Gold has been prized for ages for its shimmering finish and high shine. Over time, exposure to soaps and the oils from your skin can cause 14k gold to lose its luster. Gold is a very soft metal, so using any sort of abrasive scrub on your jewelry can cause scratches and permanent damage. The best ways to clean 14k gold are methods that call for more soaking than scrubbing.


The tried and true method for cleaning 14k gold is to soak it in ammonia. Fill a glass with about two inches and place your gold in it, ensuring it's entirely submerged. Place the glass in a well ventilated but secured area. The longer you allow the ammonia to work on breaking down the chemicals and skin cells that have clung to your gold and caused it to lose its shine, the better. Ideally give it 12 to 15 hours. Remove your gold, rinse it thoroughly and wash your hands.


Vinegar is another great, safe way to clean 14k gold. It's not as acidic as ammonia, so it will take considerably longer to clean your gold. It's safer if you plan to soak your gold indoors, where vapors may be an issue. Leave the gold submerged in vinegar for 24 to 48 hours, remove, polish lightly with a paper towel and rinse.

Eyebrow Brush

If you absolutely must scrub to remove the grime on your gold, using an eyebrow brush and a small amount of toothpaste is a safe way that prevents scratching. Place a small amount of toothpaste on the eyebrow brush and gently make circular movements on the portion of the gold you want to clean. Stay clear of gemstones and any other metals. Once you're done, thoroughly wash the gold to prevent the toothpaste from drying and remaining caked on.

Dish Soap

For occasional polishing and dirt removal, soak your gold overnight in a simple solution of dish soap and water. This is great for dirt on jewelry that's worn only occasionally, or items such as necklaces and bracelets that tend not to come in contact with as much grime as, say, a ring. Rinse the gold off once it's soaked for as long as you wish, and enjoy your like-new gold.

About the Author

Andrew Leahey

Andrew Leahey has been a writer since 1999, covering topics as varied as technology how-to guides and the politics of genetically modified organisms to African food supplies. He is pursuing his J.D. while renovating an 1887 farmhouse located in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.