How To Properly Clean 14k and 18k Gold Jewelry

Ekaterina Kouznetsova

Posted on April 02 2020

How To Properly Clean 14k and 18k Gold Jewelry

You already know how to clean your hands - sanitizer or hot water and soap, but how do you clean your 14 karat and 18 karat gold jewelry? Should you be taking your jewelry off when sanitizing or washing hands? Can alcohol hurt 14k and 18k gold and gemstones? We spoke with the founder of Skaska Fine Jewelry, Diana Behringer, on how to properly clean your fine jewelry and what can hurt it.

Cleaning 14k and 18k Gold Rings with Diamonds

The safest way to clean 14k and 18k gold is also the easiest! For gold rings with diamonds, Diana recommends following these steps:

  • Mix a mild liquid dish soap with warm, not hot water. Blue Dawn works great for this, if you're using another soap, check to make sure it is not moisturizing as the excess chemicals can cause a film to accumulate on the jewelry.
  • Soak the jewelry in the soapy mixture for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Rinse the jewelry with warm water, using a cotton swab to clean any hard-to-reach areas.
  • Dry the jewelry with a polishing cloth.
  • For particularly dirty jewelry, you can add a few drops of ammonia to the mixture, but only for jewelry without semi-precious gemstones.

What To Avoid When Cleaning 14k and 18k Gold

  • Chlorine - at high temperatures, chlorine can permanently discolor or damage your gold jewelry and rings. When soaking your pieces, make sure the water is warm, not hot.
  • Sanitizer - although it is difficult, try to avoid sanitizer on your jewelry. If you're out grabbing some grocery or running errands, this is not always possible, so try to clean your jewelry after sanitizing your hands. Always take off your jewelry when sanitizing your hands if it has porous stones like opals or turquoise. 
  • Moisturizer - moisturizing plays a crucial part in keeping hands germ-free. Hands that are cracked or dry lose their safety barrier. Be sure to check jewelry for excess buildup, especially your engagement rings and wedding bands.

Is it possible to over-clean your jewelry?

Yes and no. It depends on the stones in the jewelry - diamonds can withstand regular cleaning but some of the softer and more porous stones, like pearl and turquoise, can be dulled and hurt by cleaning products. For pearl or turquoise jewelry, never soak it in a cleaning solution. Instead, dip a soft cleaning cloth and gently wipe the piece, wiping it again with a cloth dipped in non-soapy water.

Happy cleaning, and stay safe! For any questions on how to clean your jewelry, email 

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