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How to Clean Bone China Gilt (Gold)

How to Clean Bone China Gilt (Gold)

All fine china requires some level of specialized care, but china with decorative gold details is much more demanding.

Right throughout the ages, manufacturers have on a regular basis released designed patterns featuring gold details, often in rim trims, handles and highlights. Spouts and footings are also favourite sections that gets the gold treatment too.

Cleaning and Washing

Hand washing is the preferred method for cleaning china. When cleaning bone china, use non-abrasive mild detergent and wipe with soft, non-abrasive rags to gently remove any excess food or sauce. Lemon-based detergents are best avoided when it comes to fine china, as repeated use of lemon-based cleaners can cause pitting in delicate gold details.

At the Treasure Chest we tend to use an olive oil dish washing soap made by local artisans. But you can also use a used kitchen oil based artisan dish washing soap, by rubbing the soap into a soft cloth and gently wash your china piece. Do NOT use very hot water. Its best to use warm water no warmer than 40º.

  • Sometimes, oxidation or discoloration can occur on gold details. 
  • After being taken out of storage and before being used, gold details on china should be polished.
  • Use a gentle, gold-approved polishing agent for this task and apply it using a soft jeweler's cloth.

For serious discoloration, it may be necessary to use ammonia or other products on the gold details to remove tarnish.

Always start with the most gentle option and progress from there. The gilding is a very fine decorative layer and over time and use, will wear down. Rubbing it and/or polishing  it speeds up this process and should only ever be done sparingly.





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