Anyone who enjoys jewelry knows how important it is to clean diamond rings. After all, this is the best way to ensure that your treasures stay sparkly and bright. In this article, we cover how to keep your ring clean and a few things to avoid in order to keep your ring looking its very best.
Don’t Touch – Did you know that the natural oils from your hands can attract tiny dirt particles? It’s true! The first step in keeping your diamond clean is to avoid touching it. Additionally, try to remember to remove your ring and set it somewhere safe whenever you apply hand lotion. The ingredients in certain lotions and creams can cause discoloration over time, and the residue that’s left behind will make your ring look drab and lifeless.
Stay Away from Scrubs – While diamonds are the hardest substance on the planet, the metal used in your ring’s setting can be damaged by abrasives and chemicals. Never try to scrub your jewelry with baking soda or toothpaste, and do not use chlorine bleach to clean your diamond ring. Chlorine may damage the metals used in gold alloys and cause pitting. Even mild abrasives can cause fine scratches that make gold, platinum, and other metals look dull.
Stick to a Soft Brush – You might feel tempted to give your diamond ring a good scrubbing with a bristle brush. While it’s fine to use a very soft brush to gently dislodge stuck-on debris after a good, long, soak, you want to avoid hard scrubbing since it can loosen the setting and increase the risk that you’ll lose the diamonds on your ring. As the old saying goes, an ounce of patience is far better than a pound of regret!
The Danger of Ultrasonic – Be cautious about using ultrasonic cleaners, too; while they are good for removing accumulated grime occasionally, they shouldn’t be used often. GIA recommends avoiding ultrasonic cleaners for diamond rings treated by fracture filling, and warns users to be cautious when diamonds are included or contain feathers. If your ring is dirty enough to warrant ultrasonic cleaning, it’s probably best to take it in for a professional cleaning.
Protect and Defend Your Ring – Finally, reduce your ring’s exposure to dirt and chemicals by removing it or wearing gloves when you do grubby tasks such as gardening. If you have active hobbies that could expose your ring to bumps or lots of dirt, consider storing your ring safely while having fun. Many women opt to wear faux gems when enjoying activities that could put their valuable diamonds in harm’s way. The less dirt your ring accumulates, the easier it will be to clean and maintain.
The easiest, safest way to clean your diamond ring is to use a weak solution of water and mild dishwashing soap (not to be confused with dishwasher detergent). In a shot glass or teacup, combine warm water and a drop of dish soap. Give it a quick stir with a spoon, and then gently place your ring in the bottom of the glass. Allow it to soak for about 15 minutes, and then use a soft toothbrush to gently whisk away any debris. If debris seems to be sticking, place the ring back in the solution for another 15 minutes and then give it another brushing. After you have cleaned your ring, rinse it with lukewarm water and give it a quick polishing with a soft, lint-free cloth.
If your ring has a gold, silver or platinum setting and diamonds only, you can clean it with Windex or a similar ammonia-based cleaner. In a small dish, mix up a 50/50 solution with window cleaner and hydrogen peroxide. Place your ring in the dish and let it sit for a few minutes before using a soft toothbrush to gently whisk the dirt away. If you’re in a pinch and have no hydrogen peroxide, you can clean your diamond ring with Windex only. Simply place it in the dish and give all sides a quick spritz. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then use a soft toothbrush to remove debris from the setting. After cleaning your diamond ring with hydrogen peroxide and/or Windex, give it a rinse with lukewarm water and follow up with a quick polishing.
If you have a vintage diamond ring or a ring with colored stones, porous stones, or treated gems, it’s best to skip this treatment in favor of a basic soap and water soak. If a ring with gemstones in the setting is very dirty and doesn’t respond to the gentle soaking method, we recommend taking it in to a jeweler for a professional cleaning.
Last but not least, be sure to close the drain when you rinse your ring under running water. If a stone comes loose during the cleaning process, you don’t want to lose it.
When deciding how to clean your diamond ring, keep safety in mind and take your time. With a gentle touch and just a little bit of mild soap, your favorite jewelry will regain its brilliant sparkle.
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