How to Clean Your Diamond Ring

A man holding a woman's hand with a diamond engagement ring on it.

Whether it’s your engagement ring or wedding band, you definitely want to keep your diamond sparkler in tip-top shape. To assure it stays in the best condition possible, you need to take good care of it, which includes regular cleaning.

Cleaning your diamond ring is about more than just maintaining its look. Dirty jewelry can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which can actually cause skin irritation! And while your diamond is unlikely to be damaged by regular wear, everyday residue from soaps, lotions, or food can harm the precious metal band.

Although professional cleaning is a must on occasion, you will want to learn how to do regular maintenance yourself at home. Professionals recommend cleaning a diamond ring at least once a week on your own. Luckily, it’s not that hard and doesn’t require any fancy concoctions or harsh chemicals. Some dish soap and a soft-bristled toothbrush are all you need!

How Often Should I Clean My Diamond Ring?

As mentioned above, it is best to do a simple at-home cleaning at least once a week, but this depends. Of course, you can do a cleaning whenever you feel that your ring is losing its luster or you start to notice buildup. Your lifestyle will be a factor in this. If you wear your ring continuously and participate in a lot of outdoor or manual activities, cook regularly, or use a lot of skincare products on your hands, your ring will accumulate dirt and grime quickly.

Even with regular at-home maintenance, you will want to take your diamond ring to a professional at least once or twice a year. This is because there is often a barely noticeable buildup of dirt and debris between the stone and the mount that is difficult to remove on your own.

How to Clean a Diamond Ring at Home

A diamond engagement ring next to wedding bands.

The best and easiest way to clean a diamond ring requires just a few basic household items you probably already have. These include:

  • Dish soap or another soap-based cleaner
  • Warm, almost hot water
  • A clean, soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Lint-free, cotton or linen cloth
  • A cup or bowl

Here are the steps:

  1. Squirt a soap-based cleanser in your cup or bowl, and fill the rest with warm, almost hot, water and mix.
  2. Place your ring into the mixture and leave it to soak for 20-40 minutes.
  3. Take out the ring and use the toothbrush to gently scrub the ring all over.
  4. Once done, rinse the ring under warm water.
  5. If there is still visible buildup, repeat the process with clean water.
  6. Once satisfied, dry the ring.
  7. Use a polishing cloth all over once dry.

There are only a few things to note. First, make sure the soap you use is free of moisturizers as these can leave a film on the ring that will dim the overall sparkle—exactly what you’re trying to avoid. Second, make sure you use a new and soft-bristled toothbrush and set it aside exclusively for cleaning purposes. And third, do not use paper towels to dry your ring. Use a 100% cotton or linen cloth instead as other materials can scratch certain metals. You can also let it air dry.

If you’re still not satisfied with your ring’s look after a couple of scrub downs, you can also let it soak overnight in plain, unflavored vodka. A shot glass amount will do. After, just let it air dry.

How NOT to Clean a Diamond Ring

There are a few things you should avoid using on your diamond ring. Most importantly, avoid harsh chemicals such as acetone, bleach, or chlorine. While these may not harm the diamond, they can damage the metal or change its color. It is also a bad idea to use any powder-based or abrasive cleansers such as baking soda, toothpaste, or scrubs, as these can scratch most metals.

In addition, ultrasonic cleaners can also be dangerous to use because the vigorous vibration can shake the stones loose. While these are commonly used by professionals, the jeweler will usually double-check the stone both before and after the cleaning to assure no damage will occur during the process.

Take Care of Your Ring

A diamond engagement ring in a pink velvet box.

Even with regular cleanings, you should take care of your ring on a daily basis to minimize the amount of necessary cleaning. For example, take it off when washing dishes or make sure to wear gloves. It’s also a good idea to take it off before using lotions or cremes or when cooking, as these habits always leave residue on both stones and precious metals.

In addition, if your ring is under warranty or special insurance, read the policy and see if you’re required to have regular maintenance appointments. And don’t forget to get a professional look at the piece every now and then. With all of the tips above, your precious diamond ring should remain in perfect condition for many, many years.

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