How to Clean Gold Jewelry with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar and baking soda are multipurpose household items that can freshen up the look of your well-worn gold jewelry.

Jane Pardo | Updated March 11, 2023

Find out how to use these cleaning agents to bring back the eye-catching shine of your favorite accent pieces.

How to clean gold jewelry with vinegar and baking soda

Mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of water in a bowl. Cover your gold jewelry with the thick baking soda paste using a cotton swab. Put your jewelry in a glass bowl filled with distilled white vinegar. After 5 minutes, thoroughly wash your jewelry under warm running water. Dry your jewelry with a soft, clean cloth.

  • Add more baking soda when cleaning lots of jewelry.
  • Apple cider vinegar is an excellent substitute for white vinegar. It’s best to dilute it in water as it has a darker color that could cause stains.
  • You may repeat the process if there are stubborn dirty spots on heavily soiled jewelry.
  • Rub your gold with your fingers only. Avoid scrubbing your gold with a toothbrush, as the baking soda and vinegar solution could cause hairline scratches if you rub your gold with a brush.

Note: We do not recommend this cleaning method for gold jewelry with pearls, opals, emeralds, and other delicate gemstones. It may be too harsh on fragile stone embellishments. Instead, scrub away dirt with a toothbrush dipped in warm water with mild dish soap.

Why vinegar and baking soda can make your gold jewelry gleam like new

Vinegar is so acidic that it’s strong enough to remove dirt buildups and kill bacteria.

In fact, it contains an ingredient found in many store-bought household cleaners.

  • Vinegar has acetic acid, a colorless organic compound that makes vinegar powerful enough to dissolve dirt, grime, and grease.
  • White distilled vinegar has no coloring agent. It won’t stain surfaces, making it the best vinegar type for cleaning gold. Additionally, it contains around 5% acidity, similar to commercial multipurpose cleaners’ acidity levels.
  • Apple cider vinegar is just as effective as white distilled vinegar. It’s an excellent option if you don’t like the strong, pungent smell of white vinegar.

Like vinegar, baking soda is a natural and effective household cleaner.

  • Baking soda is a mild alkali, a soluble salt capable of removing dirt, grease, and stains.
  • It’s slightly abrasive. It can dislodge debris and particles stuck in nooks and crannies.
  • Baking soda and vinegar are superior cleaning partners. Baking soda reacts with vinegar, causing an acid-base chemical reaction that can do wonders in cutting through tough gunk and making your gold shine brilliantly.

Final thoughts

Vinegar and baking soda are cheap, nontoxic, and eco-friendly cleaning agents for gold jewelry.

We have various other recommended methods if you’re looking for more ways to remove stubborn gunk and tarnish from your gold, like using coke, toothpaste, and mild dishwashing liquid.

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.