How to clean gold plated silver at home, how to care for it and how to remove it

Many of us have jewelry and household items covered with a layer of gilding. These things are very valuable from the point of view that on the one hand they are made of precious silver, but on the other hand they are covered with the thinnest layer of gold, and this adds value and pathos to such products.

Despite the fact that gold cannot be attributed to especially chemically active substances, gilded things are still highly oxidized. This usually happens with those things that have not been carefully cared for and decent storage conditions have not been observed.

Today we will talk about how to save gilded things from dirt and oxidation, so as not to harm them in any way.

How to clean gilded silver at home: quickly and effectively

Some owners of gold-plated jewelry believe that, the more often you clean a thing, the more gilding is removed from it. This is not at all true: contrary to logic, gentle cleaning of gilded silver saves products, and the more often you clean things, the better they will look. If the decoration is not looked after for a long time, it will be covered with a thick layer of dark plaque, which will later be difficult to remove. Now let's move on to the methods.

Method number 1: washing in soapy water

Gold-plated jewelry is very well cleaned by soaking in soapy water. Let's describe the algorithm of actions in more detail.
Initially, you will need to prepare the ingredients, utensils and tools:

  • pure water. It is best to use distilled water for the procedure, which is previously purified from any impurities. The problem is that a huge amount of chemicals are added to the piped water so that humanity does not become infected with any cholera. But silver reacts very well to this chemistry. The distillate is sold in any normal car shop. If it is not possible to buy such a miracle of nature, then take ordinary drinking water, but first let it settle.

Cleaning of gilded products should always begin with the removal of dust, existing stains, greasy deposits.

  • liquid soap or soap shavings. It is very easy to prepare the shavings. Take not the smallest grater and rub a piece of ordinary laundry soap on it. For a small decoration, you will need about 50-100 grams of chips. Do not use tricky cosmetic soap, as it is not clear what is added to it, and how silver and gold will react to additives. Liquid soap is better to take the one that is recommended for use for children. Nothing extra will be added to it.
  • net capacityfor washing;
  • spoon or wooden stick for stirring;
  • cotton buds;
  • gloves;
  • dry napkins or a soft cloth for wiping glasses.

This method is suitable for those products (chains, rings, earrings, pins, spoons, household items) that do not contain mechanisms, such as watches and precious or semi-precious stones. About them a little later.

Method of work.

  1. Heat a little (40 degrees) in a clean bowl water (200 ... 300 grams or 1 ... 1,5 cups).
  2. Add a couple of tablespoons of soap to the liquid.
  3. Stir the resulting solution with a spoon.
  4. Dip your jewelry in a container and place in a warm place. It is possible on the battery if it is not very hot. Leave it like that for half an hour.
  5. Gently wipe all hard-to-reach places of jewelry with a cotton swab.
  6. Drain the soapy water, wash the container and refill it with warm distillate.
  7. Rinse jewelry/products.
  8. Wipe everything dry with a lint-free cloth.
  9. Leave on clean paper to dry.

Remember that you can only work with products with gloves, as a huge amount of grease and dirt accumulates on our hands.

Method number 2: medical or industrial alcohol

You have probably heard that in the former Soviet Union, for wiping all technical used alcohol. And it is not strange, this combustible liquid removes almost all organic and inorganic contaminants. So gold-plated products can be wiped with alcohol. However, here it is necessary to remember a few nuances.

  1. Do not under any circumstances buy untested alcohol of unknown origin. It is best to get liquid in a pharmacy. In this composition, from 96,3 to 96,6% of the desired alcohol, and impurities are only less than 4%. Other liquids may contain something incomprehensible. And no one can predict how this substance will react with your product.
  2. Do not use ordinary vodka for wiping and washing. It also contains impurities.
  3. You can also use industrial alcohol with the romantic name denatured alcohol. Remember that special substances have been added to this liquid, which exclude the consumption of the product for food purposes. In other words, you can't drink it. Remember that in order to distinguish it from food alcohol, blue dyes (for example, methyl violet) are additionally introduced into denatured alcohol - substances with a sharply unpleasant odor and taste, there is an inscription "poison" on the labels of consumer packaging.
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You will need to prepare the ingredients, utensils and tools:

  • pure water;
  • a clean wash basin;
  • cotton buds;
  • gloves;
  • alcohol itself;
  • dry wipes or a soft cloth for wiping glasses.

Let's move on to the cleaning process:

  1. Rinse jewelry in clean, warm water (see the heading above for how to choose water).
  2. Dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
  3. On a clean cloth, apply some pure alcohol, and wipe all jewelry / products with it. If dirt remains in hard-to-reach places, then you can get rid of it with a cotton swab, also dipped in alcohol.
  4. It's all here. Wipe everything again with a piece of cloth to make it shiny.

Remember that if white stains remain after washing, then you were fooled and the alcohol was not pure at all. In this case, rinse your product again and polish it with a cloth.

Cleaning gilding with a special tool

Of course, the easiest way to clean precious items is with a special jewelry paste. A substance designed to clean precious metals, easily restore shine and chic appearance to products. At the same time, it should be noted that such chemistry is very expensive, so many people prefer improvised means and folk methods that we have described to you above.

How to clean gilded spoons from blackness at home

Cleaning methods for gilded spoons are somewhat different from other silver items. The main rule for maintaining the attractive appearance of gilded products is regular thorough maintenance and the prevention of significant contamination, because it will be more difficult to deal with them.

With minor contamination, if your beauty has not darkened, you should do with a gentle washing with a suede cloth, wiping with a cotton pad with alcohol or turpentine.

Remember that if your products (spoons, jewelry) have parts made of ordinary metal, they may rust when exposed to water. These areas should not be soaked, just wipe them with alcohol.

With more significant contamination, the spoons are washed with vinegar or beer.

Beer Technique for Gilded Cleansing

Many housewives note the effectiveness of "beer baths" for cleaning gold at home.
Prepare the following:

  • dark beer;
  • clean water;
  • soft napkin;
  • clean container;
  • rubber gloves.

To clean gilded silver with beer, you you will need to do the following:

  1. Remove grease from products with alcohol or by simply rinsing in drinking water.
  2. Pour dark beer into a clean container and put your beauty there.
  3. Cover everything with a lid or a napkin and send for an hour in a warm place.
  4. After bathing, wash all jewelry and wipe with a dry cloth.
  5. Buff with a soft cloth to a high shine.

Vinegar to the rescue

You can clean the gilding that has turned black with "bathing" in wine vinegar. All spoons, as in the previous method, must first be washed in clean water. Next, the products are immersed in a solution for 15 ... 20 minutes, a liter of water per 2 tablespoons of 8% vinegar. Gold works excellently with acids, so this method allows you to quickly remove even the most caustic dirt, without the use of heavy artillery. After the spoon is wiped with a suede cloth and polished.

There are a lot of methods to offer, they will all work, but choose one for yourself and use only it. Do not experiment every time, as going too far in this direction can seriously harm your luxury items.

Another proposed method polishing products with wine vinegar. In this case, it is necessary to apply some of the acid to a cotton pad and gently wipe all the dirty parts of the spoon with it. This method was very often used before, when a person did not have so many chemistry at hand. However, remember that you can only work with vinegar with gloves, as everyone has small wounds on their hands. If acid gets in, it will be very painful and unpleasant.

Egg yolk helps

  • Prepare the mixture: 1 egg yolk and a tablespoon of javelin water (chlorine-based cleaner).
  • Apply the mixture to a piece of cloth and wipe the gilded spoons with it.
  • Rinse the spoons under cold clean running water.
  • Dry and polish.

It is important to remember that a concentrated cleaning agent can harm the skin of the hands, so the use of gloves is definitely necessary when using this method.

All in a bunch

  • Mix in equal parts finely crushed chalk, water, petroleum jelly and soap shavings. Apply a little of the prepared mixture to a soft cloth and rub the gilding with it. Next, you need to rinse under cold running water, until the moment when the products begin to shine as before.
  • Polish everything with a soft cloth.
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This method is one of the most efficient and easily returns an attractive appearance to products with gilding. However, the material can be damaged if the chalk is poorly ground. Also, do not rub the surface too intensively, as the product can be spoiled.

Whatever cutlery the family uses: exquisite silver or luxurious gilded, discreet cupronickel or unpretentious stainless steel products - they all need careful, thorough and competent care.

Ways not recommended

Ammonium chloride is an indispensable participant in one of the oldest and most effective home methods that our grandmothers used. To clean silver with gilding, it was precisely a solution of ammonia that was prepared.
The ammonia reacts with any chemical oxidizing agent, converting the oxide into ammonium salts, which makes it a very good solvent. At the same time, the peculiarity of ammonia is that when removing plaque from gold and silver, ammonia does not actively interact with alloys, which allows the use of a solvent without the risk of damaging the precious metal.

The only momentto consider when cleaning: must not soak silver and gold in the same solution, as they will react, resulting in yellow silver and white gold. It is not recommended to use ammonia to clean gilded silver, as well as products with pearls. With regard to products that contain other gems, when preparing the solution, you need to reduce the amount of ammonia.

To the way people recommend using ammonia, if nothing helps at all. However, remember that after application, you must immediately throw the jewelry into clean water so that the reaction does not go further. Otherwise it will be too late.

How to clean stones

The stones were taken to a separate chapter. You have probably heard that minerals of natural origin are very capricious in themselves. The fact is that in the composition of crystals there is such a huge number of elements (from oxygen to graphite) that one is amazed. This the composition can interact differently with solutionsthat you use to clean the gilding. Therefore, it is simply forbidden to take risks and put your jewelry or products into something without preliminary research. If one of the nuggets does not respond, then you are saved, and if the stone fades, then you will make yourself a problem that will be excessively costly to fix. Be careful.

In the world there are about 4000 minerals. The stones are relatively brittle and can break from sharp blows or cracks can form in them, into which various dirt very often gets. Remember that emerald, chrysolite and some others are very fragile stones, they are most susceptible to pollution.

The most reliable and effective way is to use jewelry cosmetics. You can get professional cleaning of gilded products with colored stones in the workshop.

Many gemstones should protect from prolonged exposure ultraviolet radiation - amethysts, wine topazes can fade under the action of simple light. Therefore, in no case should jewelry with these stones be cleaned using ultraviolet methods. And also remember that amethysts and topazes should not be boiled and left near a heat source.

ruby jewelry, sapphire, alexandrite can be washed in warm soapy water. Then the jewelry should be washed under clean water and wiped with a soft cloth.

Requires extreme care noble opal. This mineral contains a large amount of moisture. With prolonged exposure to the sun, it dehydrates, and with a sharp cooling, the moisture in the mineral crystallizes. All this can cause the formation of cracks in which dirt clogs. Products with opal are recommended to be washed regularly with plain warm water.

How to care for gilded silver

The easiest metal to gild is silver. Therefore, when cleaning and caring for jewelry, it is necessary to take into account the peculiarities of handling both this precious metal and the coated one. To prevent the decoration from losing its top layer, it should never be cleaned with hard materials:

  • sponges;
  • brushes;
  • powders with hard crystals, such as chalk.

The most common problem encountered is darkening of the metal. In order for the product to darken, only one condition is needed - the presence of oxygen. Sometimes products can turn green if they contain copper. A number of simple rules will help you keep the metal shining longer:

  • Try regularly take care of gilded silver items. Getting rid of a slight darkening is much easier than cleaning a thick layer of dark plaque.
  • Don't storeno gilded products in the bathroom: they lose their luster faster from water and steam.

Care for silver jewelry with gilding should be organized immediately from the moment of purchase of the products. Otherwise, you will bring your jewelry to such a state that you just have to etch the top layer.

  • If you have gold-plated jewelry, then take them off before washing dishes or going to do household chores. Cleaning agents can corrode the coating used to gild the silver.
  • Before applying cream or decorative cosmetics, all the gilding should be removed. In cosmetics, there is nothing harmful to the skin, but for jewelry, acids are a destructive condition.
  • Silver does not like sea water, and gilding is unstable to the bright sun. Before going on vacation to hot countries, it is better to leave jewelry at home.
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Caring for gilding on silver is not so difficult. Just choose the method that suits you and it will be easier to organize at home and there will be no problems.

How to remove gilding from silver at home

Of course, the easiest way to perform this procedure is to turn to specialists by giving jewelry or dishes to a special workshop. However, there is not always time for this, and it is difficult to find a good professional in their field, so many people want to carry out the procedure on their own.
You can remove gilding from silver at home in one of two ways:

  • chemical;
  • electrochemical.

Chemical method

The well-known "royal vodka" will help to remove gold from jewelry. But the procedure must be carried out very carefully, because it is necessary not only to remove the layer of gold, but also to save the jewelry, leaving the silver without any damage.

If silver has come through on the object, then it must be closed either with adhesive tape, under which acid does not fall, or with plasticine.

Himself method includes the following procedure:

  • Cleaning of the product from all types of contaminants. This can be done either with alcohol or soapy water.
  • Pour "royal vodka" into a porcelain cup. Aqua regia is a mixture of concentrated nitric HNO3 (65-68% wt.) and hydrochloric HCl (32-35% wt.) acids, taken in a ratio of 1:3 by volume. The name is not related to spirits and comes from the obsolete meaning of the word "vodka" (water) and the unique ability of this mixture to dissolve gold.

If you want to remove the gilding from the watch, then you can try in the same way, after disassembling the watch in detail, but here it is clearly better to turn to professionals.

  • Warm up the product a little and immerse it in the liquid.
  • Heat the container without bringing the acid to a boil.
  • If dark spots appear on the product - this is silver chloride, then the procedure must be stopped.
  • The product must be removed from the liquid and rinsed under clean running water.
  • Next, the product is immersed in an ammonia solution in order to remove silver chloride.
  • Remains of gilding are removed with a simple brush brush.

This method is suitable for removing gilding from radio components, coins, household items, printed circuit boards.

Electrochemical method

It is necessary to organize a cathode-anode system and a bath with a solution. For the procedure you will need:

  • distilled water;
  • power supply with the ability to change the voltage and polarity;
  • electrolyte - 7% potassium cyanide solution in distilled water;

The removal of gilding by the electrochemical method is carried out as follows:

  1. Electrolyte preparation:
  2. Preparing a glass jar and a lid for it:
  3. Suspension of stainless steel or titanium cathode:
  4. Immersion of the anode in an electrolytic bath, which is the object itself, from which the gold layer is removed;
  5. Supply voltage about 4 volts;
  6. You will see the result simply with your eyes;
  7. after completion of the procedure, the precious coin must be removed, rinsed thoroughly under the tap, removing the remnants of gold with a brush.

Important! During the procedure, the jar must be closed with a lid, since hydrogen sulfide is released due to a chemical reaction.

Remember that when working with chemistry you have to be as careful as possible. It is advisable to wear at least a respirator on your nose, gloves on your hands and more than one pair. Do not remove anything from the solution with your hands. Better with some tweezers with plastic tips.

You need to work in a well-ventilated area. If there is none, and you are sitting in the garage, then just open the door wide open so that the chemistry vapors come out.

Now you know a lot about gilding. You can even say that you have become an expert in this matter and now you can not only clean gilded objects and jewelry, but also remove the coating layer from them correctly. However, remember that such beautiful things still have their expiration date, since the gilding is easily erased and cannot be used for a long time. If you notice that any of your brooches or watches are worn out, then you should not be upset. Go to the workshop, professionals will help you.


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