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How to Clean Tarnished Gold Caused by Sulphur

Updated April 17, 2017

Gold is timeless, but it can lose its shine. Sulphur can make gold dirty, but it won't damage it. You can clean sulphur off gold in a number of ways. You might need to merely wipe it with a jewellery cloth. However, most gold that is stained with sulphur will require soaking. Remember that the underlying gold won't change colour or tarnish. Gold can always be restored to its mint condition.

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  1. Mix water with a mild detergent in a bowl or in any waterproof container large enough to hold the gold and the mixture. Mix enough to immerse your gold. Let it gold soak for 10 minutes. Use a soft brush to scrub off the sulphur. This could be a baby's toothbrush, an eyebrow brush or a brush made for jewellery cleaning, bought from a jewellery store. Rinse the gold. Dry it with a clean, soft cloth of the type used to clean glasses. Polish the gold until it shines.

  2. Soak the gold in ammonia and water for 1 minute. Use one part ammonia and six parts water. Rinse the gold and scrub it with a soft brush. Polish it as you did in Step 1 with a glasses cloth or other soft cloth.

  3. Wipe your gold with a jewellery-cleaning cloth that can be bought where gold jewellery is sold. This could be all that is needed to get rid of the sulphur, but you will probably have to soak the gold as in Steps 1 and 2.

  4. Apply jewellery cleaner to a jewellery cloth and wipe the gold with it.

  5. Tip

    You might need to complete all the techniques described to clean stubborn sulphur off gold. Keep your gold looking new without cleaning, by removing gold jewellery when you shower or take a bath. Also remove jewellery when putting on lotions or make-up. Gold jewellery can be taken to most jewellery stores for cleaning.

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Things You'll Need

  • Brush
  • Detergent ammonia cloth
  • Ammonia
  • Water
  • Jewellery cloth
  • Jewellery cleaner
  • Mild detergent

About the Author

Phillip Woolgar has been a reporter since 2008 in communities throughout western Canada. His work has appeared in Canadian national publications such as the "Globe and Mail" and the "Vancouver Sun." In 2009, he received second-place recognition in the Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association's Excellence in Arts and Culture writing category. Woolgar graduated from the Langara College Journalism Diploma program in 2008.

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