The warmth and beauty of gold plated jewelry is appealing to just about everyone who is attracted to its gleaming luxuriousness. Its popularity means that you can find jewelry pieces that are gold plated just about anywhere. However, only the finest quality jewelry is gold plated with 14k or 18k gold. Collecting gold plated jewelry can make you happy, but over time, you may notice that your jewelry pieces are becoming tarnished and losing their luster. Instead of tossing them in the “never wear again” pile, you can take steps to restore your jewelry and enjoy wearing it once more.
Why Does Gold Plated Jewelry Tarnish?
When gold is exposed to light and air, it begins what is known as an oxidization process. The tendency for gold to oxidize under these conditions is a natural one and every time you wear your jewelry the oxidizing goes into effect, eventually causing discoloration. The natural oil from your skin as well as dirt, dust and chemicals from lotions and other moisturizers also contribute to tarnishing.
Cleaning Your Jewelry
The best, and easiest, way to remove tarnish from gold plated jewelry is to clean the jewelry piece. There are three proven and safe methods for cleaning this type of jewelry.
Cleaning Method 1: Soap and Water
When your gold-plated jewelry is only a bit dull but not too bad to look at, you can do a light cleaning using soap and water. All you need is a bowl or container big enough to hold the jewelry. Fill the bowl with warm water and pour in some mild liquid soap. Mix to distribute the soap. Put the jewelry into the container and let it soak for a few minutes. Remove the jewelry and rub all surface areas with a soft cloth. You can use a toothbrush to clean any hard-to-reach areas.
Once you are satisfied that dirt and grime are gone, rinse the jewelry with warm water. Dry jewelry with a lint-free cloth.
Cleaning Method 2: Jewelry Polishing Cloth
These are specialty cloths made of natural fibers designed for cleaning and polishing jewelry. Following instructions, you rub areas that are dull and dirty with the cloth to remove tarnish.
Cleaning Method 3: Baking Soda and Salt
For some jewelry pieces, a deep clean may be necessary due to extreme tarnishing. If this is the case, you can turn to this method for a solution.
Here’s what you need:
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
Step 1: Line the bowl with the foil, making sure the shiny side is face up.
Step 2: Add the salt and baking soda to the bowl.
Step 3: Add hot water to the bowl and make sure there is enough water to cover the jewelry. Let the salt and baking soda completely dissolve.
Step 4: Place jewelry into the bowl and let it sit for several minutes.
Step 5: Watch black and yellow flakes from the gold-plated jewelry float towards the foil. This means the solution is working.
Step 6: Remove jewelry from water and rub it with a lint-free cloth.
Step 7: Rinse the jewelry under running warm water and dry it with another lint-free cloth. You are done!
Protecting Your Gold-Plated Jewelry
Keep your gold-plated jewelry looking good longer by letting lotions and moisturizers completely dry before wearing it. Also, store the jewelry in protective jewelry bags and/or boxes that don’t expose it to air.
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