How to Fix Tarnished Gold

Updated April 17, 2017

Pure gold does not react with oxygen, which means it is unlikely to tarnish. However, many pieces of gold jewellery have other metals mixed in, causing the gold to become tarnished or discoloured. You can easily fix a piece of tarnished gold jewellery. All you have to do is carefully clean it to restore its original colour and shine.

Pour three or four drops of a mild liquid dish soap into a bowl of warm water.

Place the gold jewellery into the bowl. Soak the gold for five minutes. Gently rub the gold jewellery with your fingers or a cotton swab to remove any discolouration or build-up.

Rinse your gold jewellery. Place it under warm water and rinse off any remaining soap residue.

Dry your jewellery with a clean cotton towel. Don't use tissues or paper towels because they contain particles that could scratch the gold. Place the jewellery on a clean cloth and allow it to finish drying overnight. You don't want any moisture on the gold that can lead to tarnishing.

Rub the gold with a jewellery polishing cloth. You can buy this at any jewellery store. This brings out the shine in your gold. Rub it in straight lines. Do not use a circular motion because this can cause patterns to show up on the gold.


You can use a soft baby toothbrush to clean the gold, but make sure you rub gently so it does not scratch. Jewellery cleaner is available from most jewellery stores. Follow the directions on the bottle for the proper cleaning method. You may need a professional cleaning if your gold jewellery is still dirty after cleaning it at home.


Never use toothpaste or baking soda to clean gold jewellery. Do not wear gold jewellery in a swimming pool or hot tub because exposure to chlorine can eventually turn your gold a black colour. Take gold jewellery off in the shower. The soap can leave a dull build-up on the gold.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid dish soap
  • Bowl
  • Cotton swab
  • Cotton towel
  • Jewellery polishing cloth
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About the Author

Melissa Morang began writing professionally in 2002. She has created sales scripts for telemarketing companies and contributes to online publications. Morang has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Minnesota.