How to Restore Fake Gold Jewelry At Home-Do It Yourself!

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We may not want to be called out on this, but the truth is that many of us jewelry lovers own gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry, which, unfortunately, is often referred to as fake gold jewelry.

And you can agree with us that you will not be able to deny that your jewelry is made of fake gold for long because sooner or later, the jewelry will show the signs, the first of which is the change in the color of that gold jewelry.

And so, the big question becomes whether it is possible to restore the original color and shine of the gold jewelry or not.

How to Restore Fake Gold Jewelry

Well, you will be relieved to learn that despite the embarrassing and annoying color changes from the fake gold jewelry, there is a way you could restore the original color and shiny finish of the fake jewelry. So, keep reading to learn more about all that!

But first, why do fake gold jewelry change color?


Reasons why you fake gold jewelry change color

How to restore fake gold jewelry

The main reason why the cheap gold jewelry changes color after some weeks is that the ‘gold’ jewelry is mainly made of copper.

So, whenever you sweat or apply lotion, makeup, hair, body oil, or even perfume, the copper reacts with the acids in the sweat and these skin and body care products, forming a salt, which is green in color.

The discoloration also occurs when the acids corrode the copper on the metal’s surface, forming a salty compound on the source jewelry.

And in some cases, these salts are absorbed into your skin, forming a green stain that can be pretty annoying. The only good news is that the green discoloration is not harmful.

How to Restore Fake Gold Jewelry

In other words, the fake gold jewelry will change color because the metals used to make these gold jewelry options are not only some of the cheapest metals but also the most reactive metals affected by just about all the conditions they are exposed to in the environment.

So, how do you restore the gold color on the fake gold jewelry?


How to restore fake gold jewelry

1. Warm water and dishwashing soap

The one thing you need to bear in mind when cleaning costume jewelry or fake gold jewelry is that you’d have to clean out the jewelry using the mildest formulations and solutions.

And at the top of that list is the most gentle dishwashing soaps and warm water. This will get rid of the dirt and tarnished layer and remove the discoloration.

With this method, you need a cup or maybe 2 cups of warm water mixed with a few drops or one to two tablespoons of gentle dishwashing liquid.  

Next, place the jewelry in the soapy solution, and let them sit in for 5-10 minutes. You could also use a soft-bristled toothbrush to wash the jewelry and reach the hard-to-reach crevices gently.

After cleaning the jewelry, don’t forget to rinse the jewelry thoroughly under the sink or in a bowl with clean water, and if rinsing under the sink, you should keep the drain plugged throughout.

How to restore fake gold jewelry

2. Baking Soda, Aluminum Foil, & Salt

If you wish to restore the shine of the fake gold jewelry, you may want to go with the classic baking soda, salt, and aluminum foil setup.

This has been proven effective for cleaning more than fake gold jewelry, and you could also use it for sterling silver and solid gold jewelry. Here are some of the steps to follow when cleaning the jewelry to clean fake gold jewelry.

First, line a glass or even plastic pan with a sheet of aluminum foil with its shiny side up.

And then, lay on the foil the darkened or the discolored costume jewelry.

How to Restore Fake Gold Jewelry

Next, mix in a tablespoon of salt plus a tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of warm water.  Once it is all mixed up, pour the mixture into the aluminum-lined pan with the jewelry.

When you do this, you will notice a chemical reaction between the jewelry and the foil, and there will also be bubbling as the mixture cleans your jewelry. If the tarnished layer is not washed out thoroughly, consider using a soft-bristled brush to wash the jewelry.

You may have to let this sit for at least 15 minutes, then rinse out the jewelry. Don’t forget to plug the drain when draining this mixture. Then rinse the costume jewelry under cold running water, and then pat or buff-dry the jewelry before putting the jewelry away in storage.

How to restore fake gold jewelry

3. Lemon Juice

You could also clean your costume jewelry using lemon juice. Because of the high acidity level of lemon juice, you should mix equal parts of water and fresh lemon juice in a small bowl, then place the jewelry in the bowl for between 10 and 15 minutes.

This quick and effective household solution will eat away all that dirt and grime from the costume jewelry. But it may not clean the jewelry as well as you hope, so you should consider letting the jewelry sit in the lemon juice solution for a few minutes or until the discoloration clears away, and the jewelry shines again.

And after the jewelry’s original shine is restored, you can rinse the costume jewelry under the cool water to get rid of the acidic solution. Just be careful not to douse it in water. And after rinsing, buff it dry with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth.

How to Restore Fake Gold Jewelry

4. Toothpaste and toothbrush

You could also use your white toothpaste to clean the jewelry and get rid of any discolorations.

First, you should squeeze a small amount of the toothpaste into the jewelry to clean, then smudge the toothpaste with a finger. You may have to wet the jewelry first, and after you have a thin coat of toothpaste applied throughout the jewelry, including the crevices, use the soft-bristled toothbrush to clean every notch of that piece of jewelry.

You will be happy to know that this cleaning option works well because the toothpaste and toothbrush combo will reach the smallest and tightest spaces, and the toothpaste’s gritty texture means a higher cleaning efficiency.

After cleaning, rinse the jewelry thoroughly. You could start by rinsing the jewelry in a bowl with warm or lukewarm water. And you may have to use a soft-bristled brush to get rid of any remnant toothpaste. You may have to rinse it a few more times under warm running water. Again, remember to plug the drain.

How to restore fake gold jewelry

5. Cleaning tips for fake gold jewelry

  • Use the gentlest tools to scrub and clean the jewelry

As mentioned above, you will need to use very smooth and soft-bristled brushes when cleaning the jewelry. We recommend using the softest brushes, like baby toothbrushes.

You could also use fresh Q-Tips in place of the toothbrushes to clean the more sensitive fake gold jewelry pieces.

How to Restore Fake Gold Jewelry

Keep the jewelry clean always

The other thing you need to do to keep the jewelry clean. This is critical because it ensures that your jewelry always looks good, despite being costume jewelry made of fake gold. Also, keep in mind that keeping the jewelry dirty and unattended for a long time only worsens the situation. Keeping it clean often will prevent fast tarnish buildup and discoloration.

  • Don’t wear the jewelry all the time

You may have found the kind of costume jewelry that you never want to take off, but this doesn’t mean that you keep the jewelry on at all times. You should wear the jewelry infrequently and after dressing and wearing your makeup. Whether your makeup routine is simple or extensive, you should only wear the jewelry after getting all your makeup done, and after the oils and lotions you use have all dried up.

How to restore fake gold jewelry

  • Don’t shower with the jewelry on

It would help if you didn’t go for a swim or workout with the jewelry made of fake gold because there is a higher risk of damage. Remember that the fake or costume jewelry is often made of cheap metals that tend to be very reactive and react with the chemicals on your skin, in the swimming pool water, the soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc.

  • Don’t swim in the jewelry

If you want to keep your jewelry for long, especially costume jewelry, you may want to take off the jewelry every time you’re going for a swim. Chlorine in swimming pools reacts with the metals in the jewelry like copper, hence the discoloration of the jewelry. And in the ocean, salty water will also cause a reaction that discolors the jewelry.

  • Correct Storage

It would help if you also considered storing your fake gold jewelry in specialty anti-tarnish bags to keep the jewelry looking great in the long run.



Despite being tagged ‘fake’ costume, discolored gold jewelry may look good, almost new with proper care and cleaning methods like the ones recommended above.

So, if you’re not sure about buying fake gold jewelry because you’re worried about the jewelry being discolored, you may want to get them.

After all, they look good and will not break the bank.

Read more useful tips here or here

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