Elicia asked: How do I restore and polish the gold trim on china cups? Hi, I have china coffee cups that have 14 kt gold trim around the top. Unfortunately, I ran them through the dishwasher, and now the gold has turned dark in color. Is there a way to restore the luster of the gold trim?
Gold is a beautiful metal that is used in all kinds of applications from golden teeth to jewelry. It does not rust and has gained much value over the years. Proper care is necessary to keep your gold pieces looking great, whether it’s a necklace or decoration on your dishes, you will want to keep on top of polishing and caring for this precious metal. With neglect comes discoloration, dullness and loss of the original beauty and luster it once had. Here’s how to bring your dull gold pieces back to life again.
You Will Need:
- Baking soda
- Baking soda toothpaste
- Dish soap
- Polishing cloth
Steps to Polish the Gold:
*There are several steps in this sequence that may or may not be necessary, depending on the severity of the dirt and tarnish. Once your gold has reached the desired look, it is not necessary to continue with additional polishing steps. Simply skip to the final step and enjoy your piece.
- Begin by using a polishing cloth to wipe away any dirt or tarnish from the surface of the gold.
- Next, fill a medium-large pot with water and bring it to a boil.
- Add a tablespoon of baking soda to the boiling water.
- Place the china piece into the water so that the gold trim is submerged.
- Allow this to sit in the hot water for 30 seconds.
- Remove carefully (it will be hot!) and dry with a soft towel or polishing cloth.
- If there is still discoloration, apply a layer of baking soda toothpaste to the trim and rub it in gently with a soft bristled brush such as an old toothbrush.
- Remove the toothpaste by wiping it away with a soft cloth.
- Next, buff the rim with a polishing cloth to make it shine.
- The last step, if there is still discoloration, is to use ammonia.
- Fill a bowl with three cups of water and one half cup of ammonia.
- Place the gold trim into the mixture for one minute.
- Remove and dry promptly.
- Buff with a polishing cloth.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- It is best to hand-wash gold-trimmed china pieces. The high heat used in the dishwasher can discolor the gold and it may be difficult, if not impossible, to revert it back to its original look.
- If there is still discoloration after trying the above methods, the damage may be irreversible. Contact a professional who is experienced with gold for advice and possible solutions.