How Does A Gold Polishing Cloth Work? (Detailed Answer in 2024)

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To take care of your gold jewelry effectively, and to avoid damage from neglect, especially if you don’t intend to go to the jewelry store soon, you will need one of the best polishing cloths made for gold jewelry.

You might have read a lot about polishing cloths and how they are great at restoring the original shine on your jewelry, but do you know how these soft polishing cloths work or what they are made of?

This article explores the world of gold polishing cloths to ensure that you buy and use the right products when cleaning your jewelry. So, let’s get started!


What is a gold polishing cloth made of?

How Does A Gold Polishing Cloth Work

There are many types of gold polishing cloths (We have found it for you on Amazon)on the market, thanks to a huge variety of brands that specialize in the creation of what they deem the best polishing cloths. But what are these cloth made?

Well, the best of the gold polishing cloths are made of premium-quality cotton that is infused with a jewelry cleaner, as well as an anti-tarnish agent.

This agent is often made of ingredients that will dissolve tarnish buildup on the jewelry that needs to be cleaned. In most cases, the gold polishing cloths are also ideal for cleaning platinum and diamonds.

Note that most of the polishing cloths are mildly abrasive, and they will scrape off a thin layer of gold whenever it’s used.


What chemicals are in gold polishing cloths?

How Does A Gold Polishing Cloth Work

Unfortunately, most of the brands of polishing cloths fail to specify the active ingredients added to their polishing cloths, but all we know is that most of these polishing cloths are made of ammonia-free cleaning anti-tarnish and polishing chemical compounds.

While it might be nice to know what the active ingredients are, it makes sense that these top brands wouldn’t reveal the ingredients in the polishing cloths (they’d be out of business if they did).

However, most of the top manufacturers of gold polishing cloths note that the ingredients used are non-hazardous and non-toxic.


How does a gold polishing cloth work?

How Does A Gold Polishing Cloth Work

The compounds in the polishing cloths are what give the cloths their power and effectiveness, and in most cases, the compounds are also called polishing compounds.

These polishing compounds are abrasive, which means that each time you run over or gently polish the gold piece of jewelry with the cloth, you actually remove a very thin layer of the gold from the outside.

So, if you are polishing a piece of jewelry made of solid gold, for example, the polishing cloth will expose a brighter and shinier layer of gold underneath.

On the other hand, polishing a gold-plated piece of jewelry will only expose the base metal underneath. In the case of white gold, for example, the use of polishing cloths isn’t quite recommended because it will slowly remove the layer of rhodium that coats white gold, exposing the yellowish layer of ‘white’ gold underneath.

Gold Polishing Cloth

Like the silver polishing cloths, most of the gold polishing cloths work by the action of the jeweler’s rouge, which is one of the best polishing compounds.

The one side of the polishing cloth that is impregnated with the rouge or the polishing compounds will get rid of the layer of tarnish or the scratches on your gold ring, leaving you with smooth and shiny pieces of gold jewelry that looks as good as new.

Just remember that because of the thin layer of gold that is removed by the polishing compounds, you shouldn’t polish your jewelry too frequently.

Gold Polishing Cloth

That said, the other side of the polishing cloth is free of the polishing agent, and it allows you to buff the gold jewelry after polishing and/or tarnish removal.

The polishing cloth works well on precious metals, precious gemstones, crystals, and shell beads, but keep it from the light-colored organic sensitive pieces like opals, pearls, or ivory because the rouge in the polishing cloth or the polishing chemicals will stain these precious materials.


How to use gold polishing cloth correctly?

How Does A Gold Polishing Cloth Work

Generally, there are numerous brands of gold polishing cloths on the market(we found dozens of brands here for you), but the truth is that how well a polishing cloth works largely depends on how you use it and whether you use it correctly.

To do that, here are the steps you should follow:

  • First, wipe the surface of the gold jewelry or clean it as directed by the jewelry store, then dry it using a soft microfiber cloth.
  • Next, take the polishing cloth and gently wipe the jewelry with it – make sure to use the side with the polishing compounds.
  • When done polishing, buff the gold jewelry using the buffing side of the cloth to ensure that nice, brilliant shine.

Note that the difference between the two sides of the polishing cloth is that one side is super soft compared to the other side.

To get this right, read the instructions that come with the polishing cloth before use. Also, you cannot and shouldn’t use water with the polishing cloth. While polishing, be gentle, don’t rush it, and try to reach all the hard-to-reach spots.


Related Questions:

Can you use a gold polishing cloth on silver?

Yes. Most of the gold polishing cloths can be used on silver jewelry as well. Keep in mind that when it comes to sterling silver jewelry, it can be quite hard to stop the jewelry from tarnishing. In essence, you cannot stop the sterling silver jewelry from tarnishing.

See, we use a gold polishing cloth on silver jewelry! we bought it here!

We use a gold polishing cloth on Pandora’s silver bracelet!

All you can do, however, is to invest in a good quality polishing cloth with anti-tarnish agents.

Most of the gold polishing cloths have the same compounds as the silver polishing cloths, meaning you could use a gold polishing cloth on the silver jewelry. However, we recommend checking the manufacturer’s instructions before use.

If you are not sure, or to ensure that your sterling silver jewelry is actually tarnish-free after polishing, we recommend finding the best sterling silver polishing cloths.

Also, know that you can tell whether the polishing cloth is effective or not by looking out for black specks on the polishing cloth – this is the tarnish in silver, and it’s deposited on the polishing cloth during polishing.


Can you use a polishing cloth on white gold?

Gold Polishing Cloth

We don’t recommend using a polishing cloth on your white gold jewelry because the polishing cloth will remove the thin layer of rhodium whenever it’s used, and the white gold piece of jewelry will eventually turn yellowish.

The good news is that rhodium doesn’t tarnish and always looks as good as new, meaning that you don’t have to polish it after some months.



Polishing cloths are great alternatives to the professional jeweler’s polishers which are more aggressive.

The polishing cloths ensure that your jewelry always boasts a nice shine, saving you the time and trouble of visiting the jewelry store.

To ensure the best results, read the manufacturer’s instructions, and be careful not to overdo it. Also, make sure that you find the right polishing cloth for gold jewelry or any other metal.

Read more useful tips here or here!

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