How to Clean Your Rhodium-plated Jewelry

pile of various rings on marble surface
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 1-20
What You'll Need
Mild liquid detergent
Soft towels
Hair dryer

Because rhodium is a fragile metal in the platinum family, rhodium-plated jewelry requires careful handling and maintenance. This material is used to coat white gold and sterling silver to create a shiny, sparkling finish. In addition, it’s hypoallergenic and doesn’t corrode. Eventually, rhodium plating will fade and need to be replaced. To extend its life and maintain its shine, you should follow the cleaning process provided below.

Disclaimer: Never use harsh chemicals on rhodium-plated jewelry. The chemicals will damage the plating. In addition, do not use jewelry-cleaning chemicals or sonic-cleaning systems. Most sonic systems will cause the jewelry to bounce, and this could potentially damage the jewelry.

Step 1 – Soaking the Jewelry

Combining Cleaning Ingredients

In a bowl, combine 1/3 cup of a mild liquid detergent with 1 cup of warm water. Then, soak your rhodium-plated items in the solution. Leave the items in the soapy water for about 10 minutes, but don't let the jewelry sit any longer than 15 minutes. The extra time could cause damage.

Rubbing the Jewelry

Next, use your fingers to gently rub all areas of the items in the bowl. Take your soft-bristled toothbrush and gently scrub the finer parts of the jewelry.

Step 2 – Rinsing off Your Jewelry

Filling the Sink With Water

Place your sink stopper securely over the drain and run your sink water at a lukewarm temperature.

Rinsing Your Jewelry

Do not use your tap water if you have hard water, as it will create spots, just like it does on your shower door. Instead, use bottled or distilled water. Then, rinse your jewelry under your chosen water source to remove all of the soapy water.

Step 3 – Drying the Jewelry

Place your rhodium-plated jewelry on a soft, clean towel, and gently pat the excess moisture off of the items. If possible, use a hair dryer on the lowest heat setting possible to dry the jewelry. If you do not have a dryer, leave the jewelry to sit and air-dry overnight.

Step 4 – Storing Your Jewelry

Place your rhodium-plated items on tissue paper. Gently wrap each in a separate piece of paper. The tissue will protect the jewelry and prevent it from rubbing against anything that could accidentally scratch it.

Step 5 – Caring For Your Jewelry

Remove your jewelry when using household cleaners, hand cream, and perfume to prolong the life of rhodium plating. Always use the above process to clean your jewelry, and stay away from harsh chemical cleaners.