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A Guide to Cleaning Your Gold Jewellery

You've invested in your jewellery collection and you want your pieces to look their best at all times. All Rachel Swan Goldsmith jewellery is made from solid gold and can withstand regular cleaning- if necessary.

How often should you actually clean your jewellery?

Well, as often as needed really. I’ve realised, not everyone knows how to clean their jewellery. You might be afraid of damaging the piece or loosening the stones. That’s ok - no shame, we’re all friends here! I chat to so many customer who are not sure about how to go about it.

I’m going to show you how to clean your Rachel Swan Goldsmith jewellery at home and have it looking it’s best, because life is too short to have dull jewellery.

cleaning gold jewellery
What you need to clean your jewellery

I give my jewellery a quick check regularly, every couple of weeks. Most times it’s perfect, other times it can look a little dull or have a little residue.

Although I make sure not spray perfume directly onto my pieces, never sleep with my jewellery on and never apply creams or makeup while wearing my jewellery, every now and then it still needs a quick freshen up.

I use hand cream regularly as my hands take quite a battering at the bench, and even though I take my diamond and gemstone rings off to apply cream- sometimes the residue can cause a film over the stones. This can happen with hand sanitiser too. It can dull their sparkle and that is not what we want.

TIP: I never take my rings off when washing my hands as they can get lost this way. Always remember to dry your hands and rings really well as trapped water can cause skin irritations.

How to clean gold jewellery

Follow these steps to clean your Rachel Swan Goldsmith jewellery. You can use this technique for any solid gold and gemstone jewellery.

cleaning solid gold jewellery at home
Soaking jewellery in warm water with washing up liquid

First, soak your gold jewellery in warm water with washing up liquid for about 10 to 15 minutes.

A caveat - *Never soak pearls as the warm water can loosen the glue that holds the pearl in place - that’s how all pearls are set into your piece.

Take your jewellery out of the water and using a cotton bud, gently rub behind the diamonds or coloured gemstones. Make the cotton bud into a tiny tip, and use a twisting motion to clean. This is a great technique for reaching into the stones settings and lifting any film on the gems. This will bring back their sparkle.

cleaning jewellery with cotton bud
Cotton bud made into a pointed tip

Gently rub the whole piece with the cotton bud all over. This could be enough to bring your jewellery back to life.

If your gold needs a little extra TLC, I recommend the next step.

You’ll need a clean, dry cotton bud and a small amount of cream cleaner like Cif.

(I use the original version of Cif) Again, creating a small tip with the cotton bud - this makes it easier to get into smaller areas.

cleaning gold jewellery at home
Cleaning gold using a cotton bud and Cif cream cleaner

Carefully rub the cotton bud with cream cleaner on the metal and watch the sparkle come back. If you are gentle with the gemstones you will never do any damage, even to delicate stones like emerald and opal.

The satin finished can be the most stubborn and you might need to concentrate here the most.

TIP: Always clean your jewellery in a safe space - never over a sink, as soapy water and tiny jewels don’t mix and they could end up down the drain! Make sure it’s on a flat table with a cloth underneath. If anything does slip out of your grasp, they won’t bounce away.

It should take less than 1 minute to clean and the cream cleaner, although an abrasive, will do absolutely no harm to your jewellery as it’s solid gold. Your highly polished edges and sides will still shine and the satin finish will look brand new.

For the chain - in the palm of your hands, using some washing up liquid or hand wash, gently rub in small circles. Make sure to never pull on the chain. This will bring your chain up to a lovely shine.

Finally - make sure to rinse the whole piece well and pat dry with a clean, soft cloth.

jewellery cleaning at home
Rinse well after cleaning

How to clean pearl jewellery

To clean pieces set with a pearl - do not soak. Instead use a very slightly damp cotton bud with a minuscule amount of Cif, making sure not to get any water near the pearl. Then wipe with a slightly damp cloth, then a dry cloth, making sure there is no residue left on the piece and always making sure not to get any moisture near the pearl setting. Take your time when cleaning pearl jewellery.

TIP: Small stud earrings can be tricky to hold. Punch a hole in a piece of cardboard and put the studs in with their butterfly backs. This makes it is easier to hold when cleaning.

How often should you clean your jewellery ?

You will have your pieces for many years and jewellery goes through a lot of wear and tear, so checking it regularly is a great habit to start.

The most important thing is not to be afraid of cleaning. If you soak in warm water and washing up liquid and use Cif if needed, you really can’t go wrong. Another important thing to remember is to enjoy your jewellery. Wear it, enjoy it, love it.

How to store jewellery

On the rare occasion that you’re not wearing your Rachel Swan Goldsmith jewellery, make sure to store each piece in the packaging it came in with its lovely blanket, a jewellery box, or a soft pouch.

This will stop the air from tarnishing your pieces and will be sparkling for its next outing.

how to store your jewellery
Storing your jewellery

To recap - here are the quick and easy steps to keeping your jewellery clean and sparkling

  • soak

  • cotton bud

  • cream cleaner

  • clean chain

  • rinse

  • pat dry

  • storage

And that’s it! It really is that simple to keep your jewels looking spectacular.

I never use chemicals or hi tech machinery to clean my jewellery. This is how I keep my jewellery looking great, all the time.

Remember, cleaning and checking your jewellery more regularly will make the job easier and faster.

One final tip - almost all the stones I set are rub over settings - which are held in very securely. One setting to be a little more gentle with is pave- where the tiny diamonds are held in by even tinier gold claws. You can use a soft toothbrush in a gentle stippling motion to clean.

How often do you check and clean your jewellery and will you try the Cif technique?

I'd love to hear from you if you give it a try.


Rachel Swan Goldsmith, Marlay Park, Dublin.jpg
emerald and gold necklace
Rachel Swan Goldsmith, Marlay Park, Dublin.jpeg
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