How to clean gold-plated silver jewelery

Updated April 17, 2017

Gold-plated silver jewellery, also called gold vermeil, has a very thin layer of gold applied over silver. It is almost like gold paint. The thin layer of gold usually wears off rather quickly. Since so little gold is used in making gold-plated jewellery, it is less expensive than gold or gold-filled jewellery. Because the surface is so delicate, you must be extra careful cleaning gold-plated jewellery.

Wipe the jewellery lightly with a damp cotton cloth to remove surface dust and dirt.

Fill a bowl with warm soapy water. Use lukewarm, not hot, water. Add a few drops of dish soap that doesn't leave a film. Do not use antibacterial soap.

Place the gold-plated jewellery in the soapy water. Let it soak for 15 minutes. Take the jewellery out of the soapy water. Use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub in the tight places on the jewellery.

Hold the jewellery under lukewarm running water for a minute to rinse off the soapy water. Dry the jewellery immediately with a paper towel to avoid water stains or mineral deposits from the water.

Rub the jewellery very softly with a polishing cloth that is made for polishing gold. This is to restore the shine of the gold. Do not use abrasive polishing cloths, as they will remove too much of the gold finish.


A more permanent way to bring back the lustre and beauty of your gold-plated jewellery is to take it to a jeweller and have the piece replated with gold.


Since gold-plating is so delicate, try to avoid getting scratches on your gold-plated jewellery.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton cloth
  • Bowl
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Soft toothbrush
  • Paper towels
  • Gold polishing cloth
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About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Robert Raphael has been writing health and technology articles since 1993. His work has appeared in “Natural Living” magazine and “Extreme PC” magazine. Raphael received the Jonathan Melman Literary Award in 1994. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brandeis University.