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"Cleaning & polishing gold plated flatware"



A discussion started in 2000 but continuing through 2019

Disambiguation to help readers quickly find the most relevant discussion:
- THIS thread is for "Cleaning and polishing Real Gold Plated Flatware" -- carry on :-)
- Thread 6773 "Q&A's About Gold Plated Flatware" is for all other questions about flatware with real gold plating.
- Please use the search engine for Dirilyte, Thai bronze flatware, gold-tone flatware, etc.

2000

Q. Hello: I purchased a set of flatware that was stated "gold plated." I really did not believe it was gold plated but the pieces were entirely a gold color and I loved the look. However, after just one washing in the dishwasher they appear to be pitted in some cases and just marred in others. I can not seem to get the spots off the flatware that was put in the dishwasher. I like the flatware and want to know did I do something wrong. Will the flatware never look right again? I don't know if putting them in a dishwasher was a mistake. I also wonder what they are really plated with to give that gold color. Thanks for any suggestion. Diane.

Diane M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Tustin, California, USA
^


2000

A. I have been looking for gold plated flatware. As I survey the various brands, one precaution stands out: DO NOT wash in a dishwasher with a "lemon" dish soap. Perhaps that is what the problem is. I believe the lemon ingredient must mar the flatware.

Jean A
- Chico, California USA
^


2001

A. I believe the gold flatware should not be washed in the dishwasher at all. It will definitely pit if it comes in contact with stainless while washing in the dishwasher. I have cared for my flatware under this assumption and it has held up well.

Joan H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Kirtland, Ohio
^


A. Hi Diane. With gold costing over $1000 an ounce, your skepticism about gold plating is understandable. However, if it was advertised as "gold plated", it probably was. Unfortunately, the explanation is that the gold plating is almost unimaginably thin, millionths of an inch, and one trip through the dishwasher can spoil it. Sorry :-(

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^



To minimize search efforts and to offer multiple viewpoints, we combined previously separate threads onto this page. Please forgive any resultant repetition, failures of chronological order, or what may look like readers disrespecting previous responses -- those other responses may not have been on the page at the time :-)



Seeking a shop to restore fading gold-plated flatware

2000

RFQ: Hi, I purchased some discontinued gold plated flatware from a pottery outlet and had no instruction for how to care for it. I obviously washed everything wrong because most of the coloring has faded off of my flatware.

Does anyone know if there's a place I can send or take it to have the color restored.

These pieces were so beautiful when I bought them, and deserve to be restored to their original beauty. Thanks for any help available!

G. Decatur
- Richmond, Virginia, United States
^

^- Sorry, this RFQ is outdated
     View Current RFQs



2000

? Can you give me a little more guidance as to exactly how you "washed" the flatware? And, any idea what the base metal is? The more clues you can give, the closer a guess might be:)

I've seen sterling items which were very lightly gold plated take on a very lovely tarnish at times - I wonder if that's what you were looking at?

Nick Boltuch
Rostand Mfg Co - Pennsylvania
^


A. Hi G. The plating is very very thin and quite soft and often does does not survive even a single trip through the dishwasher. Sorry.

It can certainly be replated, but plating is labor intensive and gold is very expensive, so you may find that the cost of replating is several times will be several times what you paid for the flatware. Sorry.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^



2001

Q. I have just bought a set of "gold" flatware at an auction and it needs polishing. It looks tarnished just like regular silverware. I have tried cleaning it with silverware polish but it does not clean it up - is there anything on the market for this type of flatware - or perhaps a brass polish? I don't want to ruin it by trying too many products. I would appreciate an answer from anyone who has polished with good results.

Thank you.

Victoria S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Calgary, AB, Canada
^


A. Hi Victoria. You put "gold" in quotes because you don't know what it actually is, but unfortunately neither does anybody else -- it could be Dirilyte or similar bronzeware, it could be a titanium nitride PVD finish as often used on gold colored watchbands and plumbing fixtures, or it could be a thin plating of real gold. It could be on a sterling silver base, nickel-silver base, or stainless steel :-)

affil. link

I'd probably try the aluminum foil and washing soda approach used to remove tarnish from silver -- it won't hurt gold plating -- and follow it with light rubbing with a gold polishing cloth. If it does nothing, the finish is probably not real gold plating.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^



sidebar

Ed. note: Readers started duplicative threads over the years, often asking questions already answered on other threads, so we've now combined them all.

2002

Q. I also have recently purchased gold-plated flatware, and it also has developed some marring in the finish here and there. I knew not to use any citrus-y dish soaps, and have used only good old-fashioned Ivory. Sure would like to know how to get those little dark stains off the finish.

Thanks!

Patrick Cremeens
- San Diego, California, USA
^


2002

Q. I was just given a set of gold plated flatware and I was wondering how to clean it if it is ever used for eating purposes. I do not have a dishwasher, but I would like some advice of what dish soap to use or whatever works. I would greatly appreciate if someone could give me advice on this.

Thank You,

Charity G [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Bethany, Oklahoma
^


2004

Q. I have a set of gold plated flatware by International, made in China. A couple of the pieces seems to have some tarnish & some spots, how can I safely remove this? Also, what is the proper way to clean after each use & store. This set came with a velvet lined flatware chest. This is a service for 12!

Thank You,

ELAINE DAVIDSON
N/A - GRASS VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, USA
^


2005 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Please advise how I can properly clean a set of gold plated flatware.

Thank You in advance,

Daniel W.Block
hobbyist - Gainesville, Florida
^


2005

Q. What was the answer to the cleaning gold plated flatware question?

William M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Fairborn, Ohio
^

----
Ed. note: Numerous duplicative threads were started, so when people write that there have been no answers, it might have been true of the thread they were viewing, but we've now combined them all.
Still, we remind readers that this isn't a consulting service! -- it's a public forum which only advances from people relating their successes and failures. So please don't just post an abstract 'how-to' question -- relate your experiences :-)



2005

thumbsdownI bought a beautiful 120 pieces set of Gold plated flatware too, from QVC. But after using it once, last Thanksgiving, and washing is gently by hand, it got blackish tarnish marks on every piece. Needless to say, I called QVC but they didn't know why this happened so graciously took it back. Since then, I have talked to five other people that had the same experience. I won't purchase another set even though my dishes have a gold accent around them. Oh well.

Laura Etten
- North Tonawanda, New York
^


thumbs up sign Thanks, Laura. The gold trim on your dishes won't last forever in the dishwasher either, but at least it's covered with ceramic so it will last longer than the thin bare gold plating on flatware.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^



2005

Q. How can I polish tarnished gold plated flatware? I have just purchased a set of tarnished gold plated flatware. How can I polish it? How can I keep them from getting tarnished? Do some foods tarnish the pieces more than other foods?

Donna Hanley
student - Bethel, Alaska
^


affil. link
Silver Tarnish Strips

A. Hi Donna, I would expect the same storage bags and storage strips that are used for silver will work for gold plated flatware by keeping corrosives out of the atmosphere. For removing the tarnish, see if the aluminum foil plus washing soda trick discussed in topic 4785 helps you. The advantage of this over polishing cloths is that it doesn't remove any of the gold. So maybe do the aluminum foil first, then lightly rub with a gold polishing cloth.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^



To minimize search efforts and to offer multiple viewpoints, we combined previously separate threads onto this page. Please forgive any resultant repetition, failures of chronological order, or what may look like readers disrespecting previous responses -- those other responses may not have been on the page at the time :-)



2006

Q. My Husband put my Goldplated silverware in the dish washer. When they came out they were very discolored. I'm afraid they I will never be able to get them back to their shiny gold color. What do I do?

Ivonne Mayberry
Housewife - Westerville, Ohio
^


2006

Q. I noticed that there wasn't any answers to the questions for cleaning goldplated silverware. Please let me know the best cleaner to use. I have Wenol [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] metal cleaner. I cleaned a fork and I guess I rubbed a little too much and the back started wearing away the gold. Thank you,

Joy Chandler
hobbyist - Staten Island, New York
^


2006

A. As a daughter of an owner of a large set of gold plated flatware: it is to be washed by hand with mild dish soap. We use Ivory or Dawn to wash.

A. Allure
- Atlanta, Georgia
^


2006

A. In response to cleaning gold plated flatware, I have had the same problem finding an answer. Everybody I know who owns a set puts it in the dishwasher and it is fine or hand washes it. The most important thing is to dry it due to spotting. They also said it was easier to maintain than silverware. Don't quote me this is just from other friends' experience.

Susie Mack
- Kent, England
^


thumbs up sign Thanks, Susie. But we should probably caution readers that, although it's a small world, gold plated flatware in England may not be quite the same stuff as gold plated flatware in America :-)

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^



2006

Q. Cleaning the gold flatware with water and a little vinegar will damage the flatware?

Erika Fernandez
- Houston, Texas, USA
^


2007

A. I hope this helps someone. Gold plated flatware should NEVER be put in a dishwasher. If it's true gold plating over silver plate or sterling the best way to clean it is to wash it by hand using warm water and mild soap and then, if it isn't shiny enough, take a small amount of Baking Soda on a damp and very soft cloth or sponge and gently rub the flatware. This will brighten the gold without undo wear. The key is gentle. Even with baking soda if you rub too hard you can scratch the gold surface.

K.P. O'Neil
- Santa Monica, California
^



Stains on gold plated flatware after automatic dishwashing

December 30, 2008

Q. I am looking for answers about cleaning spots off of gold plated flatware. Mom always told me to hand wash it, dry it immediately and keep each piece separate while being stored. I deviated this Christmas and put it in the dishwasher. I just assumed that it was not clean and ran it through a second time. I tried hand washing and using one of those soft "scrubby" pads, but the white looking spots won't come off. Mom told me I could try her favorite silver polish brand - Hagerty silversmiths' polish, but it didn't make any difference. I'm going to try to get answers from the Towle company that made it.

Paula T [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.A.
^


December 2008

A. Hi Paula. Sad to say, gold plating on flatware is not only very soft, it's very very thin -- maybe 30 millionths of an inch at best. Think about that number: it means light gauge aluminum foil is about 20 times thicker. Twice through the dishwasher plus a scrubby pad and metal polish, there is probably no gold left in the whitish spots, so you're seeing the underlying stainless. Sorry to have to tell you.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^



October 17, 2015

Q. Has anyone tried Tarn-x? Does anyone know if Tarn-x would damage it?

Shawn Roberts
- milwaukee, wisconsin
^



June 16, 2017

Q. I have a set of Oneida silverware that has just a touch of gold on the base of each piece. It is about to become my every day silverware. What will happen if I put it through the dishwasher?

Karen Piveral
- Arlington, Texas Usa
^


June 2017

A. Hi Karen. The gold will probably wear off in pretty short order.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^



November 26, 2017

Q. I have purchased a set of gold plated flatware and the plating seems to be okay but there is some type of sticky residue on the metal. Hot water and dish soap have not helped. Can you give me an idea what else I might use that would not harm the plating?

Beth

Beth Marks
Retired - Tipton, Indiana
^


November 2017

A. Hi Beth. If you purchased the flatware new, surely the manufacturer can tell you what is going on. If you bought it used, and the seller can't/won't/isn't available to tell you anything, then it's a big world, and almost impossible to guess why the flatware has a sticky residue or what it might be, or even whether the coating is an essential part of the finish. Is it possible that it's Dirilyte or similar bronzeware?

It might be a lacquer coating, or residue from a poor attempt at epoxy or polyurethane coating. If you're quite sure it's gold plating not bronzeware, I'd probably start by trying to clean it with rubbing alcohol, then I'd try Acetone [affil. link to info/product at Rockler]. If they didn't work, I'd probably try Aircraft Stripper; none should hurt the gold plating ... but again, whether the gold is thick enough to survive without a clearcoat on it is a question.

Be aware that acetone is flammable, and that aircraft stripper is truly noxious stuff requiring goggles [affil. link to info/product on Amazon], Rubber Gloves [affil. link to info/product on Amazon], and outstanding ventilation (preferably outdoors).

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


January 27, 2018

thumbs up sign I have had Goldware for years. I ALWAYS hand wash it in Dawn and immediately dry with a soft cloth then set out to air for maybe an hour. I had a beautiful silverware chest but just sold it. I always stored my Goldware in the closed chest. My Gold coffee and tea set is spotting and dull so I will attempt to clean with a mild solution of baking soda. I would never use acetone to clean a sticky spot. Try Goo Gone which dissolves most any sticky residue then wash immediately with mild soap and water. Mine is 25 yrs old and looks like new. Never put in the dishwasher. I am also religious about keeping every other piece at least in the original plastic wrap to keep it from scratching. If they rest on each other they are more likely to scratch if not kept protected. Take a little extra care and it will be beautiful for years.

CANDI VETAL
- TARPON SPRINGS, Florida U.S.
^


September 18, 2019

A. I agree with Candi, NEVER use chemicals on your silver or gold utensils. If it's something sticky, I'd try rubbing a little butter on it with your finger. That should loosen it up and you can wipe it off with a paper towel. Do that a couple of times until you get it off of there and then wash it with warm soapy Dawn, rinse and dry.

Mrs Lisa Oliver
collector - Central Coast California
^


A. Thanks Candi. Thanks Lisa. As you like it, but I remain of the belief that acetone has no effect at all on gold and other metals, only on organic stuff like glues and adhesives.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^



February 25, 2018

Q. I have a set of Oneida "Golden Duet" that I inherited from my parents.

6773
(photo courtesy of replacements.com)

I opened up the set this past Thanksgiving and found that a few of the pieces had a darkened color to them. How do I get this off? And tell me how to care for my beautiful flatware? Thank you!

Jan Swallows
Retired RN - Ringgold, Georgia, USA
^


April 2018

affil. link
Silver Polish Cloth

A. Hi Jan. Silver polish or a silver cleaning cloth should work. I would expect the aluminum foil plus washing soda trick discussed in topic 4785 to work as well, and without causing wear like polishing will.

But you should probably store it in a storage box in silver storage bags or with anti-tarnish strips. They probably work similarly, but the bags would presumably lessen scratches.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^



May 4, 2018

Q. Hi Everyone,
I bought gold plated flatware. The site I bought it on says it's dishwasher safe which was very important to me since this is intended to be our everyday flatware. But then I got the instructions for care and was blown away. I wasn't sure if this was generic for the brand and their 'fancier' silverware and haven't received a response from them when I asked.
How do I care for everyday flatware that is gold plated.
Thank you,
Lauren

Lauren Cohen
-NYC, New York
^


May 2018

A. Hi Lauren. You have to demand an answer from the supplier; they have dozens of flatware lines and nobody but them knows what you actually have in order to give you care instructions.

As already mentioned on this page, if they were actually gold plated, you surely should not put them in a dishwasher. However, I very strongly suspect that there is no gold on your flatware, and that you have stainless steel flatware with some sort of a "gold tone" PVD finish (titanium nitride or something similar). I think it's entirely possible that such a finish can resist an automatic dishwasher.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^



July 9, 2019

Q. Hi, I recently found my mother's Cosmos brand stainless silverware from Japan. It's gold with a bamboo pattern on the stems. Can I use them for everyday use and can I put them in the dishwasher with today's detergent? I also have spoons and other things that say 24K gp, can I put those in the dishwasher with regular detergent too? Or is there a gentle detergent made for gold silverware? Thanks,

Victoria Wells
victoria wells designs, inc. - Wayland, Massachusetts USA
^


A. Hi Victoria
With gold costing over a thousand dollars an ounce, I wouldn't put it in a dishwasher and lose, what, $10 or $50 worth of gold each load? I'd fill a dishpan with hot water and regular dish detergent and let it sit for half an hour before cleaning it with a soft sponge. Then I'd rinse in very hot water and pat dry rather than rubbing it dry :-)

But there is gold plated flatware and then there is gold plated flatware. Some stuff at Gracious Style is sold as 'dishwasher safe' because the gold plating is so thick that it will take a lot to wear it all away. But the least expensive single piece I quickly saw was a coffee spoon at $2935 ... $35,220 for a set of 12. The soup ladle is $13,345. The serving spoon and fork are $10,670 each. This is vermeil, and a very different plating thickness than most people here are talking about, but perhaps roughly a quarter million dollars for the set. "The rich are different from you and me".

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^

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