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How to Clean Gold-Plated Jewelry

Posted on July 22 2020

strands of gold necklaces drying

If you love gold chains as much as we do, you know the feeling of wanting to add to your collection, but gold chains can be expensive, which is why sometimes we choose to go for a gold-plated chain. This style of jewelry looks just as fly as solid gold jewelry, but it’s a bit less expensive. However, if you’re thinking about getting yourself a gold-plated piece of jewelry, you need to be prepared to care for it properly to maintain the integrity of the jewelry and keep it looking shiny and new for as long as possible.

Gold-Plated vs. Gold Jewelry

Before purchasing a gold-plated chain, you should have a good understanding of the different types of gold jewelry to make sure that you know what you’re buying. Gold-plated jewelry is significantly cheaper than gold-filled or solid gold jewelry because it uses less gold to make the piece.

A layer of gold is wrapped around a base metal—typically brass, copper, or silver—to create the same look as solid gold jewelry. Because the layer of gold on these products is thin, it will eventually begin to wear down and tarnish, but, if you properly care for your jewelry, it can last for years.

No jewelry is made from completely solid gold because pure gold is far too malleable to mold into jewelry. It would become scratched and change its shape, so jewelers must mix metal alloys with pure gold to give it structure and make it stronger.

If you’re looking for gold jewelry over gold-plated, you’ll find some solid and some hollow options. Solid gold jewelry is, as you can probably guess, solid all the way through while hollow gold jewelry is hollowed out inside the chain. If you can’t tell the difference, look at the weight of the necklace. Hollow gold jewelry will always weigh less since less gold is being used.

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How to Clean Gold-Plated Jewelry

using toothpaste to clean chain

The best method for cleaning gold-plated jewelry is to let it soak in warm, soapy water. First, fill a bowl with lukewarm water (be sure that the water isn’t too hot), and then add a few drops of dish soap to the bowl. Mix it up to create a soapy bath, and allow your gold-plated chains to soak for 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove your jewelry from the bowl and rinse it off under warm running water until no soap is seen. Before letting it dry, you should gently wipe down your chains and bracelets with a soft polishing cloth. Then, allow it to air dry. Depending on how often you wear your gold chains, you should try to do this at least once a week or every other week. If you want to do a real deep cleaning of your jewelry, you can use a toothbrush to scrub hard-to-reach spots with the soap mixture before rinsing and wiping down.

Caring for Your Gold-Plated Jewelry

  • Avoid Lotions, Hairsprays, and Makeup

One of the best ways to prevent your gold-plated chains from tarnishing and losing their shine is by keeping them away from products like makeup, perfume, lotion, hairspray, etc. Your gold chains should be the last thing that you put you on. Don’t touch your chains if you’ve just put lotion on your hands. Wait until it’s soaked in, or wash your hands if they feel extra greasy.

Never put on makeup, cologne, perfume, or hairspray while wearing gold-plated jewelry. Wait until your entire routine is done, and then add your chain right before you step out the door. This will help keep dirt, grease, and other grime from building up on your gold-plated jewelry and impacting the quality.

  • Don’t Wear Jewelry to the Beach or Pool

Swimsuits and jewelry have been a trendy look for the last few years, but, if you’re thinking about showing off your dope new gold-plated bracelet or chain at the beach, reconsider. There are so many natural elements that can greatly diminish your jewelry’s appearance, from the salt water to sand whipping around in the wind. It’s better to keep your chains safe at home. And, don’t even think about getting in a pool with gold-plated jewelry. The chlorine and other chemicals can tarnish and mess up the plating, revealing the base metal beneath.

Keep Your Chain Fresh to Death

man holding gold chain from neck

Owning gold-plated chains is a great way to add dope accessories to your wardrobe without dishing out too much dough. However, you want to make sure that you’re cleaning and maintaining gold jewelry to help your plated pieces last as long as possible. Clean your jewelry with dish soap and water two to four times per month and avoid exposing your pieces to the elements to keep their shiny luster.

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