Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Cleaning white gold

Hello all,

I’m making a white gold ring with braches and roots holding each
other. Normally I clean white gold with nitric acid, but this is only
necessary when it has not good covered up. Now I have made by half
melting some nice braches. These parts have become very black and I 'm
afraid that when I clean them, they need to be in the acid a long
time. And I’m afraid the metal gets brittle. I’m solving copper and
the structure is by the long heating not perfect anymore…

Does anyone maybe now a better way to clean white gold.

Thank you in advance

Martin Niemeijer

Hi Martin,

I clean my white gold by pickling, and then if it is not perfectly
clean I put it in a magnetic pin polisher . The small pins do a very
good job of getting into the smallest area. After 10 minutes in the
pin polisher, every surface is bright without using any Chemicals.We
also use this process on gold and silver and have eliminated all
dangerous and hard to dispose of Chemicals.Afterwards, We hand polish
the item to perfection…or …to whatever the customer wants. Before
I had the magnetic pin polisher, If I had any problematic black spots
due to soldering/ overheating,I would heat the piece evenly with a
torch ( just hot enough not to melt the solder) and immediately
quench it in pickle.This would usually solve the problem. If there
was still some black areas, I used small Stainless steel pointed
brushes mounted on my fordom flex shaft to remove it. We have not used
any chemicals other than pickle in the last 7 years thanks to the
magnetic pin polisher…we do a lot of finished products for
companies in the USA Finland and Switzerland as well as casting for
Jewelry stores.The jewelry stores that are in my area and have
visited my shop have brought items here to try the pinpolisher and
many have bought them for their repair departments(small one
fromRay-Tech cost about $400) The advantage of these machines is that
they do a flawless job inside complex stoneset rings that have
impossible to polish areas under the stones and inside complex wire
work.The time savings in a repair shop are incredible . These machines
are available from and Gesswein as well as other
distributors.The smallest model is all that is neccessary . I hope
this is helpful.

Daniel Grandi

Does anyone maybe now a better way to clean white gold.

Hello Martin, After you pickle the white gold it is probably quickest
to just remove discoloration physically using a wire brush or
polishing compound . You can remove discoloration by stripping the
metal either electrically or chemically, but it doesn’t seem practical
for just one ring. Have fun.

Tom Arnold

Hello all

Thank you all for your response of cleaning, I’ve have still being
experimenting with some chemicals. And also have looked at etching
compounds for stainless steel. these steels contain as main compound
alloys, chromium and nickel. And I have found a way of easy cleaning,

5% hydrogen fluoric acid 30% Nitric acid Just dip for 10 minutes at 20
degree Celsius.

This cleans the black layer very well, even in the deepest pores. The
hydrogen fluoric acid I’m also using for Titanium.

Martin Niemeijer


 Hydrofluoric Acid is probably the most dangerous chemical that

anyone might use in a jewelry studio. It attacks glass and ceramics
so it must be stored in only certain plastics. It is anesthetic, if
you spill some on you it will not hurt but it will be eating into
your body. The wounds from it do not heal very easily. It causes very
serious problems with your bones if it gets into them. Be very
careful with it.


Hello all

It was not so wise of me, given you all a recipe for cleaning white
gold with hydro fluoric acid. It is a very dangerous chemical, and
luckily difficult to achieve. When u use HF acid you should know what
you are doing, because mistakes can cause life time disabilities. I am
aware of this. but maybe a lot of you dear colleges not. The next time
I will not give such advises without a proper warning, or only give
these ideas on special request.

Martin Niemeijer