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How To Clean A Diamond Ring Properly​ For The Perfect Shine

Photo: Kwangmoozaa / Shutterstock
person cleaning diamond ring

Shining, shimmering, splendid!

You've found yourself a life partner, and acquired a beautiful diamond ring (or other precious stone). While memories of your special proposal will never be forgotten and cherished forever, your ring may not stay as bright and sparkling as the day you received it.

Luckily, there's a way to fix that. With the help of jewelry expert Amber Smetana of Rogers & Hollands Jewelers, we will discuss how to clean a diamond ring properly to make it as beautiful as the first day you got it.

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How often should you clean a diamond ring?

"We recommend cleaning your diamond engagement ring, or other frequently worn diamond jewelry, at home one to two times per month," Smetana recommends.

But when it comes to professional cleaning, it's recommended that you take your ring into the shop twice a year.

"There are a few reasons why it’s important to have these precious items cleaned regularly, but the most obvious one is because it’s gorgeous when it sparkles," she adds.

Vanities and beauty aside (we do love the way clean diamonds sparkle when they hit the sun), maintaining and having clean jewelry means noticing potential issues from normal daily wear.

From day to day wear, the structure of the jewelry can be compromised, and bi-annually cleaning means you're less likely to experience diamond loss, as you're made aware of the ring's integrity regularly.

What should you use to clean the diamond ring?

"To quickly remove smudges and skin oils, use a lint-free diamond cloth," Smetana advises. "When needing a more intensive cleaning, only an ultra-soft toothbrush is okay."

When it comes to cleaning solutions, there are many store brand or jewelry shop-recommended solutions to purchase. However, you may have all the ingredients to make your own solution right at home.

What should you avoid using to clean the diamond ring?

In an effort to avoid scratching the metal of your ring or damaging it altogether, it's important to note that you should never use hard-bristle toothbrushes, scrubbing pads, or metal wool.

Additionally, steer clear of harsh chemicals and certain household cleaners, like acetone, bleach, or even toothpaste, as these can break down the metal, and damage gold and silver.

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4 Ways to Clean Your Diamond Ring at Home

Method 1: Dishwashing liquid and household cleaner

Ingredients:

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Warm water
  • Household cleaner
  • Bowl
  • Paper towel or cloth

Directions:

1. Mix 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and 1 cup warm water

2. Add 1/2 teaspoon of ammonia-based household cleaner (like a glass cleaner, such as Windex)

3. Soak your jewelry in the solution for about 5 minutes and then gently scrub with a soft toothbrush

4. Air-dry or carefully towel-dry with paper towel or regular cloth.

Method 2: Soap and water

Ingredients:

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Warm water
  • Bowl
  • Soft toothbrush
  • Soft cloth

Directions:

1. Mix 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and 1 cup very warm water

2. Fully immerse the ring in the water, letting it soak for 20-30 minutes

3. Use a soft toothbrush to remove any residue or build-up, like hand lotions or makeup

4. Rinse the ring thoroughly under warm water and dry with a microfiber cloth

Method 3: Hydrogen peroxide and Windex

Ingredients:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Windex
  • Bowl
  • Soft toothbrush

Directions:

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1. Mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 1 part Windex in a bowl

2. Fully immerse the ring, and soak for 10-15 minutes

3. Use a soft toothbrush to gently brush the ring, removing any build-up or residue

4. Rinse with warm water and dry

Method 4: Baking soda and vinegar

Ingredients:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Cold water
  • Soft cloth

Directions:

1. Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1/2 cup white vinegar in a bowl

2. Stir the baking soda and white vinegar until the baking soda is dissolved

3. Fully immerse and soak the diamond ring for 2-3 hours

4. Rinse with cold water and dry with soft cloth

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Do diamond rings need to be professionally cleaned?

While we touched on this previously, we should reiterate why a ring should be professionally cleaned every so often: "If you wear your engagement ring or any jewelry daily, you’re bound to have a build-up of skin, dirt and soaps," says Smetana.

"Keep in mind that wearing your rings every day is like wearing the same outfit every day and build-up on your jewelry is inevitable, especially the rings on your hands. At-home cleanings are great and keep your jewels shining, but having your engagement professionally cleaned every six months is necessary and the extra TLC from pros is worth it!" she adds.

Check with the jeweler you bought your ring from; oftentimes, they allow or grant free ring cleanings.

What happens during a professional cleaning?

Professional ring cleaning typically first involves an inspection of the item underneath a microscope to make sure no loose stones and the diamonds are still in good condition.

Next, the ring is submerged in an ultrasonic cleaning machine containing a specialized washing solvent. This machine uses energy to create vibrations that help shake dirt and grime away without harming the ring. The process typically takes about 15-20 minutes.

Do different diamond cuts (i.e., princess or round) have different approaches to cleaning?

Short answer, yes.

As Smetana reveals, "It is true that some diamond shapes, and how they’re set, can make them more durable or fragile."

"For instance, round diamonds are considered more durable than other shapes, yet claw settings are still vulnerable to snagging and damage. Other diamond shapes that are typically more prone to damage are princess, marquise and pear shapes because of their sharp edge or pointed characteristics, making them prone to chipping when struck."

Simply put, shape characteristics and uniqueness of a setting or prongs should be taken into consideration while cleaning.

Is it okay to sleep with your diamond ring on?

Short answer? No.

"Apart from the obvious snagging threat from bedding, hair or even your partner, if you tend to lie on your hands, the pressure of your weight can cause the band to become misshapen and, subsequently, lose stones," Smetana warns.

If you are someone who worries about misplacing or losing your jewelry while traveling, this is where you may want to designate a particular location in your house to store your ring.

In regards to travel, it may be best to secure the ring back at home in a lock box or secure location to avoid theft or losing the ring.

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Elizabeth Blasi is a New York-based lifestyle and travel writer who is often seen with a suitcase in hand, jet-setting to her next location. Her work has been featured on Elite Daily, Yahoo LIfestyle, Good Housekeeping, and more. Follow her on Instagram or visit her website.

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