How To Clean And Take Care Of Your 18k Gold Plated Jewelry
Calamana Jewelry is made of 925 Sterling Silver or Stainless Steel with an 18k Gold Plated finish. Our jewelry is also available in just sterling silver if you prefer silver over gold.
What is 18k Gold Plated Jewelry
That a piece of jewelry is called 18k Gold Plated means that the gold layer which covers it contains 75% pure gold. 18k gold plating is sometimes marked with 750 (750 / 100 = 75 %).
What is 925 Sterling Silver
Pure gold and silver are both very soft if they are used on their own. Which makes it difficult to use them to make jewelry. Therefore they are often alloyed with other metals to make them more workable. Sterling silver is marked with 925, which means that it consists of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other alloys.
How To Care For 18k Gold Plated Jewelry
It is recommended to keep gold plated jewelry separate from other jewelry because the gold plating is susceptible to wear and tear. Because the gold plating is a thin layer on top of sterling silver, it can become scratched when you wear it. Therefore it is important to treat the jewelry carefully, which we will cover in this guide on how to maintain and clean your gold plated jewelry. Like silver, gold plated jewelry will tarnish as it is made of sterling silver, plated in 18k gold. Therefore it is best to store it in an airtight box or bag and out of direct sunlight when you are not wearing it. Also, our skin produces natural oil and each person's oils make metal react differently. Gold plating tarnishes if subjected to any material that does not have a neutral pH. So the skin-metal oil reaction may cause discolouration to occur.
What To Do To Maintain Jewelry With An 18k Gold Finish
A wise woman once said that jewelry should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off. To make sure that your jewelry stays in prime condition it is important to handle it with care. Therefore we recommend the following for both 18k gold plated jewelry and sterling silver jewelry:
When Should You Take Off Your Jewelry
- Washing and sanitizing your hands.
- Sleeping (especially necklaces).
- Spraying perfume, oils, lotions, nail polish. Apply such products and make sure they have dried fully before putting on your jewelry.
- Swimming (chlorine has a negative effect).
- Exercising (sweat has a negative effect on plating).
- If you will be bringing it into contact with something hard (For example, take off your ring before lifting weights).
What To Do When Taking Off Your Jewelry
- For Necklaces & Bracelets: Make sure that fastenings are secure. Fastenings are secure on necklaces and bracelets
- For Earrings: Make sure that butterflies are tight. Especially if you are changing clothing.
What To Do After Using 18k Gold Plated Jewelry
Clean your gold plated jewelry with a cotton ball or a very soft cloth to remove any dirt or dust.
What Not To Do With 18k Gold Plated Jewelry
- Avoid using a silver cloth as it will remove the gold plating!
How To Clean Your 18k Gold Plated Jewelry
If you would like to clean your gold plated jewelry do the following steps:
- Put hot clean water in a bowl.
- Add a few drops of mild dish soap or non-chemical soap and stir it into the water.
- Place the jewelry in the bowl and wait for 5 minutes.
- Rinse the jewelry well in luke warm water.
- Gently brush the surface with a new soft toothbrush or soft cloth in a circular motion to clean it.
- Let it dry on a cloth or towel. Make sure it is fully dry
- To avoid scratches wrap your jewelry in a soft cloth after cleaning
- Return it to it’s airtight box or bag for storage.
Gold plated jewelry is a wonderful way to have great jewelry at an affordable price. Especially if you like wearing big statement pieces. Just be aware that plating no matter how good, will wear off if worn regularly. The advantage of having a 925 sterling silver base is that when the gold plating starts to wear off, you could polish it away completely. Then you would have a piece of jewelry in silver, that you can keep on wearing for some time.
How To Care For 925 Sterling Silver Jewelry
If silver jewelry is exposed to air, a chemical reaction called oxidation will occur. This also happens when sterling silver reacts to perfumes and lotions. It is a natural phenomenon which causes the jewelry to get a black color, commonly referred to as tarnish. Sterling silver will tarnish over time, so maintaining it is a matter of how we can reduce and remove tarnish. Wearing sterling silver can actually help reduce tarnish thanks to the natural oils produced by our skin.
What To Do To Maintain Your 925 Sterling Silver Jewelry
- It is best to store sterling silver in an airtight box or bag and out of direct sunlight when you are not wearing it to avoid tarnish.
- If you do not have a jewelry box for storage, we recommend that you keep your sterling silver jewelry in the box it came in, in an air container or worst case a zip lock bag. Put silica gel packs inside the box, you know those white packs you often find in a vitamin jar or a shoe box. They absorb moisture and are thus great for reducing tarnish to your sterling silver jewelry. Another alternative is using chalk, but in our experience silica is the easiest.
- In general the same principles as with 18k Gold Plated Jewelry also apply to 925 Sterling Silver jewelry, so revisit the list above about:
- When Should You Take Off Your Jewelry
- What To Do When Taking Off Your Jewelry
What To Do After Using 925 Sterling Silver Jewelry
- Polish your sterling silver jewelry with a silver cloth to remove any tarnish and regain the silver finish. Use a silver cloth regularly to remove light tarnish and inhibit re-tarnishing. This will prolong the original sparkle of your silver.
- To avoid damaging the links of a chain necklace it is recommended to first remove the pendant from the chain before polishing the pendant with the cloth. Be gentle.
What Not To Do With 925 Sterling Silver Jewelry
- Do not use paper towels and tissues to polish your sterling silver jewelry, because they contain fibers that can create scratches.
- Do not rub in a circle as this can increase tiny scratches. Instead polish back and forth using long motions.
How To Clean 925 Sterling Silver Jewelry
There are a lot of ways you can go about cleaning your sterling silver jewelry and many do not work. We will mention our two preferred methods here. If they do not work in your case, you can try doing some research on Do It Yourself (DIY) methods online or get a professional to clean your jewelry.
Soap & Hot Water
- Always try this first and then move on to more advanced methods if it does not remove the tarnish.
- Follow the instructions on How To Clean 18k Gold Plated Jewelry above.
- Step 5, Important: When you get to step 5, polish the jewelry using long straight back and forth motions. Do not use circular motions as this can increase scratches.
- The other steps you can follow as they are written.
Baking Soda & Aluminum Foil
- Cover the bottom of a bowl with a layer of aluminum foil
- Add boiling water. Use enough water so that it will cover your jewelry.
- Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda for each cup of water
- Stir the baking soda into the water
- Add your jewelry to the bowl
- Leave it in the bowl for 2-5 minutes. If the tarnishing is really bad leave it in for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jewelry and rinse it in cold water.
- Rub it dry with a silver polishing cloth.
- Make sure it is fully dry, then return it to it’s airtight box or bag for storage.
The second method using baking soda and aluminum foil is by far the most effective DIY method for cleaning sterling silver jewelry. As the process causes a chemical reaction, which removes the tarnishing from the jewelry.
Calamana Jewelry’s Refund and Exchange Policy with regards to Wear, Tear, Scratches and Tarnish
Calamana is not responsible for the maintenance of your jewelry. We wrote this guide to help you take care of your jewelry and it is important that you follow all of the steps listed here to properly maintain your jewelry. Because metal reacts differently to each person’s skin oil, discoloration may occur as a result of the skin-metal oil reaction. In this case, it is not our responsibility to refund or exchange your item.