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How To Clean Your Gold Chain: 5 Simple Methods

You have some gold chain, and for a while, it looks amazing. And, then, the same thing happens to it that happens to almost everything—it gets dirty.

Thankfully, cleaning gold chains is a simple exercise and something that you can do at home in only a few minutes.

I’ve compiled the very best gold chain cleaning methods so that you’ll have yours clean in no time.

Method 1: A Simple Soak in Warm Water

gold chain soaking in water

The best method of cleaning your gold chain is the one that requires the least work. Now, I’m not advocating for slacking off, but if you can spend less time on cleaning your gold chain, you can spend more time on the things that matter.

The simple soak method is just that. Take your gold chain, immerse is it in warm water, and let it soak for a couple of hours.

Pro Tip: Be sure that your chain is gold and not fake gold or gold-plated, as soaking can ruin a chain that is not gold. You should also not use this method if there are gemstones in the chain.

Once you remove the gold chain from the water, rinse it and dry it off with a clean cloth.

If your gold is very dirty, you can add some soap to the water.

If this method does not remove all of the dirt, move on to one of the next methods. Soaking is always the first step, so you should soak whenever you are cleaning gold chain.

Method 2: Brushing With a Toothbrush

cleaning a gold chain with a toothbrush

If you are going to scrub your gold chain with a brush, make sure to soak the gold chain first. This will help to soften any dirt and will make scrubbing the gold chain a lot easier.

For this method, it is best to use a soft toothbrush and avoid one with stiff bristles. Stay away from any brushes with animal bristles. I would recommend using a children’s toothbrush, a makeup brush, or a paintbrush.

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Soak the gold chain (Method 1)
  2. Rinse the gold chain.
  3. Use the soft brush to scrub off any dirt.
  4. Rinse the gold chain again.
  5. Dry with a clean cloth.

Method 3: Rubbing Alcohol and Water

Soap and water might not cut it, so you might have to bring out the big guns. This method uses rubbing alcohol (though you can also sub for ammonia).

Again, the steps are simple:

  1. Create a 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water (80/20 for water/ammonia)
  2. Soak the gold chain for 4 minutes (1 minute for ammonia)
  3. Rinse the gold chain.
  4. Dry with a clean cloth.

Pro Tip: Rubbing alcohol and ammonia can be abrasive, so this is best used infrequently for deep-set grime and should not be used on antique jewelry.

Method 4: Baking Soda or Toothpaste

If you don’t like the idea of using abrasive chemicals, there are a few natural cleaners that you can use that you probably have around your home. The two most popular are baking soda and toothpaste.

Baking Soda

gold chain soaking in baking soda
  1. Place the gold chain on a foil-lined baking tray (to protect the soft gold).
  2. Sprinkle liberally with baking soda.
  3. Boil some water.
  4. Pour over the gold chain until submerged.
  5. Agitate slightly.
  6. Leave for five minutes.
  7. Remove the gold chain with tongs.
  8. Rinse under cold water.
  9. Dry with a clean cloth.

Toothpaste

via GIPHY

  1. Soak the gold chain first (Method 1)
  2. Apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to a soft toothbrush.
  3. Scrub the gold chain with the toothpaste.
  4. Rinse the gold chain.
  5. Dry with a clean cloth.

Method 5: The Professional Options

For thicker or dirtier jewelry, or just for gold chain that just does not get clean with the other methods, you might have to opt for a more professional cleaning method. This doesn’t involve taking your chain to a professional cleaner and can still be done at home, but it might cost a little more.

Professional Gold Chain Cleaner

Make sure that you buy a cleaner specifically for gold chain and follow the instructions on the packaging. You should still use a soft brush, and you can soak it before, making sure to rinse and dry it after.

Ultrasonic Cleaner

You can place your gold chain in this cleaner, and it will clean it for you through ultrasonic waves. This type of cleaner is well suited for thicker chains. I recommend talking to a jeweler before using one of these to make sure that it is right for your gold chain.

How To Protect Your Gold

Prevention is the best cure, so it makes sense to protect your gold chain from becoming dirty rather than waiting for it to become dirty and then cleaning it.

Here are my top tips for keeping your gold clean:

  • Keep it dry and away from moisture and liquids.
  • Store your gold chain properly when it is not in use. A velvet bag is ideal and will protect from UV light. Place that velvet bag in an airtight container if storing for longer periods of time.
  • Use a protective spray from a jeweler to protect the gold chain.

Pro Tips For When You Are Cleaning Gold Chain

While cleaning gold chain is easy, there are some tips to keep in mind when you are cleaning. If you are careful and attentive, you will avoid any accidental damage, dents, and tarnishing.

  • Make any repairs before cleaning your gold chain.
  • Always use a soft brush to clean gold chain.
  • Nerve use harsh chemicals such as chlorine or bleach.
  • Don’t overdo the soap or other chemicals.
  • Don’t attempt the above methods if you have diamonds or other gemstones in your gold chain. Consult an expert first.
  • Clean often so that you don’t need to use chemicals frequently.
  • Test out any cleaners on a small area of the gold chain first.
  • Plug your sink if you are rinsing the gold chain under your faucet.
  • Consult a professional if you are ever in doubt about what you are doing.