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How to clean tarnished gold plated flatware

Updated February 21, 2017

Commonly used with fine china for special or elegant affairs, gold-plated flatware brings a touch of luxury and elegance to the dinner table. When properly cleaned and cared for, gold plated flatware can last a lifetime, or be passed from generation to generation. After each use, clean the flatware to remove food and build-up, which can stain the gold. Even if not used, clean the flatware routinely to prevent tarnish from forming. If tarnishes forms, you can remove it from the gold, but may take several attempts.

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  1. Rinse off the gold-plated flatware and wipe with a soft cloth to remove food particles and dust. If the particles do not wipe away, soak it in the sink with hot water and a squirt of mild liquid dish soap for two minutes.

  2. Dampen a soft cloth with either vinegar or lemon juice. Rub the dampened cloth into the flatware. The vinegar or lemon juice will remove tarnish. Continue rubbing until you remove all of the tarnish.

  3. Fill the sink with warm water and a squirt of liquid dish soap. Wash the gold-plated flatware to remove the vinegar or lemon juice. Ensure you clean the entire surface. Because of the acidic nature of both vinegar and lemon juice, it can damage or oxidise the gold plating if not fully removed.

  4. Combine equal parts water and baking soda in a bowl to form a paste. Dip a soft cloth into the paste. Rub the paste onto the gold plated flatware. If desired, use a gold polish instead. Allow the polish or paste to dry on the flatware.

  5. Buff the polish or paste from the flatware in a circular motion using a cotton cloth. This will polish and restore the natural shine to the flatware. Dampen the corner of a soft cloth. Wipe away any leftover residue.

  6. Warning

    Never use abrasive cleaners, such as steel wool or scrubbing brushes. They will scratch and damage the flatware.

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Things You'll Need

  • Soft cloth
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Vinegar or lemon juice
  • Bowl
  • Baking soda or gold polish

About the Author

Kallie Johnson

Kallie Johnson began her writing career in 2009, contributing to various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She enjoys writing home and garden topics and considers herself an expert on do-it-yourself home improvement topics.

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