How to Test Gold at Home with Toothpaste: Simple DIY Method

Toothpaste is a readily available item that anyone can use to test gold at home.

Jane Pardo | Updated January 8, 2024

However, as with any authentication method, you need to know if using toothpaste is reliable and safe. After all, you don’t want to damage real gold items, whether you have solid gold coins or gold jewelry.

Learn how to test gold using toothpaste with this complete guide. We will explain how to spot fake gold and whether applying toothpaste is a recommended method.

DIY method to test your gold using toothpaste 

First, apply a small amount of white toothpaste to your gold item. Gently rub the toothpaste onto the gold for 30 seconds. Rinse your gold jewelry under cold water to wash off the toothpaste. Finally, dry it with a soft, clean cloth. Real gold will retain its original color.

  • Use white toothpaste without any coloration or flavoring.
  • Also, do not rub too hard to avoid damaging your gold.

Take your time washing your gold accessory thoroughly with cold water, ensuring there’s no toothpaste residue in any nook or crevice.

How this method works

When gently rubbing toothpaste on gold, the toothpaste will become slightly discolored. You will notice a slight black streak. However, any dark marks should disappear after rinsing your gold, leaving it clean. 

Real gold will retain its stunning yellow color and lovely shine. 

If you notice black spots or discoloration after rinsing, it could indicate that your gold is fake. When gold turns black, it’s most likely fake. Faux gold contains metal alloys, usually copper alloys like bronze and brass, that react to toothpaste.  

Because imitation gold has large amounts of alloys, it gets damaged when exposed to certain testing methods. 

Is testing gold with toothpaste reliable? 

This DIY method is simple and easy but not foolproof.

  • Some fake gold items may not be affected by toothpaste, leading to inaccurate results.
  • It is still essential to perform several other tests to tell if your gold is real.

This is our recommended gold testing kit. It’s affordable and provides fast and accurate results.

Should I test my gold at home with toothpaste? 

Toothpaste is not our recommended way to test gold. While it can reveal fake gold crafted from metal alloys, it has abrasive ingredients like modified silica and calcium carbonate that can damage authentic gold. 

  • Your gold can get scratched if rubbed too hard or used repeatedly.
  • This household item is particularly damaging to gold-plated jewelry pieces, which have a thin layer of gold coating.
  • Toothpaste can strip away the overlay and make your gold-plated jewelry look dull and permanently discolored or faded. 

Have your gold items evaluated by a professional appraiser to determine their quality, purity, and authenticity using safe, reliable methods.  

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.