Gold-plated cutlery is ideal for creating elegant table settings and can keep its beautiful lustre for years with proper cleaning and storage. Sellers on eBay offer a wide selection of gold pated cutlery, products and accessories required to keep it looking its best. Although the composition of gold-plated cutlery affects its durability and resistance to damage, following sensible washing, polishing, and storage guidelines increases the lifespan of any gold-plated flatware. Avoid abrasive cleaners and polishes, prevent acid erosion and tarnish, and use soft cloths to wash, dry, and polish.
Gold-plated Cutlery Composition
Gold-plated cutlery consists of a base metal covered with a thin layer of gold. This layer of gold, the plating, is delicate, and it chips and scratches easily. In addition, the base metal is vulnerable to rust and corrosion, which can ruin the finish, and the plating can oxidise, making the cutlery lose its beautiful lustre. The most common base metals include nickel, stainless steel, and silver alloy. Manufacturers express the purity of gold in karats, which indicates the parts of gold per 24 in the gold alloy.
The thickness and the purity of the plating affect its durability. Gold plating thicknesses range from 0.1 to 10 microns, with thicker coatings being more durable. Although 24-karat gold is the purest type of plating, it is the softest. Lower purity gold includes copper and other alloy metals that improve hardness.
How to Wash Gold-plated Cutlery
Although some manufacturers indicate that gold-plated cutlery is dishwasher safe, washing these pieces by hand significantly increases their lifespan. When cleaning gold-plated flatware, use soft cloths and gentle cleaning products. Avoid abrasive cleaners or cloths with rough surfaces that can remove the gold plating. Always use the soft side of a dish sponge or a soft cloth to clean gold cutlery. For the best results, wash gold-plated cutlery immediately after use. This prevents food from adhering to the gold-plated surface and eroding the plating. Never leave cutlery unwashed overnight. Food contains acids that can stain or pit the flatware. Similarly, prolonged soaking can damage the plating.
To remove grime and dirt, wash the flatware in lukewarm water with mild dish soap and a soft cloth. If required, soak the cutlery in warm soapy water for two minutes to loosen food deposits. Remember to clean between the tines of forks and in the grooves of embossed or engraved details. Dampen a cloth with vinegar or lemon juice and gently rub any stubborn spots. Vinegar or lemon juice is also suitable for removing tarnish. Rinse the flatware immediately; acid erodes gold plating. Never scrub this type of cutlery and prevent over-zealous rubbing. Once each item is clean, rinse it in clean lukewarm water and dry it using a soft cotton or flannel cloth. Allowing cutlery to air dry causes water spots.
How to Polish Gold-plated Cutlery
Polish gold-plated flatware only a few times a year. Use a gold plate polish formulated specifically for plated products. Never use harsh polish on gold-plated cutlery, as this can damage the plating or remove it completely. Use long horizontal strokes rather than a circular motion to polish each item. Wash the polish off in warm soapy water, rinse the flatware, and dry it. Buff the surface using a soft flannel cloth.
How to Store Gold-plated Cutlery
Proper storage is as important as proper cleaning. Once the cutlery is dry, store it in a dry place in a tarnish-resistant flatware chest or box. Do not bind the cutlery with elastic bands; these bands contain sulphur, which corrodes gold plating. Rotate the pieces to ensure they wear evenly.
How to Buy Cutlery Cleaning Supplies on eBay
Sellers on eBay offer a variety of items suitable for cleaning gold-plated cutlery, from mild dish soap to soft cloths. When searching, use specific terms to ensure the results returned match your query. You can further narrow your search results by choosing the most suitable item category and specifications. Look for bundled offers that include items, such as polish suitable for gold-plated flatware and polishing cloths. Opt for items that help preserve the layer of gold plating on your cutlery and that prevent tarnish, nicks, and other damage.