Gold and silver plating are fragile coating. If you own some of this jewelry, you must learn how to clean them properly so that you won’t damage them. Consider all fine jewelry all have delicate parts, and those with gold or silver plating can take less damage than those with full alloying. In this blog, we will focus on how you can clean your fine jewelry without damaging the plated ones. The guidelines for gold-plated jewelry can also be used for silver-plated jewelry.
Cleaning Gold-Plated Jewelry is not that difficult you may think
Gold-plated and silver-plated jewelry are often cheaper than regular fine jewelry because they are not entirely made of sterling silver or gold. Instead, they have been electroplated, so a small quantity of real gold or sterling silver adheres to the metal jewelry’s surface. For fashionistas with low or moderate budgets, plated jewelry is fantastic because they can quickly complete a fashionable look without breaking the bank.
Cleaning plated jewelry isn’t complicated. What you only need is gentle dish, soap and water. For those with oily skin, your jewelry (especially necklaces and bracelets) can be oilier and grimier than usual. This is completely fine. You can create a soap and water solution and use some cotton balls to clean the jewelry daily gently. The soap will take care of the oiliness, and you can pat the jewelry dry.
Further reading: Can You Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Clean Jewelry?
For a deeper clean, you will need just one cup of warm water and three to five drops of dish soap. If your plated jewelry does not have any gemstone settings, they are safe for soaking. However, if there are gemstones, we advise against soaking because the prolonged submersion in water may damage the gems.
When you are ready, soak the jewelry and allow your jewelry to sit in the dish soap solution for about ten minutes. This should be sufficient time to remove most oil and grime stuck to the more open parts of the jewelry.
After ten minutes, remove the jewelry and examine them. You might see some specks of grime stuck to the corners, especially along with the links or chains. For stubborn grime, use cotton swabs or cotton balls. Soak the swab or ball with some of the dish soap solutions and work on the stuck grime. We suggest just using these implements and never using sharp objects. The sharp objects may work faster, but you will likely end up scratching the metal. Since plated jewelry is just electroplated, what’s underneath may not be rust-proof at all. This can cause the rapid degradation of your jewelry.
When you are done removing most of the excess soil and grime, it’s time to rinse. Rinse your jewelry with warm water. Use paper towels to remove the excess water. Once the excess water is gone, use a microfiber cloth to buff your jewelry. Buffing your jewelry will help with making it shiny again.
We do not recommend using buffs or brushes that are generally harder than microfiber cloths. The reason for this is that rubbing plated jewelry too hard can easily remove the surface metal, making this jewelry attractive in the first place. If the base metal is revealed because you removed the plating, you have no other choice but to go to your jewelry to have the jewelry re-plated. Re-plating jewelry allows it to become fresh again. They are going to clean your jewelry, correct mistakes in the metal. All plated jewelry need to be re-plated sometime in the future if you don’t want your jewelry to look aged.
Ways to Extend the Life of Your Plated Jewelry: Do’s and Don’ts
Just because jewelry is plated doesn’t mean that you mustn’t take good care of it. Plated jewelry can look luxurious and beautiful for years if proper care is given to it. Here are some practical do’s and don’ts that will help in extending the life of your jewelry.
- Don’t spray anything on your jewelry. If possible, wear your plated jewelry last. This will ensure that it will not come into contact with lotion, perfume, cologne, or any other personal care product that might increase corrosion or patina. Never spray your perfume over your jewelry no matter how sturdy they look. We have no control over chemical reactions.
- Don’t allow your lotion to come into contact with your jewelry. This is problematic on many levels because if the lotion doesn’t cause corrosion (at least, not yet), then there’s a big chance that the leftover lotion on your jewelry can end up trapping dust and grime. Grime can also cause premature aging of the appearance of the jewelry. If you like applying lotion all over, what you can do is apply it first and allow it to dry and dissipate first. When the lotion has dissipated, you can safely put on your jewelry, and you’re good to go.
- Don’t allow your plated jewelry to come into contact with common chemicals. This applies to everything, including excessive sweat. A little sweat is okay for jewelry, as long as you wipe down your jewelry at the end of the day. However, stuff like bleach, alcohol, chlorine, and nail polish remover can also damage plated jewelry. Solvents can cause a lot of damage over a period, especially if repeated exposure is involved.
- Do clean your jewelry often. We often wipe it down once per day and monitor it for signs of grime.
- Do use the proper cleaning agents when cleaning your jewelry. Not all jewelry cleaners are appropriate for gold-plated and silver-plated jewelry.
- To protect your jewelry by using a soft pouch. Do not store them mixed with other jewelry in your organizer.
Gold and silver-plated jewelry can be made to look fresh and attractive for years. The secret is to wash the metals carefully and avoid buffing them with harder tools.