Cleaning gold can be tempting – after all, who doesn’t love the irresistibly shiny finish of a gold coin? However, gold is classed as a soft metal, which means it’s easy to scratch or damage it by mistake. Your gold treasures should be handled as little as possible to prevent unnecessary wear and tear.
A word of warning
Sometimes, cleaning gold can do more harm than good. Even a tiny bit of damage can decrease the value of a gold coin or bar, which means you should be very careful if you decide to clean your gold pieces. If in doubt, check with an expert to get their opinion on whether your gold items really do need to be cleaned – they might even have a professional cleaning service they recommend.
If you do decide it’s necessary to clean your gold, we’ve outlined the steps you should follow in order to avoid damaging or tarnishing it.
What you’ll need
When handling your gold pieces, make sure your hands are clean and dry. You’ll need a few simple household products to clean your gold, including:
- A tub or bowl
- Warm water
- Washing up liquid
- A soft-bristled brush or soft cloth
- A clean towel
A few key things to remember when selecting materials for cleaning your gold pieces:
- Never use products that contain abrasives, as they can damage the surface finish and potentially decrease the value of your gold pieces.
- Ensure your brush has very soft bristles that won’t scratch the surface of your coin, bar, or jewellery.
- If you live in an area that has hard tap water (high mineral content), consider using distilled water to prevent the minerals damaging the gold.
How to clean gold
Once you’ve assembled your materials, you’re ready to begin cleaning your gold.
- Fill your tub or bowl with warm water.
- Add a few drops of washing-up liquid to the water and mix gently.
- Place your gold coin, bar, or jewellery into the water and let it soak for a few minutes.
- If you feel it needs further intervention, use the soft-bristled brush or soft cloth to gently clean away any dirt or residue.
- Rinse it in clean water.
- Place it on the clean, dry towel and dab or pat it dry.
During the cleaning process, make sure to keep the following in mind:
- Start small: Only use a little bit of washing up liquid to begin with (you can always add more if you need to).
- Test before you begin: If possible, test your cleaning solution before you begin, perhaps using an old piece of jewellery, to ensure it’s safe to use.
- Be careful: Take care when handling your gold coin, bar, or jewellery in the water as it’s easy to scratch, and so it’s always best to handle it as little as possible.
- Be gentle: When drying gold, don’t rub it vigorously, as being too rough can damage the surface. Instead, pat or dab gently and then allow to air dry.
Alternative ways to clean gold
If you are worried about damaging your gold pieces by cleaning them yourself, there are a few alternative routes you can take.
An expert jeweller may be able to clean coins, bars, or jewellery using specialty products, or point you in the direction of someone who offers professional gold cleaning services.
If you want to go down a more intense path, some serious collectors use ultrasonic tanks to clean their gold coins, bars, and jewellery.
Much like the method outlined above, you simply place your gold pieces in a tank filled with water. However, instead of using your hands to clean each piece, sound waves move through the tank and create vibrations that cause the gold to move slightly, gently cleaning off dirt and residue.
When cleaning gold bars, coins, and jewellery, it’s best to approach with caution and ask for an expert opinion if you’re ever in doubt. For gold that’s already pristinely clean and beautifully shiny, explore our range of coins and bars!