White gold has been a popular choice of metal for a long time. Whether used in engagement rings, wedding rings, or rings for everyday wear, white gold brings a simple, elegant flair to any piece of jewelry. To ensure that your ring lasts a long time, proper cleaning is absolutely necessary.  However, cleaning white gold is a bit more complicated than cleaning regular gold. 

What Is White Gold?

White gold is an alloy made from gold mixed with other metals, such as nickel, zinc, or silver. It typically comes in a ratio of 75% gold to 25% other metals, though varying amounts can exist. The resulting mix makes the gold much stronger than it would be in its pure form. It also gives the gold a nearly white color, though gold alloys always tend to have a yellowish tint to them. Because of this, the gold alloy mixture is then covered with a rhodium plating.

This rhodium plating gives white gold it's signature tint and chromatic appearance. It also makes the alloy even stronger, and helps protect it from the elements and damage. The rhodium is applied in a thin layer, so the durability of the piece of jewelry is still mostly dependent on the purity of the gold used in the base alloy. 

How Do You Clean A White Gold Ring With Diamonds?

Because the layer of rhodium on white gold is so thin, it can be removed if you're too rough with your ring. So you want to avoid harsh chemicals or detergents when cleaning it. Fortunately, the process of cleaning white gold and the process of cleaning a diamond are very similar. 

  1. Check your ring to make sure that it doesn't have any scratches or damage that may be made worse by the cleaning process. Ensure that the diamonds in your ring aren't loose in any way. A loose stone can easily become dislodged and lost during cleaning.
  2. Prepare a solution of water and mild dish soap. You want to use 2 mL of dish soap to 2 cups or water for your ratio. The temperature of the water should be tepid or room temperature at most. Hot water can damage the metal of your ring easily. 
  3. Stir the cleaning solution gently to promote an even mixture, and then soak your ring in it for twenty to twenty-five minutes.
  4. Grab a soft cloth (a jeweler's cloth or a microfiber cloth works best here) and gently pat both the metal and the diamond of your ring dry. Be sure not to rub too hard, because the fibers of the cloth could get caught in your diamond or a crevice of your ring and cause damage. Because the solution can make your ring slippery, be sure to dry it over a towel or pillow that will protect it from damage should it slip from your hands. 

This method works well if the metal of your ring is mildly oily or soiled. However, if your ring has seen a lot of wear, and is exceptionally tarnished:

  1. Follow steps 1 through 3 as outlined above. 
  2. Fill a small container with clean, room temperature water.
  3. Mix a small amount of baking soda with enough water to make a paste. Don't use too much water because that will lower the effectiveness of the baking soda. 
  4. Remove your ring from the cleaning solution and shake off any excess water. Then, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, gently apply the baking soda paste to the white gold of your ring. Work slowly and carefully, making sure to apply the solution to any crevices in your ring. Take care to avoid the diamond in your ring, as the baking soda solution may leave scratches in it, where white gold is slightly more scratch resistant. 
  5. Once your ring has been thoroughly cleaned, rinse it off by soaking it in the clean water that you prepared earlier. Then, pat dry with a soft cloth.

Knowing how to properly clean your white gold will ensure that it lasts for a long time. And if you're thinking about purchasing a fine piece of white gold jewelry, then browse the selection at Gold and Diamond Source. We have been providing quality jewelry since 1984; a commitment which has made us America's leading jewelry store. To find that perfect white gold diamond ring for yourself or a loved one, contact us today.