18k gold jewelry is made of 75% gold and 25% other metal alloys. The more gold in an item, the softer the item is because pure gold is a very soft compound.
This means that 18k gold is softer than 14k gold, and in essence, less durable and more susceptible to dents and scratches.
This aside, 18k gold is advantageous in that it is purer and enjoys a richer color. Also, it has minimal metal alloys. This makes wearers less prone to allergic reactions.
Because gold tends to be pricey, you always want to properly take care of your gold jewelry to ensure its longevity and maintain its aesthetic value.
Here, learn the best ways to clean 18k gold jewelry.
Clean With Dish Soap
Put a few drops of mild dishwashing soap in a container with warm water. Add your jewelry into the container and let it soak for 20-30 minutes.
Tap water will work fine, but you can also use club soda or sodium-free seltzer water. The carbonation in these drinks helps loosen debris from jewelry.
Do not use hot water as it can damage the gold or the stones on it. Cold water, on the other hand, can make debris coagulate and therefore harder to wash off.
Soaking jewelry will help loosen dirt so that you can pry it off easily.
After the soak:
- Wash each piece individually.
- Use a soft cloth or a soft-bristled brush to clean the jewelry gently.
- Pay attention to nooks and crannies where dirt can accumulate and hide.
- Rinse each piece in warm water, then air dry completely before placing the items back in storage.
With Baking Soda
You will need baking soda, salt, a clean cloth, and warm water for this.
Warm a bowl of water and add baking soda and salt to it to make a solution. The salt will help loosen the dirt and debris, while the baking soda will help clean the metal itself.
Soak the jewelry pieces you intend to wash in this solution for no longer than 10 minutes. This should be sufficient.
Take them out one by one and clean them with a soft cloth to remove all dirt, sweat, and debris from them.
If a piece has some hard-to-reach areas, feel free to use a soft-bristled brush to clean the hidden bits.
You can then place cleaned pieces on a paper napkin or dry cloth to air dry them.
Take Them To A Jeweler
If you have gold pieces with very intricate designs or encrusted with precious stones, you might want to have them professionally deep cleaned from time to time.
The advantage of this is that a professional jeweler will know which solutions to use to clean the ornaments without damaging them. You can also be sure that the pieces will get a thorough cleaning to help maintain their luster.
Wondering how to clean white gold jewelry with diamonds? Here is a comprehensive guide on how to do that safely.