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topic 18519

Cleaning gold plated flatware

A discussion started in 2002 but continuing through 2018


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


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: Hello William. If anyone offers a reply we'll print it. However, there tends to be duplication on this subject, and letters 5625, 6773, and 7137 may be helpful.


Q. My Husband put my Goldplated silverware in the dish washer. When they can 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


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


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 [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] 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

January 5, 2010

Q. I gave my sister some gold plated flatware and it is being marked by the box. Where the knives fit into the upper lid they are darker on the tips. So I am looking for some cloth that I could make slotted holders of, such as pacific cloth is used to preserve silver. Is there a cloth specifically intended with the "gold"? Or would the silver pacific cloth be ok?

Betty Sanders
- Rosanky, Texas

Pacific Silvercloth

January 5, 2010

A. Hi, Betty. Pure 24 karat gold cannot tarnish, and the gold plating is probably quite close to 24 karat. So pacific cloth may not be necessary, but it shouldn't hurt, and it will stop the scuffing.


Ted Mooney, amadeya42.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

May 3, 2011 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Hi, Don't know if you will answer this question or not, but perhaps you can help me.
I have inherited some antique Tiffany flatware, gold plated over sterling silver(very heavy).
I would like to know if this will tarnish if left in the air, or should I put it in protective silver cloth bags??

Thank you. Barbara.

Barbara Findlay
Home owner - Farmington Connecticut, USA

May 4, 2011

A. Hi, Barbara.

Pure 24k gold cannot tarnish, and this gold plating is probably close to 24K. It does, however, have to be quite thick to have zero porosity (through which air can attack the underlying silver). The flatware can also scratch and lose its nice polished look, so I think some sort of cloth or bag would be a good idea anyway.


Ted Mooney, amadeya42.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

November 26, 2017

Q. I have purchased a set of gold plated flatware and the plating seems to be ok 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 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.

It might be a lacquer coating, or residue from a poor attempt at epoxy or polyurethane coating. I'd probably start by trying to clean it with acetone [linked by editor to product info at Rockler]. If that didn't work, I'd probably try Aircraft Stripper [linked by editor to product info at Amazon]; neither 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 [linked by editor to product info at Amazon], protective gloves [linked by editor to product info at Amazon], and outstanding ventilation (preferably outdoors).

If you purchased


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

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.


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