How to Make Gold Shine at Home – What the Professionals Recommend

how to make gold shine at home

Over time, your gold jewellery will naturally be exposed to body oils, soaps, and dirt. This builds up and creates a greasy film that dulls the colour of your gold jewellery. 

Almost all gold jewellery contains other metals (such as zinc, copper, and nickel). This means that it will gradually tarnish. This will also contribute to your jewellery losing its original shine.

Thankfully, it’s quick and easy to restore the shine at home by using an ammonia solution, a polishing cloth or apple cider vinegar. 

Table of Contents

Restoring Shine with Ammonia

What you’ll need:

  • ½ cup (118mL) of ammonia
  • ½ cup (118mL) of cold water
  • Warm water
  • Small bowl
  • Polishing Cloth
cleaning jewelry with ammonia


  1. Mix ½ cup (118mL) of ammonia with ½ cup (118mL) of cold water in a small bowl. The ammonia will help to dissolve any grease and oils that have built up on your jewellery. If you don’t have any ammonia at home, it is widely available online and in hardware stores. 
  • This method is best for plain gold jewellery. If your jewellery has any gemstones, choose a gentler method (such as using warm soapy water), as the ammonia can discolour stones and cause irreversible damage.
  1. Allow your gold jewellery to soak for 30 minutes. This allows the ammonia to break down any dirt and grease.

  2. Rinse off the ammonia with tepid water. Use running water to rinse off the ammonia. Turn the jewellery around under the water to remove all traces of the ammonia solution.
  • Avoid using hot or boiling water, as the chlorine in tap water can discolour gold at high temperatures.  
  1. Dry your gold jewellery with a polishing cloth. Gently pat dry any delicate chains and then polish any solid gold with the cloth. Keep polishing until you are satisfied with the level of shine. 
  • If you don’t have a polishing cloth, use a brushed cotton tea towel or microfiber cloth instead.

Using a Polishing Cloth

shine jewelry with a polishing cloth

Polishing cloths are generally made from soft cotton or microfibre that has been treated with polishing agents and tarnish removers. 

These fabrics are excellent at trapping dirt and dust and the polishing treatment in the fabric has a slightly abrasive texture which helps to remove tarnish and grease. 

Simply rub the cloth back and forth over your gold jewellery until it’s bright and shiny. If you have light scratches on your jewellery, keep polishing until the surface is smooth and scratch-free. If the gold still looks dull, try an ammonia solution and then try polishing again. 

Tip: Don’t wash your polishing cloth because this will remove the polishing treatments in the cloth. Instead, just re-use the cloth until it shops shining your jewellery effectively. The cloths often turn black over time, however, this doesn’t impact their ability to shine your jewellery. 

Cleaning Gold and Diamond Jewellery with Vinegar

Cleaning Gold and Diamond Jewellery with Vinegar

Vinegar is excellent at removing the greasy film on gold and restoring shine. However, this method shouldn’t be used for jewellery with precious stones or gems, as the acid in vinegar can damage and discolour the gems. Instead, opt for a more gentle jewellery cleaning method.

Diamonds are the exception to this rule, as they are incredibly durable and can withstand the acid content in vinegar.


  1. Fill a small bowl with apple cider vinegar and submerge your jewellery. Avoid using white vinegar as this is stronger than apple cider vinegar and can damage the glues used in jewellery. 
  2. Leave the jewellery to soak for 15-30 minutes. This gives the acid in the vinegar time to strip away any fats and oils on your jewellery. Make sure to set a timer, as prolonged exposure to vinegar can damage gold jewellery.
  3. Rinse under fresh water. Remove the jewellery from vinegar and was under running water. Move the jewellery around to ensure that all the vinegar is completely washed away. This is important as vinegar residue can cause corrosion over time. 
  4. Dry with a soft cloth. Gently pat your jewellery dry. If you are cleaning a gold chain, simply leave it to air dry in a safe place.