Your 18-karat gold jewelry needs careful attention and cleaning to ensure that it remains shiny, untarnished and unscratched. In addition to keeping it away from lotions, perfumes and even perspiration whenever possible, employ a thoughtful cleaning and storage regimen to keep your jewelry looking its best and to maintain its value.
Fill a bowl with 2 cups warm water and several drops mild dish detergent. Soak your 18-karat gold jewelry in the solution for 15 minutes.
Scrub the jewelry with a soft baby toothbrush or a cotton swab to remove any dirt embedded in it, and then return it to the dishwashing liquid and water solution to rinse.
Fill a second dish with warm, clean water. Add jewelry pieces to the clean water to rinse off any soap residue.
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Dry jewelry with a soft, lint-free cloth. Rub the pieces gently to increase their shine. Do not use tissues or other paper-based products, as they may contain particles that could scratch 18-karat gold jewelry.
Lie jewelry flat overnight to ensure that it is totally dry before storing it. Any residual moisture may hasten tarnishing.
Never use chlorine or ammonia to clean 18-karat jewelry. These substances are too harsh.
Never use toothpaste or baking soda to clean 18-karat gold, as it is too abrasive and will scratch the surface of the jewelry.
Veronica Smith-Jennings is a former teacher who started freelance writing in 2003 and has been published in regional parenting magazines as well as on various websites. Her writing interests include home renovation and gardening, politics, education, sports and early childhood development. She has a Master of Arts in English education and a Bachelor of Arts in English.