White gold jewelry is beautiful when it's shiny and new, but over time it can lose its luster and appear dull or discolored. Cleaning your white gold regularly at home can help restore its brilliance and make it look like new again. Follow this simple guide to learn how to clean white gold jewelry using ingredients and methods you likely already have at home.
The best way to clean white gold jewelry at home is to use a mild dish soap, warm water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Make a cleaning solution by mixing a few drops of dish soap with warm water in a small bowl. Soak your white gold jewelry in the solution for 5-10 minutes, gently scrubbing with a toothbrush to remove dirt and grime buildup. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a soft cloth. For a deeper clean, soak in soapy water with a bit of baking soda which will further breakdown tarnish and buildup. Rinse and dry as before. This simple cleaning method can be done regularly every few months to keep your white gold looking its best. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbing as this can damage the finish.
Chapter 1: Why It's Important to Clean White Gold Jewelry
- White gold is a mixture of gold and other white metals like nickel or palladium. Over time, it can become tarnished and dull due to exposure to dirt, oil and daily wear.
- Regular cleaning is key to maintaining the beauty and value of white gold jewelry. Buildup of sweat, lotion and skin oils can cause a dark patina to form on the surface. Perfumes, hairspray and other chemicals can also cause discoloration or etching.
- Cleaning removes this buildup and restores the original shine and luster of white gold. It’s important to clean before the dirt and grime accumulates and becomes more stubborn to remove.
- Well-maintained jewelry also tends to hold its value better over time. Pieces that are consistently cleaned will have less scratches and damage.
Chapter 2: Supplies Needed for Cleaning White Gold Jewelry at Home
- Mild dish soap
- Warm water
- Soft-bristled toothbrush
- Clean, soft cloth
- Small bowl
- Baking soda (optional)
- Eyeglass screwdriver (for jewelry with stones)
- Jewelry cleaning cloth
Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach, ammonia or abrasives. Also avoid ultrasonic and steam cleaners which can loosen glue on stones.
Stick to simple, gentle cleaning agents like dish soap. Use soft brushes and cloths to avoid scratching. Have an eyeglass screwdriver on hand to retighten stones if needed after cleaning.
Chapter 3: Step-by-Step Cleaning Process
Follow these steps for cleaning white gold jewelry at home:
- Fill a small bowl with warm water and add a few drops of mild dish soap. Stir to combine.
- Submerge your white gold jewelry in the soapy water and let soak for 5-10 minutes. This allows the solution time to break down dirt and oil buildup.
- Gently scrub the jewelry with a soft-bristled toothbrush, paying close attention to intricate detailing and underside areas. Avoid scrubbing too vigorously.
- For jewelry with stones, use the screwdriver to retighten prong settings if needed. This prevents stone loss.
- Once scrubbed, rinse the jewelry under warm running water until soap residue is removed.
- Pat dry with a clean, soft lint-free cloth. Old t-shirts or microfiber cloths work well.
- For a deeper clean, make a paste with baking soda and water and gently rub onto jewelry with a soft brush or cloth. Rinse and dry.
- For final polishing, use a treated jewelry polishing cloth. The cloths contain microscopic oils and waxes that add noticeable shine. Gently rub each piece back and forth.
- Store cleaned pieces separately until fully dry to prevent transfer of soap residue.
Follow this routine every 2-3 months for optimal results.
Chapter 4: Tips for Care and Maintenance
- Take rings, bracelets and earrings off before showering, swimming or cleaning. Water exposure can prematurely dull the finish.
- Apply lotion, perfume and hairspray before putting on white gold jewelry. This prevents chemical buildup.
- Use a jewelry cleaner cloth for quick polishing between full cleanings.
- Have white gold jewelry professionally ultrasonically cleaned every year or two to remove deep-set grime.
- When not being worn, store pieces separately in a fabric-lined jewelry box to prevent scratching.
- Handle white gold with care to avoid dents and misshaping. It's a softer metal than yellow gold.
- Remove white gold jewelry before physical activities like exercising, gardening and cleaning. This prevents damage.
- Check prong settings regularly to ensure stones are secure. Have them professionally tightened yearly.
Taking steps to care for your white gold will help it retain its beauty and keep it looking its best for years to come.
- Also read: How to take care of gold jewelry?
Chapter 5: How to Know If Your Jewelry Needs Professional Cleaning
While regular at-home cleaning is often sufficient, sometimes professional help is needed for white gold jewelry that is excessively tarnished or damaged. Signs your jewelry may need professional cleaning include:
- Dull, darkened finish that is unresponsive to DIY methods
- Scratches and dents that require buffing and re-polishing
- Porous or pitted surfaces indicating excessive wear or damage
- Buildup in hard-to-reach areas like crevices, links or prong settings
- Loose stones or prong settings in need of repair
- Deformed shaping or misalignments
- Unwanted stains that require expert removal techniques
- Significantly reduced shine and radiance
Jewelry professionals use specialized tools like ultrasonic cleaners and steam jets that penetrate deeply to dissolve stubborn buildup and residue. The high heat and agitation removes grime that household cleaning can't tackle.
Experts can also reshape damaged jewelry pieces and resurface scratched metals using expert polishing. They have access to intense buffing tools and compounds. Most also offer plating services to restore original luster.
For valuable antique or vintage pieces, specialized vintage jewelry cleaning may be needed to avoid damage. Reputable jewelers also check for loose stones and damaged prongs during professional cleanings.
While periodic professional cleaning has a cost, it's a smart investment to keep fine white gold jewelry sparkling. Typically an annual or biannual professional cleaning is recommended.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does white gold jewelry need special cleaning products? No harsh chemicals are needed. Mild dish soap and warm water work very well for routine at-home cleaning.
- How often should I clean white gold jewelry? Aim to clean every 2-3 months to keep white gold in good condition. Clean more frequently if worn often.
- Can I use a toothpaste scrub to clean white gold? Avoid this as toothpastes are abrasive and can cause microscopic scratches. Use a soft brush and mild soap only.
- Is it safe to clean white gold rings with diamonds? Yes, the same gentle cleaning method can be used. Be sure to inspect diamond settings afterwards.
- How can I make my cleaning solution more effective? Adding a bit of baking soda to the warm soapy water boosts cleaning power to remove tougher buildup and tarnish.
Keeping your white gold jewelry sparkling doesn’t require much effort. Follow this guide to easily clean pieces at home using mild dish soap, warm water and a soft brush. Gently scrub away dirt, oils and residue regularly to maintain shine and value. For optimal results, clean every few months or more often if worn frequently. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasives that can cause damage. With occasional professional cleanings as needed, your cherished white gold jewelry will retain its brilliant, lustrous finish for many years to come. Taking the time for proper care and cleaning is well worth the effort to protect your investment and keep your white gold jewelry in pristine condition.