Will Rubbing Alcohol Damage Gold? What You Need to Know

Are you a proud owner of gold jewelry? Do you want to keep it looking its best? If so, you may be wondering if it's safe to use rubbing alcohol to clean it.

The good news is that rubbing alcohol is generally safe for gold jewelry, but there are a few things to consider.

This article will explore the dos and don'ts of cleaning gold jewelry with rubbing alcohol, including which metals are safe to clean and which gemstones to avoid.

So, grab a cup of tea and read on to discover how to keep your gold jewelry shining like new!

Gold Jewelry in a dark mat or sheet, Will Rubbing Alcohol Damage Gold?


Will Rubbing Alcohol Damage Gold?

Gold is a precious metal often used to make jewelry, and it's important to take good care of it to keep it looking its best.

And if you're a jewelry lover, you might wonder whether rubbing alcohol is safe to use on your gold jewelry. The answer is not straightforward.

While rubbing alcohol is an excellent cleaning agent, it can damage some types of gold jewelry.

In this section, we'll explore the effects of rubbing alcohol on gold jewelry, when it's safe to use, and alternatives to rubbing alcohol for cleaning gold.

Lady hand applying alcohol spray hand sanitizer towards the gold coin

When Is It Safe to Use Rubbing Alcohol on Gold?

According to Think Engraved, genuine gold will not be damaged by alcohol, regardless of the karat number or quality.

However, if your gold jewelry is not solid gold but is still in good condition, you can use rubbing alcohol to clean it.

It is best to avoid using rubbing alcohol on gold jewelry that has gemstones glued to it, as the alcohol can weaken the glue adhesive.

You can also use rubbing alcohol to clean platinum, silver-plated titanium, tungsten, and stainless steel jewelry.

Just be careful not to scrub too hard or soak the jewelry for too long, as this can damage the jewelry. Use rubbing alcohol in moderation.

Gold Earring and necklace

The Effect of Rubbing Alcohol on Gold Jewelry

Although rubbing alcohol is a powerful cleaning agent, it can also damage some types of gold jewelry.

For example, rubbing alcohol can cause discoloration, fading, and corrosion on gold-plated jewelry. Consequently, the gold layer may peel or flake off.

It can also damage jewelry that contains other metals, such as copper or silver, often used to make gold alloys.

Rubbing alcohol Bottle

Alternatives to Rubbing Alcohol for Cleaning Gold

If you're not sure whether your gold jewelry is safe to clean with rubbing alcohol, there are other alternatives you can use.

Warm Water and Mild Soap

Follow these steps to clean your jewelry:

  1. Add a few drops of mild soap to warm water in a bowl and soak your jewelry for a few minutes.
  2. Use a soft-bristled brush to clean the jewelry gently. You can also gently rub the jewelry with your fingers.
  3. Rinse the jewelry with clean water and dry it with a soft cloth.

Take these precautions when cleaning your jewelry with water and soap:

  • Avoid using harsh detergents or hot water, as these can cause damage to the gold.
  • Also, avoid using paper towels or tissues to dry the jewelry, as these can leave scratches on the gold surface.

It is important to note that while soap water is generally safe for gold, it may not be suitable for all types of gold jewelry.

Therefore, if your jewelry contains gemstones or pearls, it is best to consult a professional jeweler before cleaning it.

Jewelry Cleaning Solution

You can also use a jewelry cleaning solution specifically designed for gold jewelry.

These solutions are just as effective in removing dirt, grime, and bacteria without damaging the jewelry.

You can find the solutions in most jewelry stores and online retailers.

How To Identify Real Gold From Fake Gold Jewelry

Gold decoration on display in a jewelry store

To distinguish real gold from fake gold jewelry, there are a few things to look out for. Here are some tips to get you started:

Look for a Hallmark

Most gold jewelry will have a hallmark or stamp that indicates the purity of the gold.

The most common hallmark in the United States is "14K" or "18K," which indicates the percentage of gold in the jewelry.

Use a Magnet

Gold is not magnetic, so if your jewelry is attracted to a magnet, it's probably not real gold.

However, some gold jewelry may have magnetic clasps or other non-gold components.

Do a Nitric Acid Test

The nitric acid test involves applying nitric acid to a small scratch on the jewelry.

If the scratch turns green, it may not be real gold. However, this test can damage the jewelry, so it's best to have it done by a professional.

Check the Weight

Real gold is heavier than fake gold. Your jewelry may not be real gold if it feels light or flimsy.

Look for Discoloration

Fake gold jewelry may discolor over time, whereas real gold will maintain its color and shine.

It's important to note that some fake gold jewelry can be very convincing, so it's always a good idea to have your jewelry appraised by a professional if you're unsure.

To Recap

Gold Jewelry in a dark mat or sheet

The answer to whether rubbing alcohol is safe for your gold jewelry depends on the type of gold and the concentration of the alcohol.

If your gold jewelry is made of 14k or 18k gold, it should be safe to clean with rubbing alcohol if you do not expose it for long periods.

However, most gold jewelry is not made of pure gold, but rather a combination of gold and other metals, such as silver, copper, or nickel.

However, if your gold jewelry has rhodium plating, you should avoid using rubbing alcohol on it as it can damage the plating and cause discoloration.

When cleaning your gold jewelry with rubbing alcohol, it is important to use a soft cloth or cotton swab and to be gentle.

Do not use abrasive materials or harsh chemicals; they can scratch or damage the gold.

Additionally, do not soak your gold jewelry in rubbing alcohol for extended periods, as this can cause damage to the metal.

If you are unsure whether rubbing alcohol is safe to use on your gold jewelry, it is best to err on the side of caution and consult a professional jeweler.

These professionals can advise you on the best practices for cleaning and maintaining your gold jewelry.

Made it to the end? Please consider checking out these posts:

Does Rubbing Alcohol Damage Leather? How Do You Clean It?

How To Get An Alcohol Smell Out Of Carpet

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