White gold jewelry requires its own special care. To give your jewelry that hot-white, mirror shine and eliminate any yellow tinge, white gold is frequently plated in rhodium, a precious metal in the platinum family. So, when you clean any white gold jewelry, you need to be sensitive to the soft gold and this ultra-thin layer of rhodium.
We share our basic everyday care tips and steps to safely clean your white gold jewelry.
Everyday Care Tips
1. Use a gentle polishing cloth to wipe down your white gold jewelry.
Every night, wipe down your jewelry with a soft, lint-free cloth to remove any dirt, film or residue that may accumulate throughout the day. Never use an abrasive cloth like a paper towel to clean or dry your white gold jewelry. Not only is gold itself a very soft metal (and therefore fairly easily scratched) but you can wear down the rhodium plating with a too-harsh cleaning cloth.
2. Remove jewelry before jumping in the pool.
Chlorine is particularly damaging to white gold so never wear your jewelry in the pool. For added caution, slip off your jewelry before taking a shower; tap water often includes trace amounts of chlorine
3. Bring scratched white gold jewelry to the jewelers.
If your piece of jewelry is already scratched or nicked, do not continue wearing it. Any scratches mean your jewelry is vulnerable to further damage, so nip it in the bud and bring it in to the professionals. A jeweler can either polish it to smooth out any abrasions or re-plate the rhodium if needed. And on that note…
4. Have your jewelry regularly re-plated.
Rhodium will gradually fade away with every day wear. The result is dull or faintly yellow white gold jewelry. To restore your white gold jewelry to its original shine, have your jewelry professionally re-plated as needed or roughly every six months. Most jewelers will offer this service for roughly $25-$35 per item.
How to Clean White Gold Jewelry
If your white gold jewelry includes a diamond (like an engagement ring or wedding band), you can quickly and easily clean your item at home. However, certain gemstones like pearls or onyx stones are incredibly delicate and should not be cleaned by a professional. Do not follow the steps below if your white gold jewelry includes a non-diamond gemstone.
1. In a small bowl, dilute a mild dish soap in warm water. Do not use any soap that contains chlorine.
2. Soak your ring in the soapy solution for 20-30 minutes.
3. With your fingers or a soft cloth, gently rub the ring to remove any remaining dirt.
4. Rinse the ring to wash away any residual soap.
5. Dry your white gold jewelry completely with a soft cloth.