How to Clean White Gold Jewelry?

How to Clean White Gold Jewelry?

If you’ve ever owned a piece of white gold jewelry then you probably know that white gold gets dirty pretty quickly and scratches fairly easily, so you might be wondering how to clean white gold? If you are, you’ve come to the right place as we will discuss several ways of how to clean a white gold ring, bracelet, or necklace without ruining your white gold jewelry.

How to Clean White Gold Jewelry?

This the best way to clean white gold jewelry:

  1. Place warm water in a small container
  2. Add mild soap such as Palmolive or Dawn and mix the soap with the warm water
  3. Place your white gold jewelry in the solution for 20 minutes
  4. Use a soft piece of cloth and gently rub your jewelry for a few minutes to remove any excess dirt
  5. Rinse your white gold jewelry with warm water
  6. Dry your jewelry with a soft piece of cloth to avoid scratching your jewelry
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Cleaning Your White Gold Jewelry

These steps that we detailed above can be used to clean any piece of white gold jewelry but work best for simple white gold jewelry such as wedding bands and rings that don’t house gemstones.

However, if your white gold ring is home to a diamond or any precious stone, make sure to gently clean the diamond. Don’t apply too much pressure to the gemstone or diamond to avoid dislodging it from its housing.

Some gemstones should not be submerged in soapy water for too long, so if you have a rare gemstone that’s attached to your white gold jewelry, you can apply some soap to a soft cloth, gently rub the piece of jewelry with the cloth to remove any dirt or oil deposits. Once you’ve done this, quickly rinse your jewelry with some warm water.

This usually does the trick and leaves your jewelry looking new. But, if your jewelry is still dirty, read below to find out what to do next.

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What if My White Gold Jewelry Still Looks Dirty?

If you’ve tried to clean your white gold jewelry and the steps we listed above did not work, you can try to take it to your local jewelry shop for professional cleaning. Jewelers have ultrasonic jewelry cleaners that do a much better job of cleaning jewelry than what you can do at home with common household items.

That said, if you’ve tried everything and your white gold jewelry (ring, necklace, bracelet) is still not clean and looks faded, you will probably have to take your jewelry to your local jewelry store to be replated with rhodium.

White gold is created by applying a coat of rhodium to cover the yellow gold that’s underneath the surface. With time, the rhodium coating wears out, exposing the pale gold alloy that’s underneath it.

If this happens to you, don’t panic. Many jewelry stores offer a service known as rhodium replating whereby a jeweler adds a new layer of rhodium plating that will make your white gold jewelry look new again.

To understand why white gold gets discolored, you need to know how white gold is made.

White gold is made by alloying (combining) regular yellow gold with other metals, such as silver and palladium.

After the metals are combined, the jewelry is given its shape and is then coated with a very thin layer of rhodium. Rhodium is what gives white gold its white mirror-like finish.

After some wear and tear, the rhodium plating that’s added to the surface of jewelry begins to wear out, exposing the pale yellow gold alloy that’s underneath.

When this occurs, the only way to restore white gold jewelry to its original glory is to have a professional reapply rhodium plating to the surface through a process known as electroplating.

We checked how much jewelers charge to perform rhodium plating and found the range to be anywhere from $35 to $100, depending on the amount of rhodium that needs to be applied.

When searching for someone to reapply rhodium, it’s best to find an experienced individual to perform the work. If the work is not performed properly, you will find the rhodium plating wearing out much sooner than it should.

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How to Care for Your White Gold Jewelry?

The best way to care for white gold jewelry is to take it off when you’re performing tasks that take a toll on your jewelry or you can wear gloves to protect your hands, as well as your jewelry.

Tasks that can ruin white gold jewelry include: cleaning with bleach, chlorine, and other harsh chemicals. Cleaners don’t play well with the rhodium plating that’s applied to every piece of white gold jewelry because they react with the rhodium plating, destroying it.

Another great tip is to take off your jewelry when applying makeup or lotions to your body. This is important for two reasons.

First, lotions and makeup can easily dirty your jewelry and some cosmetics, getting stuck in places that are too tight to clean.

Second, some lotions and makeup have chemicals that don’t play well with white gold jewelry, slowly eating away at the rhodium plating on your jewelry.

That said, if you’re planning on going to swim, it’s generally a good idea to take off your jewelry, because not only may you lose it when swimming, but the chlorine and salts that are typically added to swimming pools are not good for your white gold jewelry, causing reactions that can strip down the rhodium plating of your white gold jewelry.

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How to Clean White Gold Naturally?

The best way to clean white gold naturally is to place warm water in a container and to leave your white gold in there for 15 to 20 minutes. After that, add some water to a cloth and rub the jewelry with it to remove any dirt or oil. Once you’re finished, rinse it with some warm water and dry it with a soft cloth. This is the best way to clean white gold naturally.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that I used to get while working at a jewelry shop. You may find that you have the same questions that we often get about how to clean white gold jewelry.

What should I do if my white gold jewelry turns yellow?

If your white gold turns yellow, this means that the rhodium plating on your white gold has worn out, exposing the gold alloy underneath. The only way to fix a piece of white gold jewelry that has turned yellow is to take it to a jeweler who can replate your jewelry with rhodium.

Rhodium is the coating that gives all white gold its platinum look. So, when it wears out, a new layer of rhodium needs to be applied to restore your white gold jewelry to its original look.

Should you use ammonia to clean white gold jewelry?

Although ammonia is often used to clean yellow gold jewelry, ammonia should never be used to clean white gold jewelry. All white gold jewelry is plated with rhodium and ammonia eats away the rhodium plating, as such, it should never be used to clean white gold jewelry.

Can you use vinegar to clean white gold?

Some people claim that white distilled vinegar can clean almost anything, however, we do not recommend that you use vinegar to clean white gold jewelry.

Vinegar is very acidic, so although it may clean white gold jewelry temporarily, it may permanently damage your jewelry by degrading the rhodium plating.

If you’ve already used vinegar and you’re white gold jewelry has turned yellow, you can still fix it by having it replated with rhodium. So, the next time someone recommends that you clean your white gold with vinegar, you shouldn’t listen to them.

What can you use to clean white gold?

The best way to clean white gold with damaging it is to follow the steps at the beginning of this article. Grab yourself a bowl, add some hot water and dish soap, soak your ring for 15 mins, gently rub the piece of jewelry to remove any dirt and oil, and rinse it with warm water. This is the safest way to ensure that you don’t damage your white gold jewelry.

Should you polish white gold jewelry to clean it?

You should polish white gold jewelry with a cloth, however, don’t use abrasive materials to polish it. Every time you polish white gold jewelry using a machine, you’re removing some of the rhodium that’s on white gold. If white gold polished too often, this can prematurely wear out its rhodium plating. So, polish it yourself using a cloth, but don’t overdo it.

Should you use lemon juice to clean white gold?

You should not use lemon juice to clean white gold. Lemon juice is acidic and using it on white gold will eat away the rhodium plating, permanently damaging it. As we mentioned earlier, the best way to clean white gold jewelry is to use soap and warm water. Don’t use lemon juice or harsh chemicals as they made damage your jewelry.

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