Although pricey, 24-karat gold is soft and susceptible to damage. To create a more cost-effective, stronger product, some manufacturers cover silver or other robust metals with a thin layer of gold plating. However, a gold-plated watch is still susceptible to damage in the form of scratches and discolorations if cleaned and stored improperly. Never submerge your gold-plated watch; instead, cleanse it properly to ensure you don't damage the movement or expose the base metal below the plating.
Create a mixture of 3 cups lukewarm water and 1/2 teaspoon mild dish soap in a small bowl. Stir the mixture to incorporate the soap. A mild soap contains no dyes or perfumes. Never use an abrasive cleanser, which will scratch or fade the gold plating.
Dampen a soft-bristled toothbrush with the soapy water, and gently scrub the gold-plated band. Pay attention to get in-between the gaps to eliminate any built-up dirt, dust or oils.
Dampen a soft washcloth with plain water, and wipe off the gold-plated band to remove the soapy residue. Never submerge the gold-plated band, especially if the watch isn't water resistant. Gently wipe the watchband with a separate soft washcloth.
Set the watch on a washcloth, and allow it to air dry overnight. Once completely dry, store the watch in a cool, dry place. Although gold won't tarnish, the silver or copper under the plating will. Prevent scratches or damage by storing the gold-plated watch separately.
Residing in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Jaimie Zinski has been writing since 2009. Specializing in pop culture, film and television, her work appears on Star Reviews and various other websites. Zinski is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.