Can I Wash 21k Gold Jewellery Without Losing Colour or Shine?

Let’s face it. We all have a favourite piece of gold jewellery we can’t get enough of. Whether doing the dishes, running errands, or even during a bath, it’s our trusty steed and partner in crime. However, you might have noticed that regularly wearing such staple pieces tarnishes their shine, even the 21k gold you may have.

This brings us to the question: Can you regularly wash 21k gold jewellery with water without losing colour or shine? The good news is that you can clean 21k gold jewellery to bring out its lost splendour. Read on to discover more.

What is 21k Gold Jewellery?

21k gold or 21 karats gold jewellery signifies a piece that has a gold purity level of 87.5%. The rest 12.5% is made up of other metals and alloys to grant it a durability that is otherwise not achievable in pure gold. This 21k gold is a high-purity gold that is popular for jewellery use.

Why is Gold Jewellery Easy to Look Dirty?

gold necklace and earrings

You may be wondering why your precious staples accumulate so much dirt and debris in the first place. Well, gold is easier to look dirty owing to its beautiful and reflective surface, making it easy to spot the dirt. Secondly, the alloys mixed with gold jewellery react with air or water to create discolouration. Lastly, daily wear and tear associated with everyday use is the most likely culprit.

Is Cleaning Gold Jewellery Good?

Regular wear of your favourite piece of gold jewellery may cause it to become dull over time. Exposure to water, chemicals, oils, dirt, and debris are the most likely culprits in this situation. Gold experts recommend a gentle clean every week to remedy your dull gold.

By lightly cleaning gold jewellery, you can extend its life and ensure that your gold steers clear of any fingerprints, dirt, and other debris. The question remains, does water make gold lose its colour and shine?

Does Water Make Gold Jewellery Lose Its Colour or Shine?

If water made gold lose its colour or shine, it wouldn’t have survived in the deep oceans for the world to discover. The truth is, it’s not the water but the salt or chemicals found in it that tarnish gold jewellery.

Gold itself is a metal which resists corrosion. In fact, if you go through the periodic table, you will find it to be the least reactive of metals. It will not rust or corrode since it doesn’t react to oxygen. Moreover, water and air do not affect it either.

Due to this reason, water alone cannot make it lose its colour or shine. However, gold jewellery such as 9k, 14k, 18k, 21k and 22k gold is mixed with other alloys and metals to grant it durability. These alloys or metals tend to react to moisture or oxygen.

Reacting to air or moisture leads to the discolouration you experience on your gold jewellery. Such discolouration can be easily cleaned in the comfort of your home by, you guessed it right: water.

How to Wash 21k Gold Jewellery with Water?

washing gold jewellery

Without further ado, here is how you can wash your gold jewellery with water:

  1. Pour in some warm water and add a drop of mild dish soap. Use any toothbrush to mix the soap in the water until you see some lather.
  2. Put your jewellery pieces inside the water solution and let them soak.
  3. Lift the jewellery pieces one by one. Brush them over with the soft toothbrush you used to mix in the soap. Brush it around the cable, the links, the clasp, and everything else.
  4. Next, rinse all the pieces of your gold jewellery under cold, running water.
  5. On a piece of cloth, lay out the pieces to dry. You can also use a lint-free cloth to rub them dry and clean.

While water is generally safe to clean your gold, make sure that the water is warm. Hot water is bad for gold as it can cause the metal to expand. Likewise, cold water may cause it to contract. In both cases, you are likely to warp, break, or crack your precious jewellery.

Moreover, make a soap-water solution using mild soap only. Harsh abrasives and chemicals can cause your gold to lose its shine or become discoloured.

How to Clean 21k Gold Jewellery with Gemstones?

cleaning gold jewellery with gemstones

While you can clean most gold jewellery safely with water and soap, not all gemstones can be cleaned with the method mentioned above. For instance, pearls, opals, and emeralds are delicate gemstones that can be permanently discoloured or damaged by water. Therefore, it’s best not to clean them with water.

It is best to clean gem-studded gold jewellery such as stone-studded gold necklaces and rings with a soft, lint-free cloth. Other gems, such as crystals, can withstand light cleaning with water.

Tips to Keep Gold Jewellery Clean

To keep your gold jewellery shiny and clean, here are some tips to follow:

Avoid wearing it during rigorous activity

Since gold is a soft metal, it is easily susceptible to dents, scratches, and other abrasions. For this reason, it is best to avoid wearing it during sports and other activities of similar nature.

Avoid taking it to the pool

While chlorine does not affect pure gold, pool water can certainly affect the jewellery. This gold is a mixture of different alloys, and chlorine in the water can discolour or damage it.

Steer clear of chemicals

You must remember to remove your gold jewellery while doing the dishes or cleaning your house. Acids and chemicals from soap and household cleaners harm your jewellery pieces.

Wear it in last

When you get ready for a party or every day, you use different lotions, perfumes, makeup, hair sprays and gels. All of these can be very harmful to your jewellery. Therefore, it’s best to wear your jewellery after all these rituals to avoid exposure to them.

In conclusion

Hopefully, all your confusion regarding whether you should wash gold with water is now clear. That’s right; now you can wear your favourite pieces without worrying about them getting dirty. Following the above tips, your beloved gold jewellery will most likely last you a long time.

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