You know that gold-plated jewelry is affordable and a good way to get the look of real gold at a lower price. What you might not know is how to take care of it so that it looks nice for as long as possible. Like all plated jewelry, gold plating on jewelry is more fragile than solid gold. You can’t just toss your gold-plated jewelry in your jewelry box and expect it to last forever. If you want your investment to last, follow these tips for taking care of your gold-plated pieces:
Always store your gold plated jewelry separately.
The first step in the care of gold-plated jewelry is to store it separately so that it doesn’t scratch or rub against other pieces. This is easy to do if you keep a jewelry box or chest. If you don’t have a jewelry box, you can use a cloth bag or even a paper grocery bag. Just make sure it’s not a plastic bag, which can trap moisture and cause rust. If you have a jewelry box, try to keep each piece separated from the others by putting in dividers. You may also want to consider keeping your plated jewelry in a safe deposit box if you don’t wear it often. This will protect it from damage and keep it safe from loss if there is a fire or other disaster at home.
Don’t expose your jewelry to chemicals.
Plated jewelry is sensitive to chemicals, including those found in hair and beauty products. You should never clean your plated jewelry with harsh chemicals, or leave it soaking in a chemical cleaner. Instead, wipe it clean with a soft cloth, rinsing it with water if there is any dirt or grit on it. You can also use a mild soap, but be sure to rinse it thoroughly so that it doesn’t leave a residue on the jewelry. It’s also a good idea to store your plated jewelry separately from other jewelry. That way, if one piece is contaminated, the others won’t be as well. It’s particularly important to keep plated jewelry away from pieces that contain silver. Silver and gold don’t mix, and when they’re in contact, one will tarnish (usually the silver).
Dry your pieces with a soft cloth after you shower.
You may not think about it, but your plated jewelry will get wet every time you shower. Over time, the water will cause rust and tarnish that won’t be easy to get off. You can help prevent this by drying your jewelry gently with a soft cloth after you shower. Dry the entire piece, including the clasp, where water can get trapped. You can also put your plated jewelry on a special dryer designed for jewelry. Some women put their earrings on a dryer while they shower, letting them dry while they wash their hair. This way, they won’t be tempted to put them back in their ears when they’re still wet.
Don’t wear your plated jewelry while exercising or swimming.
Gold-plated jewelry is durable, but it’s not impervious to damage. It’s best to keep your jewelry away from vigorous physical activity, such as exercise or sports, as well as swimming. If you do find yourself in a situation where you’re worried about damaging your jewelry, try taking it off and putting it in a safe place. You can also slip on a rubber band or bracelet guard. Bracelet guards are bands you wear around your wrist that hold your jewelry in place. You can also keep your plated jewelry in a safe place in your gym bag or swim bag if you’re worried about damaging it.
Use a gentle polishing cloth to shine your gold-plated pieces.
You can also clean your jewelry with a jewelry polishing cloth. These are fabric-covered pads that contain mild cleaners and polish. They’re safe for all types of jewelry, including plated pieces. You can use them to clean your jewelry before wearing it and also to clean it after you’ve worn it. For a quick clean, you can also use a clean piece of lint-free tissue paper. Don’t use paper towels or tissues with lotion or other chemicals, as these can harm your jewelry.
Don’t let good intentions lead you to believe that gold-plated jewelry is easy to care for. Keep the tips above in mind, and you’ll be able to keep your pieces looking shiny and new for years to come. Although you can’t expect your plated jewelry to last a lifetime, with good care, you can expect it to last a lot longer than you might think.