How to Clean & Polish Gold?

Maybe you’ve been smart enough to get some gold bullion in your life, or perhaps as gold’s fortunes rise, you’re eyeing that gold coin collection with renewed interest?

Cleaning gold bullion, coins, or jewelry fills people with unnecessary trepidation because the process is simple, low-tech, and satisfying. Here’s all you need to know about cleaning your gold.

Although bullion is ideally kept in its original wrapping for purposes of storage, accidents happen.

Things get dirty, or perhaps dusty, and your gold bullion (or jewelry) might need a good clean every now and then.

The good news is, cleaning gold is a simple process, and the best results come from household equivalents to industrial cleaners.

Some industrial chemicals (ammonia, for example) are used, but then they’re typically common household consumables too, so don’t be intimidated!

Choose your gold cleaning method

Your first option is to simply run some warm water into the sink or a suitable bowl, and add a dash of dishwashing liquid.

Add a few ammonia drops, around 10 drops of store-bought ammonia per liter of water. Have a soft-bristled toothbrush handy, preferably in baby size, and brush the gold methodically but gently for a few minutes.

When done (the gold will sparkle and be visibly brighter), simply rinse off in warm, clean water. Dry with a paper towel or cloth, or allow to air dry. An uncomplicated method that gives great results.

NB: Another common method involves a much stronger ammonia concentration (around one part ammonia to eight parts water). if you opt for chemicals to do the heavy lifting and not elbow grease, don’t leave your gold in such a solution for longer than a minute. Thereafter, lift it out, gently brush or vigorously wipe it with a toothbrush or wet cloth for a half minute or so, and immediately rinse in warm water. Repeat the process of briefly soaking, swiftly removing, brushing and rinsing if needs be, but don’t leave your gold soaking in a strong ammonia solution for long.

The second route to the shiny yellow metal is similar. To the bowl of warm water, add baking soda and a few drops of dishwashing liquid.

Mix the water and bicarb and dishwashing liquid well, and then allow the gold to soak in it for 10 minutes. Again, with gentle but persistent strokes, scrub the gold with a soft-bristled small toothbrush until it sparkles.

If you’re cleaning jewelry, ensure that the brush’s bristles get into any crevices on the piece for a comprehensive clean.

Rinse off well in warm, clean water, and make sure all the baking soda granules are off the cleaned gold. Dry with a paper or cloth towel, or air dry.

Gold cleaning tips and tricks

Tip number one: Limit the time you spend handling your bullion or wearing gold jewelry. It might sound like a lousy idea, but it’s easy enough to preserve gold’s sparkle with limited, careful use. Again, rewrap bullion in the factory packaging that it came in.

Unfortunately, deeper visible scratches (or a copious number of them) on bullion or jewelry will need to be buffed out by professionals, and that involves traveling with your gold to their place of business, handing it over, and hoping it’s returned in a better condition, but at the same weight!

First choice?

Don’t allow your gold to get scratched from excessive or messy handling.

Tip number two: A jeweler’s cloth can be bought easily online or at a jewelry store, and will be a tremendous aid to occasional buffing of slightly dusty or otherwise lightly grimy gold pieces.

Use the cloth either on lightly dirtied gold or after one of the cleansing methods given above.

If you wash the gold first, you’ll essentially be polishing it with a jeweler’s cloth thereafter.

Have some gold?

Now you know how simple and gratifying it is to keep it clean.

Want some gold?

Good choice!

By all accounts, gold is set for a meteoric trajectory over the next decade, with liquidity and appeal that should redefine its value ever higher.

Now is the time to be buying gold, so buzz gold IRA dealers you can trust to take your portfolio up several notches!

Addendum: Gold bullion, unlike gold jewelry which is more constantly handled and worn, typically only tarnishes after a half-century or more. Take professional advice before removing genuine gold tarnish, as it’s a hallmark of the gold’s antiquity, and buffing it up to a newly minted sheen could in fact devalue it slightly.

Further Reading: The Powerful Dynamics Behind Gold