally, the more you soak your jewelry, the worse this problem gets, so always take your gold plated pieces off before you get into any water.
  • Avoid exposure to harsh chemicals – Even regular household cleaners can remove the shine from your gold plating, making it look dull and damaged. For this reason, it’s always best to remove your jewelry if you expect it to come in contact with any harsh chemicals.
  • Don’t sleep with your jewelry on – Tossing and turning in your bed can cause friction damage to your jewelry, in addition to the tarnishing that may happen due to long-term exposure to the oils on your skin.
Proper Storage Tips for Gold Plated Jewelry

Since you shouldn’t be wearing your gold plated jewelry every hour of every day, you’ll also want to put some thought into how you’re going to store it.

Pouches, jewelry boxes, and cases can all do wonders to preserve the glamorous shine of your pieces. Storing them in a cool, dry place without much heat or moisture will also maximize their lifespan, and keeping them out of contact with other substances will prevent the underlying metal from breaking down or breaking through the coating, especially when using the right jewelry box.

Most importantly, you’ll want to keep your pieces in separate storage containers. Otherwise, you create an environment where pieces can easily chip at each other and become damaged.

Need-to-Know Tips for How to Clean Gold Plated Jewelry

Cleaning is, of course, one of the best methods for preserving your precious jewelry—but you want to do it right. So, how exactly do you make your favorite gold plated pieces shine?

Cleaning gold plated jewelry involves a few simple steps:

  • Get the right cloth – Microfiber cloths are perfect for this task, and many jewelers will be able to provide one for you. In fact, there are microfiber cloths designed specifically for use with pure gold and gold plated jewelry.
  • Know the right pressure to use – Gold plating is durable, but you can still end up wearing it down if you use aggressive pressure while cleaning your pieces. Instead of rubbing hard, keep your touch light and soft.
  • Only use water when needed – A popular suggestion is to let gold plated jewelry soak in soapy water when it needs a good cleaning, but you should always limit the amount of time your jewelry comes in contact with water. If your pieces are in need of a deep clean, you can use cotton swabs and warm, soapy water to quickly wipe them down. Never leave gold plated jewelry to soak for long periods of time.

If you wear your jewelry every day, you should clean it frequently. Consider making a habit of taking a soft microfiber cloth to all of your daily pieces after you take them off for the evening.

Of course, if you end up exposing a gold plated piece to something more extreme—like cleaning chemicals or chlorinated pool water—that’s when you should break out the warm, soapy water and get into the nooks and crannies to ensure nothing degrades or breaks down.

Know When to See a Jeweler

Unfortunately, there are some situations where your jewelry piece is too far gone for a cleaning alone to fix. You may need to take your piece to a jeweler if:

  • You see the underlying metal coming through
  • You’ve tried to clean the tarnish off but nothing works
  • The entire piece is beginning to discolor

A jeweler will be able to take a look and decide if replating your piece is doable—in other words, stripping away the old gold plating and applying a fresh coat. If it is, they’ll be able to restore your gold plated piece to its former luster in no time.

Glitter in Gold With Jennifer Fisher

To enjoy a piece of plated gold jewelry to the fullest, you’ll want to prioritize three key practices:

  • Storing your pieces properly
  • Cleaning your pieces properly and regularly
  • Buying a high-quality piece from the start

Even the best cleaning tips and tricks can’t keep low-quality jewelry alive for long. You’ll end up putting in too much time and effort for a product that ultimately falls short.

This is why it’s crucial to find a jeweler you can trust, like Jennifer Fisher. When it comes to gold plated jewelry, we carefully apply a thick, lustrous coat of gold over high-quality metals so that you never have to worry about a few mistakes or mishandlings chipping away at the lifespan of your pieces.

When you’re ready to enhance your jewelry collection with long-lasting and dazzling gold plated options, shop the Jennifer Fisher collection.

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