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If you’ve invested in a real gold necklace, you’ll want to take the appropriate steps to ensure it remains in shiny, like-new condition. For most gold necklaces, cleaning it once every 2 weeks is the best way to prevent scratching, tarnishing, and other forms of damage.
Like all soft metals, gold can be incredibly delicate, so it’s normal if you aren’t sure how to clean your necklace. In this how-to article, we’re going to show you how to safely clean a gold necklace, and what NOT to do when it comes to maintaining your gold jewelry. Let’s take a look!
How should I clean a gold necklace?
Cleaning a real gold necklace is an easy, uncomplicated process, and should only take around 30 minutes from start to finish. Here’s how to clean your gold necklace:
Create a soapy mixture
Before we begin, you’ll need the following items for the entire cleaning process: a small mini toothbrush, a small cloth (lint free), a small bowl filled around ¾ with room temperature water, and some gentle, chemical-free dish soap.
To start, add some of your dish soap to the bowl of water, mixing it until the bowl is full of suds. Taking care not to throw it in, place your gold necklace into the bowl and let it sit for around 15 minutes. This will allow the necklace to soak and will destroy any lingering bacteria sitting on the surface of the chain.
Gently brush the necklace
Once it’s been sitting in the soapy mixture for around 15 minutes, you can lift it out of the bowl and use the dish soap mixture to delicately clean the necklace, including any fastenings. Use the small toothbrush and buff any hard-to-access areas gently. You don’t need to be abrasive – brushing too hard can end up damaging the integrity of the cold, so take care to brush gently.
Rinse away the soapy mixture
Once you’ve determined that the gold necklace is clean and you’re happy with the results, run it under the tap in your home at a cool temperature to wash away remaining suds from the soap mixture. Make sure to be incredibly careful when rinsing your necklace under the tap; make sure the plug isn’t pulled in the sink, so you won’t lose your necklace if you let it fall by mistake. If there’s no plug, run the tap on a low pressure to help you avoid dropping the necklace.
Let it air dry
Once it’s rinsed, don’t towel-dry it or expose it to hot air (a hair dryer isn’t a good idea.) Instead, lay out the necklace in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight, and let it dry naturally. This shouldn’t take too long – while your necklace is drying, you can drain the soap mixture, clean the bowl, and tidy up any water spillages.
Give it that like-new gleam
Once fully dry, you can take a small piece of cloth (make sure it’s lint-free to avoid scratching the gold) and buff any larger areas of the necklace, as well as the chain. This should help restore the gold’s natural gleam and shine, and will make it appear like-new. Repeat this cleaning process every 2 weeks to keep your gold necklace in optimal condition.
What not to do
As previously mentioned at the beginning of this article, gold can be incredibly delicate, especially gold necklaces with a higher gold karat purity, such as a 22 carat gold necklace. No matter the karat purity of your necklace, never use harsh chemicals when cleaning it. Harsh chemicals are likely to damage the gold, and can cause long-term tarnishing.
Some at-home cleaning methods to absolutely AVOID when cleaning your gold necklace are bleach, toothpaste, and baking soda. These items may often work when cleaning other household items, but aren’t suitable when it comes to cleaning real gold. Any abrasive chemical is going to result in you damaging your necklace, so it’s best to stick with gentle dish soap. Dish soap is also cheap, and you can find it easily in your local grocery store.
While some people might want to use rubbing alcohol to clean gold jewelry, we wouldn’t recommend this. Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to antiseptic gel can contribute to the wearing away of gold finishes, most likely due to the high alcohol content. For best results, stick to dish soap and enjoy gleaming, like-new gold jewelry all year round.