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Clean Your Jewelry!

The biggest differentiator between solid gold, gold filled, and gold plated jewelry that no one is talking about, until now!

Slightly tarnished jewelry
Oh no, my jewelry is tarnished!
“I got this necklace a few months ago, and it’s ugly now! I’ll never buy from this brand again!”

If that’s you, don’t give up yet!

If you wear gold or silver jewelry, you’ve probably seen your pieces get darker or discolor over time. This is called tarnish. You might be surprised to find out that tarnish doesn’t always mean your jewelry is ruined.
Metals Graphic
Is my tarnished jewelry ruined?
This depends on one thing - what type of jewelry is it?

Gold Plated Jewelry CAN’T Be Cleaned

Gold Plated jewelry can’t be cleaned once it tarnishes, which it 100% will. This is because the gold layer on gold plated jewelry is so microscopically thin (.5 microns - that's .0005 millimeters) that the cleaning process will damage the gold layer, stripping it away and leaving you with further damaged goods. Gold filled and solid gold, on the other hand, don't have that problem.

Gold Filled Jewelry CAN Be Cleaned

Gold Filled has a gold layer that is 100x thicker than gold plating, and that gold layer is pressure bonded (a jewelry term for "fused") to the base metal so that it does not come off. This makes it highly durable, and you can safely clean it without causing any damage to the gold layer. It also takes a lot longer for gold filled to tarnish compared to gold plated. This is because pure gold is very tarnish resistant, so the more pure gold your jewelry contains, the longer it takes for tarnish to build up.

Fine Jewelry CAN Be Cleaned

Naturally, fine jewelry (that’s solid 14K and above) takes even longer to tarnish, and can of course be cleaned. What’s surprising is, most people don’t realize that even fine jewelry tarnishes. If you own fine gold jewelry, you might not even realize that it doesn’t look as good as it once did. Try one of the cleaning methods we’re about to get into, and you’ll most likely be surprised that your fine jewelry could be looking even better than it does right now.

If you’re interested in diving deep into the different types of gold used in jewelry making, check out our Complete Guide to Gold Jewelry. It’s packed with pretty much everything you’d want to know!
So, what do I do if my jewelry tarnishes?
If your jewelry is gold plated, you can either throw it out or try to have it replated - if you can find someone to do that for you. With solid gold and gold filled, all you need to do is clean it! You should regularly clean all of your gold filled and solid gold jewelry to keep it looking brand new. There are several simple ways to clean your jewelry at home.
Jewelry Cleaning Cloth
3 Simple At-Home Jewelry Cleaning Methods

1. Use a Jewelry Cleaning Cloth

A jewelry cleaning cloth for light cleaning is the first line of defense. Jewelry cleaning cloths are typically made of flannel, which is slightly abrasive, making it fairly effective at removing light tarnish build up. Some clothes are impregnated with chemicals that help break down tarnish and skin oil. If you have a regular cleaning cloth, you can use dish soap and warm water to achieve the same effect.

Wiping down your pieces with a cleaning cloth when they are wet with water or sweat can prevent tarnish from building up. A cleaning cloth works great when there isn’t a lot of tarnish to clean. If your pieces are looking fairly discolored, you’re probably going to need something a little stronger.

Here’s a good cleaning cloth on Amazon (under $12) that you can use to clean your fine and demi-fine jewelry.
Jewelry Cleaning Solution

2. Use a Jewelry Cleaning Solution

A jewelry cleaning solution is the quickest and easiest method for jewelry that’s lightly, or even moderately tarnished. Make sure you are using a gold solution if you're cleaning gold, and a silver solution if you are cleaning silver. We recommend something like CONNOISSEURS Jewelry Cleaner Solution for Delicate Jewelry (under $6 on Amazon). Follow the instructions on the jar, and be amazed at how it brings your pieces back to life!
Ultrasonic Jewelry Bath

3. Invest In an Ultrasonic Jewelry Bath

An ultrasonic jewelry bath isn’t something everyone has lying around at home, but you can find a good Ultrasonic Bath on Amazon for around $40. If you have a big jewelry collection, or you want a quick set-it-and-forget-it method for cleaning your jewelry on a regular basis, an ultrasonic jewelry bath is your best option. You can quickly clean multiple pieces of jewelry at once, and they are safe and easy to use. You can also clean metal framed eyeglasses, silverware, and other items with the right solution in your ultrasonic cleaner.

Clean Your Jewelry Often

The key to making sure you get decades of life out of your gold filled jewelry is to clean it periodically, preferably before you notice any discoloration. Just like rust, tarnish can corrode the metal over time. If you wait too long, the buildup can become too severe to clean.

Don’t Clean Gold Plated Jewelry

Remember, cleaning isn’t going to save your gold plated jewelry (this includes vermeil), and will most likely damage it further, so only use these methods for jewelry that is gold filled or better.
Very tarnished Jewelry
But my jewelry is like, really tarnished.

If your jewelry is already very tarnished, we recommend using the cleaning solution first, and then using the ultrasonic bath immediately afterwards. If that doesn't work, you may need the help of a professional jeweler.

Jewelry Cleaning Service

We offer a jewelry cleaning service for a small fee! Currently, we’re only offering this service for KOZAKH pieces, so if you have other pieces you want cleaned, we recommend taking them to your local jeweler. If you're not sure if your KOZAKH pieces can be cleaned using one of the at home methods, please send us a clear photo of the tarnished item(s). We'll take a look and let you know what we recommend. Either way, we highly recommend using the at-home cleaning methods on a regular basis to keep your jewelry shining bright, and to prevent the need to use more advanced cleaning methods.


To be fully transparent, there are different names for the oxidation that forms on specific metals. For example, when platinum oxidizes it’s called patina, which looks green or brown. When stainless steel oxidizes it’s called rust. We use tarnish to refer to all types of oxidation in this article. The same cleaning principles apply to all metals used in jewelry making.
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