How to Shine a Gold Chain

A simple gold chain flatters the neck.
... Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Shiny gold chains catch the light as they glow against your skin, but the more you wear your necklace, the duller it may appear. Skin's natural oils, perfumes, body sprays and lotions can diminish the luster of a gold necklace. Oxidation triggered by chemicals in the air is another culprit, but keeping your bling locked away in a protective box is no fun. Regular jewelry cleaning restores the shine to your necklace.

Fill a small bowl with warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. The water should be slightly sudsy. If your bling has completely lost its shine, substitute club soda for the water. The bubbling action of the soda lifts away dirt and debris.

Place the chain in the water. Allow the chain to soak for 5 minutes.

Fold a soft, white towel on a table. Remove the chain from the bowl and place it on the towel. Use a soft, unused toothbrush, such as a baby toothbrush to rub lightly at stains.

Empty the water from the bowl. Rinse the bowl and refill it with warm water. Place the chain in the water to rinse it. Do not hold a chain or any jewelry over a sink. You could drop your necklace down the drain. Spread the necklace across the towel and wait for it to dry.

Place the chain inside an open polishing cloth. Rub the chain gently to polish the necklace. Do not scrub hard; gold is a soft metal.

  • Remove any pendants from the chain before you begin to clean it. If your pendant contains precious gems, you should not scrub these with a toothbrush; you could damage the gems.
  • Use purified water when cleaning jewelry. Water that contains chlorine can damage gold.
  • For a fast, effective cleaning, add two drops of ammonia during the soaking step.

Mimi Bullock's writing reflects her love of traveling the back roads of small towns and sampling the local cuisine. As a regular feature writer for "Southern Hospitality Traveler" and journalist for "Beachin' Magazine," she gets to experience the rich heritage of the southern culture. She is also a licensed cosmetologist who has her own skin care line.