Gold-plated jewelry and flatware certainly look stylish and elegant, and cost way cheaper than solid gold. But anything plated will fade over time, the once shiny surface will tarnish. These care methods will help you clean gold plating without damaging it.
Important cleaning rules
Usually, the gold plating is done on silver, and it is important to remember that these two materials have different cleaning methods. To clean gold-plated silver at home properly, follow these tips:
- Use a chamois cloth for cleaning, and make sure it’s completely dry.
- First off, remove any grease, dirt, and dust from the surface. It is very important to do so, otherwise, you may not see the results of anything you do next. It is best to use alcohol or turpentine: apply the solution to a cotton ball and clean the surface of a plated item.
You can also wash gold-plated silver in advance using a mixture of water, soap, and ammonia. Soak plated items in this solution for 15-20 minutes, then dry. After that, you can start cleaning. This can help prevent the plating from turning green.
Cleaning tarnish off plating
There are a lot of equally efficient methods of removing tarnish from gold-plated silver, so you can choose a suitable one based on the products you already have in your home.
Using ethanol to remove tarnish
Ethanol does not only clean tarnish off of gold-plated silver, but also helps restore its dazzling shine. Just dampen a soft sponge in ethanol and clean the surface with it. You can also use ethanol to prevent tarnish from forming, just polish the plating with it regularly.
Cleaning plating with beer
This beverage can remove even built-up tarnish from your gold-plated items. Use any type of beer (but dark beer works best). Soak gold-plated silver in beer for at least half an hour, then rinse under running water, and dry.
Beer cleans plating gently, it will not damage the coating even if used often. To make the surface even shinier, rub it with a piece of chamois cloth after cleaning.
Removing tarnish with egg whites
To restore bright shine to gold plating, you can clean the surface with a cotton pad soaked in an egg white. You can also create a mixture of an eggwhite and a tablespoon of bleach. Be careful and make sure you wear rubber gloves when cleaning with this mixture.
Cleaning plating with soapy water
Use soap or liquid dish detergent to shine up your gold-plated items. Soak them in a bowl filled with warm but not hot water for 20-30 minutes. Add a teaspoon of shredded soap or dish detergent to the water. Then clean the surface with a soft toothbrush. Make sure you cut the tips of the bristles first.
To keep gold-plated silver from fading and tarnishing, follow these simple rules when handling plated items:
- Gold-plated silver is very sensitive to high temperatures and humidity, so do not store it in places like bathrooms, otherwise, your plated items will fade and tarnish pretty quickly.
- Store your gold-plated jewelry wrapped in chamois cloth separately from your other jewelry. Gold-plated flatware should also be stored in special cases that separate the pieces.
- After every use, gently wipe your plated jewelry with a piece of chamois cloth to remove any dirt or grease. It is r to clean your jewelry on a regular basis than try to restore its shine later.
Do not store gold-plated items in direct sunlight, as it causes plating to fade and tarnish. Store them away from sharp objects that can scratch the surface.