How to Clean Gold Jewelry with Toothpaste the Safe Way

Discover how to clean gold jewelry with toothpaste and the caveat of using this household item.

Jane Pardo | Updated December 30, 2023

Cleaning with toothpaste is a quick jewelry hack when you want your gold accessories to look shiny and new in just a few minutes.

But be careful! You should use this method with extra care to avoid scratching your gold pieces.

How to clean gold jewelry with toothpaste

Mix a small amount of toothpaste with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. Apply the diluted paste to your gold jewelry. Then, gently scrub for 1 minute using a soft-bristled toothbrush in circular motions. Thoroughly rinse under tap water to ensure no residue. Dry and polish gently with a clean cloth.

  • Remember to brush VERY gently.
  • Avoid using a toothbrush with hard bristles.
  • Pay attention to nooks and crevices where grime accumulates.
  • When rinsing your gold, put a strainer or bowl under it to avoid losing it down the drain. Or you can plug the sink.

Use a microfiber cloth to rub diluted toothpaste on your gold if you don’t have an old toothbrush.

Use toothpaste as a last alternative

Toothpaste is an easily accessible alternative when you’ve run out of gold jewelry cleaners at home.

It’s also a versatile item for quick, on-the-go cleaning, like when traveling.

However, toothpaste is mildly abrasive. It contains calcium carbonate and modified silica that can scratch and damage solid gold.

It can help remove dirt, grime, and tarnish from sturdier gold jewelry.

  • You can use toothpaste as a cleaning agent for more durable, hardwearing pieces, such as solid 10k and 14k gold.
  • Avoid using it for 18k gold and higher, which could easily get scratched when rubbed vigorously with toothpaste.
  • Take extra care when cleaning gold-plated pieces, which have a thin gold coating over a base metal.
  • Frequently or vigorously rubbing toothpaste on plated jewelry can remove the outer gold plating and expose the non-gold metal underneath. It can also cause discoloration or fading.

We recommend using a high-quality jewelry cleaner for your expensive gold jewelry.


What kind of toothpaste should I use?

Use plain, white toothpaste. Colored or flavored toothpaste may contain more abrasive ingredients.

What’s a good household alternative to toothpaste?

An all-natural dish soap mixed with water is a good household alternative to toothpaste if you don’t have commercial jewelry cleaners.

Can I use toothpaste on gold jewelry with gemstones?

It’s best to avoid rubbing toothpaste on gemstones such as pearls and opals to prevent surface scratches. You may spot-clean dirty areas of your gold jewelry while avoiding the gems.

Final thoughts

With careful application, a little toothpaste can help restore the stunning luster of your gold jewelry, so you can head out confidently wearing your sparkly accent pieces.

When in doubt, use a soap solution, a liquid gold jewelry cleaner, or a jewelry polishing cloth to remove tarnish and grime buildup.

Written by Jane Pardo

Jane Pardo

Jane Pardo is our senior gold & silver expert. Jane lends insight into precious metals investing, collecting, testing, and maintenance.