How to Clean Gold-Plated Rings

CeCe NashMarch 30, 2010


Gold-plated rings must be cleaned carefully. Gold is a very soft metal, leaving it vulnerable to scratches, dents and other blemishes if it is handled too roughly. A gold-plated ring has only a very thin layer of gold draped over another metal, usually sterling silver. This plating will eventually wear away, but harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning methods can speed the process and rob the ring of its shine just as quickly as everyday wear, leaving a piece looking dingy or open to tarnishing.

Step 1

Wipe your ring with a clean, soft cloth. A microfiber cloth or one with similar softness works best to pick up dust while not leaving behind scratches.

Step 2

Fill a small bowl with warm water. Mix in either the mild detergent or an ammonia-based product, such as window cleaner. About 1 tbsp. of either will do.

Step 3

Allow the ring to soak in the mixture for at least half an hour. Swirl the ring in the bowl with tweezers halfway through soaking.

Step 4

Gently wash dirty areas with a cloth while the ring is still in the water. Do not scrub or rub the ring too hard, as this could harm its layer of gold. If stubborn spots remain, remake the mixture and let the ring soak for another half and hour, then repeat the cleaning process with the cloth.

Step 5

Remove the ring from the mixture and let it air-dry on the dry cloth. Do not rub or pat the ring dry, or you risk harming the gold plating.


  • 2 soft cloths
  • Small bowl
  • 1 tbsp. mild detergent or ammonia
  • warm water
  • tweezers


You can use this method on larger items, such as earrings, necklaces or gold-plated bracelets. Adjust the amount of detergent or ammonia needed for larger pieces.Store your gold-plated ring in a cloth-lined box made specifically for jewelry storage, such as RedEnvelope's silk jewelry tray, or on a jewelry tree or stand. These items ensure your rings stay separated from one another to prevent scratches.

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