What Is the Right Way to Clean a Gold Necklace?

right-way-clean-gold-necklace Credit: Isabelle Lafrance Photography/Moment/Getty Images

Gold necklaces and other gold jewelry can be cleaned in similar ways depending on what is prompting the cleaning; if the jewelry is worn regularly and simply needs a routine wash, it can be soaked in a solution of warm water and mild dish detergent before being lightly scrubbed with a soft cloth, rinsed and dried. Gold necklaces that have become more dirty than usual can be briefly treated with a diluted ammonia solution and scrubbed with a soft toothbrush, though users should be aware of any fumes released by the chemical and take care not to spill it. In general, gold jewelry should be cleaned with soft tools to avoid scratching the metal.

In addition to being cleaned with something non-abrasive, gold jewelry should only be cleaned with mild chemical and water solutions to avoid degrading the metal. Gold doesn't tarnish like silver does, but it does develop a slight patina with time. Some people find this patina more attractive, but others want to scrub it off at its first appearance. Some commercially-prepared, professional-grade gold cleaners are available, but shoppers should be careful to select a reputable brand containing safe ingredients that will not damage the gold jewelry or potentially harm the person using the cleaning product.