We can all agree that we put our beautiful engagement rings through a lot—after all, we wear them every day without taking them off. From the moment we slip them on they’re with us as we run errands, clean dirty dishes and perform other activities that involve our hands.
But just like anything else that’s worn daily and comes into contact with different products, it can start to show. And when it comes to your engagement ring, the symbol of your love, looking lifeless and worn out is the last thing you want.
Everyday wear builds up layers of oil, debris, and cosmetic residue on the stone’s surface. Dirty rings are a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause skin irritation, discolouration of the metals, and scratching of the stones, so knowing how to clean your engagement ring at home is important to keep it looking it’s best and free of germs. It should be noted that home cleanings are not a replacement for professional upkeep. While you can easily dislodge surface buildup and restore shine yourself, cleanings at your jeweler’s will safely remove the hard layers of deep, compressed dirt and debris.
How Often to Clean Your Ring
You may not realize it, but many of your everyday habits can quickly take that brilliant sparkle off of your diamond ring. For example, shampoo, hairspray, hand lotions, hand soaps and cooking oils can leave a cloudy sheen across your diamond and your band. For this reason, it’s a good idea to clean your ring every week if you want to keep it in tip-top sparkly shape.
Consider bringing your ring to a jeweller for a professional deep clean twice a year. Suppose you lead an active lifestyle or like to get your hands dirty with, e.g., gardening. In that case, you may want to get your ring professionally cleaned more often, especially for a big event like an anniversary party.
Every other week
Since diamonds are more resilient than other precious metals, you can clean them more often without fear of wear and tear from washing. If you wear your engagement ring daily, a quick, gentle cleaning every other week is enough maintenance to restore its sparkle and keep bacteria at bay. When cleaning your engagement ring, use a soft toothbrush and dish soap to gently scrub the gold and diamonds. These regular at-home cleanings will help minimize the cleaning process over time.
Once a month
Once a month, it’s worth spending some extra time on a more thorough cleaning. Though diamonds are resilient, they’re not indestructible. Avoid overly vigorous scrubbing and harsh chemicals when cleaning, and do not leave your engagement ring submerged in liquids longer than necessary. It’s also important to learn the precise care methods for your particular setting, metal, and stone.
Has your ring checked professionally twice a year?
Everyday wear can cause your prongs to loosen or bend. Prevent any stones from accidentally falling out by ensuring the prongs are securely holding your diamond. Almost every jeweller will do this check for free, even if you didn’t buy your ring at their store.
Every six months, it’s recommended to take your ring in for a professional cleaning and inspection. A professional will ensure that no stones have come loose and no prongs have been bent out of shape. Committing to a professional service twice a year, supplemented by your bi-weekly and monthly at-home cleanings, should keep your engagement ring looking gorgeous year-round and reduce the risk of damage.
Clean your ring four times a year.
Dirt, oil and residue can lodge itself into your diamond. If you don’t clean it regularly, your ring will end up looking dull instead of brilliant. Even the slightest film can alter how light reflects off of the diamond. To keep your diamond shining brightly, you’ll want to clean your engagement ring several times a year.
How Do You Clean Your Engagement Ring And Keep It Clean?
When it comes to cleaning your ring, you can go about it in several ways. You need to make sure the cleaning method is correct for your diamonds and any other kind of stone featured in your ring. Otherwise, you’ll do more harm than good while you try to remove dirt and grime.
Soap and Water, Plus a Soft Toothbrush
No matter what kind of setting or metal your rings has, it’s best to use a gentle soap and water solution. To create this simple solution, all you need is a small bowl, warm water, and dishwashing soap. Then take your ring and allow it to soak for about 20 to 40 minutes depending on how dirty it is. If your ring is dull because it’s covered in hard to remove substances such as hairspray, makeup or lotion, you can grab a soft toothbrush and give it a good scrub to remove the residue. Once you’re done, rinse the ring under warm running water (don’t forget the drain cover!) then take a look at your ring. If you see, there’s still residue covering the stone and band, repeat the previous steps then dry with a lint-free cloth.
A Non-Abrasive and Chemical-Free Solution
You can give your ring a thorough clean by reaching for a professional-grade solution that’s non-abrasive and chemical-free. A jewellery solution will effortlessly restore and polish diamonds, precious stones, platinum, and gold jewellery without causing any damage. Just make sure it’s truly chemical-free and doesn’t include bleach, chlorine, or acetone.
Now, if your ring is still looking a bit rough after using these methods, it’s time to get some help from a professional who can properly inspect and clean your ring. After your ring has been professionally cleaned, you can continue to use the other methods to maintain the shine.
How to Clean a Diamond Ring: All Metal Types (Platinum, Silver, White Gold, and Gold)
Soap and Water
The best way to clean a diamond ring, no matter your ring’s setting and/or metal type, is plain soap and water. To make the solution, get a small bowl and add very warm water and basic dishwashing soap. Soak your ring for about 20 to 40 minutes depending on how dirty it is. If you need to remove a substance such as a hairspray, lotion, makeup, or perfume, use a very soft toothbrush to remove any residue. Rinse the ring under warm running water and repeat if necessary. Using chlorine or other harsh chemicals, even some certified jewellery cleaners, can damage the engagement ring. It’s important to rinse your ring thoroughly after cleaning in order to remove any soap residue.
Non-Abrasive and Chemical-Free Solution
It’s important to do your research when purchasing a jewellery cleaner/polisher. If there are any chemicals in the solution, your diamond ring can become discoloured or lose its durability. Sparkle Bright is a highly rated jewellery cleaner that can polish and restore rings of any metal type.
How to Clean a Diamond Ring: Silver and Gold
Windex and Hydrogen Peroxide Solution.
Here’s how to clean a diamond ring with hydrogen peroxide: get a small bowl and prepare a 50/50 solution of Windex and hydrogen peroxide. Soak your diamond ring for about 10–15 minutes. The Windex will remove the day-to-day dirt buildup, and the hydrogen peroxide will kill any bacteria on the ring. After soaking your engagement ring in the solution, gently scrub your ring with a soft toothbrush to remove residue. Rinse with lukewarm water and dry.
How to Clean a Diamond Ring: Silver
Pour 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons baking soda into a shallow bowl. Mix the solution so that the baking soda is completely dissolved. Soak your diamond ring in the solution for two to three hours. Then rinse your ring under cold water and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.
Yes, you read that correctly. If you have a tarnished silver ring, then ketchup could be your solution to getting the shine back. Dunk your band into a small bowl of ketchup for a few minutes. Use a soft toothbrush to work ketchup into the crevices, then rinse the ring with lukewarm water and dry. Be sure not to leave the ketchup on your band for more than a few minutes.
How to Clean a Diamond Ring: Solid Gold
If your solid gold ring is losing its lustre, try pouring a little bit of beer onto a soft cloth and rubbing it gently over the band. Do not rub the beer on your gemstones or diamond, and be sure to avoid dark ale beer. After you’ve rubbed the beer onto the band, use a second cloth or towel to dry.
Choose a ring with a warranty
Reputable diamond vendors will usually offer a warranty for their jewellery products. For example, Blue Nile‘s lifetime warranty offers repair and replacement for any manufacturer defects for the life of the ring. James Allen also provides a lifetime manufacturer warranty along with free prong tightening, re-polishing, cleaning services and rhodium plating.
By choosing a reputable vendor, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’ll receive care for your ring even years later.
Store your engagement ring safely.
If you’re not wearing your ring every day, or decide to leave it behind when you go vacation, be sure you have a safe spot for your ring.
Choose a fabric-lined jewellery box with dividers, so your ring won’t rub against your other jewellery. Consider placing the jewellery case in a lockbox or a fireproof safe for extra security.
Avoid having your ring resized more than once.
During different life stages, like pregnancy and postpartum, hands tend to swell and change sizes. Rather than continually resizing your ring, store it away in a safe place until it fits again. While you can always resize a ring, having it adjusted often can make the metal more fragile and subject to long term damage.
Remove your ring during hands-on activities.
Take off your engagement ring during hand-heavy activities like moving furniture, gardening, lifting weights and doing manual labour. You may also want to remove your ring when you swim, kayak or paddleboard. You’ll not only increase the longevity of your ring, but you’ll reduce the chances of it getting lost.
We also recommend keeping a ring dish near your kitchen sink so you can remove your ring before you wash dishes. By taking off your ring, you’re limiting its exposure to harsh chemicals and knocking it against hard surfaces. The less wear and tear on your ring, the better.
But don’t remove your ring in public.
While it may be tempting to remove your ring while washing your hands in a public restroom, it could slide down the drain, or you might forget it altogether.
Try to refrain from taking off your ring in public places. Plan in advance for workouts or manual activity by storing your ring safely at home before the day begins.
What Not to Use When Cleaning Your Ring
Diamonds are famous for their strength, but that doesn’t mean you should consider using harsh cleaning chemicals for scrubbing your ring. Chemicals like bleach, chlorine and acetone can break down the metal in your band.
Use only the softest of brushes on your diamond. Hard-bristled toothbrushes and scrub pads may scratch your diamond, marring its beautiful sparkle and lowering its values. Likewise, abrasive cleaners, like baking soda, powdered cleaners or even toothpaste, can damage your band. Gold bands, in particular, scratch very easily.
Take care when choosing specialized jewellery cleaners. Be sure to choose a cleaner without chemicals or abrasive components. Even certain chemicals that won’t harm your ring could discolour your diamond.
Don’t Use Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaners at Home.
While ultrasonic jewellery cleaners produce a sparkling result, the machine works by sending vibrations through the water and cleaning solution in a matter of minutes. Mann says that vigorous movement can cause stones to become loose or even fall out in the machine. And while a professional jeweller can test the stones to see if they’re all still intact (and secure them on the spot), you would never know at home if one of your pavé set stones became loose in the machine—unless, of course, it fell out, in which case you—hopefully have your ring insured—have to go to the jeweller anyway.
Where to Get Your Ring Professionally Cleaned
If your ring came from a local jeweller, there’s a good chance professional cleaning offered as a lifetime complimentary service. Having your ring cleaned at the same place it was purchased is best because the jewellers will be most familiar with your specific ring and how to care for it. When looking for a new place to take your ring for cleaning, speak with the jeweller who will be performing the service. You’ll want to look for someone with experience caring for jewellery similar to yours in materials, age (important for antiques), and structure. With an understanding of the piece, you own.
Caring for Your Diamond Ring
While it’s important to know how to clean a diamond ring safely, it’s also important to be aware of the things you should not do when cleaning a ring. The last thing you want to do is damage your ring or cause it to age prematurely.
Thick lotions and creams can result in residue buildup on your ring. This can make your ring look and feel dirty, and cause it to become discoloured—especially if your band is made of white gold or platinum.
Your ring is a fragile object; therefore, it’s extremely important that you handle it with care. If you bang your ring onto something hard enough, it could chip the band or loosen the setting. If you know that you’re going to do something labour-intensive, take off your ring and put it in a safe place.
If you have a warranty, it’s important to stay up-to-date on your maintenance appointments. Being proactive and bringing your ring in to be inspected by a jeweller can prevent any stones from falling out and resolve any chip or crack issues.
Remove your ring while cooking. Food and other oils can get stuck in or discolour your ring. Depending on the setting of your stone, food may be almost impossible to remove from the ring.
It’s important to take care of your ring, as it has tremendous sentimental value. If you’re ever questioning whether or not a solution or treatment is safe for cleaning your ring, do yourself a favour and consult a professional.
Insuring Your Engagement Ring
Your engagement ring’s sentimental value can’t be replaced. But you can be eligible for the full financial investment should your ring ever be lost, stolen or damaged.
Have your ring appraised by a credentialed appraiser and then insure it for its full replacement value. Review a couple of insurance plan options before settling on the one that’s best for you (and gives you the most value for what you’re paying).
Because the cost of diamonds and metals tend to rise over time, have your ring appraised every five years. With an appraisal that’s a decade old or more, the value will likely be far less than what it’s currently worth.