How to Remove Tarnish on 10K & 14K Gold Jewelry

Tarnish occurs on gold jewelry when the gold is exposed to air and oxidizes. Tarnish is a natural occurrence on all gold that is not pure. Some folks like the look of aged, tarnished 10K and 14K gold (called a patina). Others want to remove the tarnish from their 10K and 14k gold jewelry and keep the jewelry looking new and shiny. Removing tarnish from 10K and 14K gold jewelry is easy and inexpensive.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Old toothbrush
  • Cloth
Gold pocket watch.
Gold pocket watch.

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Step 1

Prepare a mixture of tap water and dish washing detergent or a non-abrasive, commercial jewelry cleaner.

Bowl of water.
Bowl of water.

Step 2

Scrub the tarnish off of 10K and 14K gold jewelry with soapy water and a soft toothbrush. Scrub all surfaces, including crevices.

Cleaning jewelry.
Cleaning jewelry.

Step 3

Rinse the 10K or 14K gold piece in warm water until the water runs clear.

Clean 10K rings.
Clean 10K rings.

Step 4

Buff the 10K or 14K jewelry dry with a soft, lint-free cloth until the jewelry shines.

Sparkling clean gold ring.
Sparkling clean gold ring.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check to make sure cleaners are safe on gemstones if your 10K or 14K gold jewelry contains gemstones.


  • "Complete Metalsmith: Professional Edition"; Tim McCreight; 2005
  • "Jewelry: Fundamentals of Metalsmithing"; Tim McCreight; 1997
  • Metalsmithing;" Robert Ebendorf, Michael Jerry, and Thomas Markusen; 1973
  • "Jewelry Concepts and Technology"; Oppi Untracht; 1982
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