Ammonia for Cleaning Gold

I use a warm ammonia and dish soap solution for cleaning rouge
and other greasy susbstances off of sterling silver. Can the
same solution be used on gold ? I am wondering if the ammonia
will react with the copper content of a low karat gold and cause
the colour of the gold to change.

Any other suggestions for cleaning solutions ?


I find Mr. Clean, the lemon kind is the best off the grocery

Hi All,

Mr. Clean might be great for gold but it’s dead in the water
when it comes to silver. I’ve been 16 years using the old tried
and true ammonia/water/soap mix - both for polishing silver
straight from the acid and for removing rouge with an old
toothbrush (also hands). I measure the mix 50/50 into my 1
gallon tumbler and use plenty of soap with my surgical steel
mixed shot and only have to do a perfunctory polish up with Zam
or Fabulustre when my pieces come out. This method is OK for
most set stones, too, except for the organics and copper minerals
(soft stones) when cleaning after oxidation.

Incidentally, sonics are a waste of money for silver - at least
the one I bought from Rio didn’t do much whatever I put in there,
including their recommended mix.

I did find that the Silver Magic Metal Cleaner plate offered by
Rio works fine for the organics and soft stones. I do a lot of
work in amber, pearls, and the copper minerals and it’s
overwhelming to have to face cleaning everything I have when I
get rained out at a show or set up next to a chlorinated pool. My
problem is getting out all the investment in tight corners.
Nothing seems to work and lots of times I have to go back in and
finish by hand with rouged brushes on my Foredom. This isn’t very
practical when doing production. Anyone have a suggestion?


Nina - Silver Design, 9122 S. Federal Hwy, Suite 249,
Pt. St. Lucie, FL. 34952 : Toll Free:1-888-460-1800
URL: : Email: @Nina

My vote goes for Mr. Clean. It won’t oxidize brass or other
similar metals and has no detrimental effect on gold.


Mr. Clean might be great for gold but it's dead in the water
when it comes to silver.  (Sip)

Thanks for the Mr Clean tip for gold cleaning. I am still
wondering if ammonia will react with the copper in low karat gold
causing it to discolour ? Or more specifically, is there any
reason that I should not use a soapy ammonia mix for cleaning
gold ?


The best solution i have found for cleaning buffing compound is
Oakite Industries BCR (buffing compound remover) it doesn’t have
the heavy ammonia smell and does a great job. I also find it is
less expensive because you dilute it 10 to 1 withe water. It
costs about $70.00 per five gallons and when you figure in the
dilution that is $70.00 per 50 gallons. great stuff. i will post
the address later if anyone needs it. they are in Houston and
several other cities as well as Canada. Frank

The best solution i have found for cleaning buffing compound is
Oakite Industries BCR (buffing compound remover) it doesn’t have
the heavy ammonia smell and does a great job.

hi frank,

yes indeed, very good stuff. i went in half on a drum with a
friend several years ago. after i ran out, my friend wasn’t
available and i couldn’t source a supplier. it would be great if
you could help me out! i tried several other things and found the
purple stuff from swest works pretty well, but not quite as well
as the oakite.

thanks, geo fox


Oakite addtress is Oakite Products Inc.
50 Valley Road
Berkley Heights, N J 07922-2798

they have distributors alll over the U S

Canada address is

Oakite Canada Ltd
115 East Drive
Bramalea Ont LGT 1B7

also you might try your local jewelry supplier we have one
locally who splits up the 5 gal drum into 1 gal and 1 qt sizes.
makes it more expensive but still cheaper than Mr. Clean and
Ammonia. and a lot better cleaner. good luck. oh also they will
usually drop ship a 5 gallon drum to any location.


you can get bcr from a tool house in houston lathrops gem shop
phone # 713 665-0614

yes !!! i use bcr and it is the best and i have used it all
after 25years this is the best and you can make as strong as you
want or week as you want we do a lot of polishing and the bcr
last a week. we get 5 gallon at a time that will last a long time
for all you pros 5 gallons is your best buy for you hobby jewelry
makers 1 gallon will last you a long time