For rings and jewellery you wear every day, it’s important to keep them in tip-top shape. Is there a point, however, when cleaning your jewellery too much can be damaging? Is not cleaning your engagement ring enough, doing more harm than good?
Diamond maintenance is crucial to ensuring your diamond ring stays sparkling and in great shape. Some people find it hard to take the time to stop by a jeweller to get their ring cleaned, and others can’t stand the thought of leaving it for a few days and not being able to wear their ring while it gets a professional cleaning. While we do suggest getting your jewellery professionally cleaned at least twice a year, we’ve compiled a few tips on how to clean your diamond ring at home between scheduled cleanings!
How Often Should You Clean Your Engagement Ring
You can bring your ring to a jeweller for a deep clean (more on that below!) about once a year, or ahead of a special occasion but for everyday buildup, it’s handy to know how to clean your engagement ring at home yourself. Most jewellers recommend doing a quick clean once or twice a month to keep on top of product buildup.
Before we delve into the details, we want to address a common question when it comes to cleaning jewellery in general – How often should you do it? Most suggest cleaning your ring anywhere from once a week to every other week to keep it in great shape and maintain that stunning fire. Cleaning once a week is perfect and easy to add to any weekend routine to make it a habit!
How often you clean your diamond rings, and other jewellery is dependent on how much you wear them. Diamond rings can withstand more wear and tear than, say, a cameo or opal ring. Since diamonds are more resilient, they can be more aggressively cleaned more often.
If you are wearing your diamond ring every day in situations where it’s likely to get dirty, give your ring a quick and gentle scrubbing once every two weeks. Opt for a more thorough cleaning once a month and bring it to your jeweller for professional cleaning once every six months.
For jewellery that is more fragile than you don’t wear every day, avoid using liquids often. Sometimes all the ring might need is a quick and gentle wipe down with a polishing cloth and a soft, damp toothbrush.
Consider the Metal Type
Take care to know the maintenance tips or your ring’s metal type. There are different solutions that work best on all metals, but some are specifically used to reduce tarnish in silver or make gold pop. Do some research and figure out some of the trade tricks to pay attention to the metal of your ring as much as the diamond itself!
How to Clean My Ring
The easiest way to clean your ring is to mix warm – almost hot – water and dishwashing soap. You can then soak your ring in the watery solution for anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Once that time is up, use a very soft-bristled toothbrush to polish it. If there’s still a bit of stubborn grime, go ahead and repeat. This is a great way to get off normal layers of products like hairspray or lotion, and it can work with all metals. After polishing, dry your ring with a cotton cloth or let it air dry. Avoid paper towels as they can scratch your ring.
If while you’re cleaning your ring, you notice certain spots aren’t coming up easily even after a repeated rinse, schedule a professional cleaning to get rid of deeper set dirt. If you’re an avid cook or a very outdoorsy person and you don’t remove your ring often, you may require more than two professional cleanings a year.
Cleaning at Home
There are many ways you can clean your fine jewellery at home. Depending on the type of jewellery you are cleaning, you can use kits or home recipes to hand clean the jewellery, or ultrasonic or steam cleaners. Don’t let these replace a professional cleaning and inspection permanently. It’s important to have valuable jewellery that you wear often checked by your jeweller once or twice a year.
If you want the feel of professional cleaning from home, consider purchasing an ultrasonic jewellery cleaning machine. These devices’ price and quality vary, but they will free dirt and dust from the smallest of places, leaving your jewellery looking like new.
Are There Tips To Protect My Ring In Between Check-Ups?
Absolutely! There’s a lot of buzz about what exactly you as a customer should or shouldn’t do when it comes to cleaning your engagement and wedding bands. I will say this, and if you’re doing nothing, you’re going to regret that choice later on. Just like with a car: you have to have your dealership checkup, but you also have to put gas in it, put air in the tires, and check the oil in between those visits.
One of the most important things I think to mention is that there are times you do need to take your rings off. So many people wear them all the time, and that is so hard on the ring itself. The metal and stones we use are tough but not invincible. You should take your rings off some specific times if you’re at the gym, lifting weights, and when you sleep.
Trust me I get it, it’s very exciting to have a beautiful engagement ring and wedding band, and you want to flaunt it everywhere, but unfortunately, if you wear it at these two times, you’re taking a grave chance of losing a stone or messing up the metal. When you sleep, the prongs of your ring could get caught on your sheets or comforter and break on or loosen one. At this point, the stone that it was holding will start to move or come out completely.
The metal of the gym bar and the metal of your ring could end up scratching when that happens it gets the ring out of the circle, and then that could loosen the setting as well or make it where it doesn’t fit your finger anymore.
The next time is: BUY RING INSURANCE. I can’t tell you how many sad stories I’ve heard of stones falling out or whole rings getting lost or stolen. If you don’t prepare for the worst by getting insurance when the worst happens, there’s nothing anyone can do.
And not only losing that investment but also a symbol of your love would be so tragic. There are many different types of jewellery insurance policies. Some are very simple, and some can be very complex, some cover anything that could happen to your ring and some only cover certain instances, so make sure to get a plan that works best for you.
You can opt to add a policy with your home and car insurance, but they aren’t as thorough with these policies. They sometimes only include loss and not theft, or only if the stone is a certain size. I also suggest insuring your ring separately with a jewellery insurance company. There are many out there, and your jeweller should have one that his company works closely with. You can also do research online and find the perfect plan for you.
Another thing to keep in mind is don’t resize your ring too often. Messing with the size of the ring too often makes the ring weaker. Constantly adding metal and then taking metal away and constantly heating it to the point of adding to taking away will make your ring brittle.
One resizing is acceptable, and, at my store, when you purchase the ring of your dreams, we will give one free complimentary sizing within the first year. We suggest that you wear the ring for a few months, see how your hand swell and shrink with the weather, and then come in and get it resized if you think you need it.
This tip goes along with taking your rings off but; diamonds are ridiculously strong, but they are not invincible. Yes, you have one of the strongest stones on the planet on your hand, but when the strongest things break sometimes. So keep that in mind and remember to treat your diamond with extreme care. You will only be rewarded for it in the end with a ring that truly lasts for forever.
The last tip I have is to please get your engagement rings, and wedding bands cleaned on occasion, after all, that is what this post is about isn’t it? There is no better way to protect a beautiful piece that was specifically made for you to keep it checked up and clean. Here at Temple & Grace, we want all rings that come out of our store always to look their best and create happy customers. Help us truly love and appreciate the rings you’re wearing from day one to day forever.
Above all, the most important thing to remember is that if you take care of your diamond ring, it will last for generations. And the best part is that a few simple steps at home and a trip into your jeweller a couple of the times a year is all you need to protect that legacy.
Protecting Your Engagement Ring
When to Remove Your Ring
- Avoid wearing your ring while swimming, because your fingers could temporarily shrink in cool temperatures, allowing it to fall off.
- Take your ring off before participating in sports or other vigorous activity that could involve sharp blows.
- Remove your ring before applying heavy makeup, lotion, or creams to your hands to avoid the excessive buildup that can dull the stones.
- Take off your engagement ring before beginning housecleaning or yard work that involves harsh chemicals or rough equipment.
Keeping Track of Your Ring
- Place your ring in the same, safe place every day to avoid accidentally misplacing it.
- Avoid removing or placing your ring near vulnerable places, such as sinks or bathtubs, where it could easily be knocked off and lost.
- Always store your engagement ring by itself in a safe place to prevent the jewellery from getting scratched or chipped by other gems.
- Diamond Ring Repair
Maintaining Your Ring
- Handle your ring infrequently, as the oils in your hands can cloud the gems and reduce their sparkle.
- Clean your ring at least once a week to keep it as brilliant as the day you first put it on.
- Get your ring inspected at least twice a year by a qualified jeweller to guarantee the setting is secure.
- Have any repairs recommended by your jeweller performed right away.
Insuring Your Investment
- Have the appraisal of your engagement ring updated every few years in case of loss.
- Insure your valuable engagement ring against theft, loss, or accidental damage.
Professional Cleaning Costs
If you purchased your fine jewellery from a local jeweller, inspections and cleanings are usually included for free for the lifetime of the piece. Be sure to ask if this benefit is included prior to the time of purchase.
Be sure to build a relationship with a jeweller you can trust, so you feel confident going to him or her when things have gone wrong. Remember, fine jewellery is not indestructible.
If you purchased jewellery elsewhere and want to find a place to have them cleaned, expect to pay between $25 to $50 for the jeweller’s time and use of their equipment. Make sure the jeweller has a keen understanding of the jewellery you own. For instance, you will never want to have a jeweller with little experience in antique jewellery to clean and polish your great grandmother’s heirloom rings. Antique jewellery takes special care not to erase hundreds of years of patina.
Ring Cleaning Tips
Many people believe that simply wearing your engagement ring while washing your hands is an adequate way to clean it. The soaps and other cleaners used on your hands can cloud and dull your ring, and it should be cleaned periodically to keep it brilliant.
The easiest way to clean a diamond ring is with a solution of water and a mild liquid detergent. A soft-bristled brush can loosen dirt and a soft, and a lint-free cloth should be used for drying.
Store-bought jewellery solutions may also be used for soaking diamond rings as well as solutions of ammonia and ethyl alcohol. Ammonia (in a mild solution with three parts of water) is particularly good for brightening yellow gold. Still, it should never be used with fracture-filled diamonds as it may cause the diamonds to become cloudy or discoloured.
Engagement rings can also be professionally cleaned if they become overly dirty. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are the most popular choices among jewellers. Diamonds can also be boiled in sulfuric acid by a professional if they become extremely dirty, though this is often the last resort.
However, if your engagement ring has any serious flaws such as fractures or cracks in the stone, be sure the jeweller is aware of them because certain cleaning techniques may exacerbate the flaws.
Choosing the Right Method
If your engagement ring contains different types of stones, be sure whichever cleaning method you choose is appropriate for all of them. For example, Pearls are far softer and more delicate than many gems, and can easily be scratched or pitted by cleaning solutions recommended for diamonds.
Tips for Ring Storage
Protection from damage and theft should be your primary concerns when storing your engagement ring. Here are a few tips for storing your ring safely.
- Jewellery boxes should be lined with soft fabric, but be aware that a noticeable jewellery box is the first place a burglar will look.
- A diamond engagement ring should be wrapped in soft fabric and placed in a padded jewellery bag for long-term storage.
- It’s best to keep seldom-worn jewellery in a safe deposit box.
- Never store diamond jewellery lose with other pieces – the diamonds could easily scratch or nick other pieces, while other gems can damage the gold or platinum setting on the engagement ring.
How to Look After Your Engagement Ring
The tips above will work for any hard precious stones, like diamonds, emeralds, rubies or sapphires. If you have a softer stone like a pearl or opal, talk to your jeweller about how to clean it safely.
There are lots of home cleaning solutions bandied about, like using Coke, baking soda, toothpaste, vinegar or even bleach or acetone to clean your ring. Many of these can scratch or damage the stone or metal, so don’t take risks when a bottle of Fairy Liquid can do the trick!
Most rings can withstand day-to-day activities, like doing the dishes or going to the gym. But if you’re gardening or using heavy cleaning, it’s a good idea to wear gloves or remove your ring. Likewise, for certain activities and sports, it’s safer if you remove your ring, not only for the ring itself but for your finger too!
If you take your ring off regularly or for long periods, store it in a dry, fabric-lined box or soft pouch, and make sure it’s clean before you store it.
If your ring has any major knocks (or any stones feel wobbly), take it off immediately, store it in its box and bring it to the jeweller to check that the stones are intact and secure in the setting.
With practical habits, regular cleaning, and careful storage, caring for your engagement ring is easy and efficient. Not only will the ring remain glamorous throughout the engagement, but as its sentimental and monetary value continues to grow after the wedding, the ring’s brilliance will remain as sparkling as the day it was first put on your finger.