How to Fix a Bleach-Tarnished Gold Ring

By Rebecca High

Swimmers--or people who are exposed to chlorine frequently, such as those who wash and sterilize things in it--should be careful to remove their gold rings as a precaution; chlorine damage usually occurs only if gold is repeatedly exposed to chlorine. If your gold jewelry does get tarnished, the best way to clean it is to take it to a jeweler who understands chemical properties and reactions as well as proper compounds. Taking your gold to a jeweler can be expensive, however, so here are a few home remedies you can try.

Rubbing alcohol
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Step 1

Research your metal.

Natural gold as it is mined from the ground is a soft metal, so it is often mixed, or "alloyed," with other metals, which is how white gold is created. White gold is made of a mixture of nickel and palladium in addition to gold, which makes it harder. Both kinds are often coated in a rhodium plating, which is often the culprit if and when tarnish sets in. Tarnish will give white gold a slightly yellow color; gold rings with high or long exposure to chlorine may start showing signs of stress such as cracks. Rings that have been adjusted for size, a process that creates stress and increases the metal's fragility, are particularly vulnerable.

Step 2

Try polishing your jewelry with a soft cloth.

A polishing cloth and vigorous buffer might be all that is needed.

Step 3

Soak your gold in isopropyl alcohol for several hours. This will remove grease and allow for easier polishing.

Step 4

Rinse thoroughly in warm or cool water.

Step 5

Mix a simple jewelry cleaning solution of ammonia (1/2 cup) and water (2 cups), and use a soft bristled toothbrush or other small brush to work the cleaning solution into the gems and cracks and crevasses of the gold or silver.

Step 6

Thoroughly rinse the jewelry again in warm-to-cool water, and air dry.

Step 7

Once the jewelry is dry, you can polish it again.