Whether you just said “I do!” or have proudly flaunted your engagement ring for decades, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of admiring the sparkle of your freshly-cleaned traditional or diamond alternative jewelry as it twinkles in the light. There’s no better time to shine up your fine jewelry – including one of the most meaningful pieces you own. What better way to set off your manicure than with a stunning engagement ring?
While some people prefer professional cleaning for their engagement rings, sometimes there simply isn’t enough time to do so – especially during the hustle and bustle of the season! In this article, we’ll explore how to safely clean your engagement ring at home, including various cleaning methods suitable for the particular material your ring is made of, whether it is a non-traditional style or one of the most popular engagement ring styles.
Choosing The Right Engagement Ring Cleaner: A Helpful Overview
The first tip on how to clean engagement ring is choosing the right cleaner or method. Besides the fact that your engagement ring is likely one of the most costly pieces of jewelry in your collection, you can’t put a price on its sentimental worth. Therefore, knowing how to properly care for your engagement ring and wedding band sets is an invaluable skillset.
You may have one of the top engagement rings of all time, but if you aren’t taking care of it properly, it could easily lose its aesthetic. The good news is, most jewelry is fairly simple to maintain – as long as you use the right cleaners for the job. Because every engagement ring differs, it’s important to identify what kind of care your individual ring requires before you embark upon an at-home cleaning. Basic things to consider when cleaning your ring include:
- Type of metal(s): (e.g., is it crafted of gold, white gold, silver, platinum, rose gold, a combination of several metals, or another material)
- Type of gem: (e.g., does it feature a diamond or other precious stones/gems)
- What type of setting: (e.g., an intricate or ornate ring featuring filigree will require a bit more patience and attention to detail than a very plain band.)
There are many different types of engagement rings, but no matter which kind you own, the safest approach is to be patient and gentle throughout the cleaning process. Never use any harsh abrasives or rough bristles intensely, as this can mar the surface of the metal while potentially loosening and/or damaging diamonds and other stones on your engagement ring. A gentle jewelry cleaner should be all you need to clean an engagement ring. If you’re uncertain as to the best way to clean or polish your precious engagement ring, be sure to ask a trusted jeweler for professional tips and advice specific to your ring.
For the proud owners of a Nexus Diamond™ alternative engagement or wedding ring, our expert staff will gladly assist you with any questions regarding your engagement ring, including maintenance and other helpful pro advice to keep your ring looking its finest.
Cleaning Your Engagement Ring: At-Home Cleaning Methods
It goes without saying that we use our hands a myriad of ways every single day – so naturally, our engagement rings are exposed to all sorts of grit and grime. While you should remove your engagement ring for certain activities (such as working out, gardening, cleaning dishes, or any type of activity involving harsh chemicals), it’s normal to accumulate a fair degree of dirt, dust and body oil from normal wear. Although some experts swear by only getting your fine jewelry professionally cleaned, there are certain at-home techniques you may wish to consider to keep your engagement ring looking its best. One thing to keep in mind, though: never use any sharp objects to remove debris or residue from the setting, as you could possibly scratch the metal or loosen the stone.
- Soap & Water: No matter what your ring’s setting, stone type or metal, good old soap and water with a soft cloth is one of the safest ways to clean your engagement ring at home. Follow these simple tips to bring your ring from ‘blah’ to ‘bling’:
- Small bowl
- Lukewarm water
- Mild liquid detergent soap (such as Dawn dish detergent)
- Soft-bristle toothbrush
- Soft lint-free cloth
Fill a small bowl with lukewarm tap water and add a few drops of liquid dish soap. Depending on how dirty your ring is, soak it for the appropriate length of time; a few minutes should do the trick. In the event you need to remove any residue, such as hand lotion, make-up, perfume or hairspray, dampen a soft toothbrush in the soapy solution and go over the ring lightly, concentrating on soiled areas. Carefully rinse your engagement ring under running lukewarm water*; repeat the process if necessary. Dry ring thoroughly with a clean, soft, lint-free cloth.
*Helpful Tip: When rinsing the ring off, be certain that the drain is closed to avoid losing your ring down the sink drain. For an extra layer of precaution, cover the bottom of the sink with a towel or washcloth. You may also opt to place the ring in a fine mesh sieve strainer to keep it safe when rinsing it off during the last phase of cleaning.
In the event that the diamond/ring setting still requires additional cleaning, consider using a Waterpik® or other dental irrigation device to flush away residual gunk and grime.
How Often Should You Clean Your Engagement Ring?
Just like you’d do your research for the best time to buy an engagement ring, it’s important to know the best time to clean it your engagement ring. With regular maintenance, you can keep your engagement ring looking its best – but how often is that? Cleaning it once a week in mild soapy water (as outlined above) should be sufficient to keep grime and gunk at bay. However, experts agree that at least twice a year, it’s recommended to bring your ring into a trusted jeweler for a professional cleaning – and even more frequently if your ring is routinely exposed to high levels of debris. A professional jewelry will often use an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner that can give your ring its sparkle back. With routine cleaning, your ring will not only look its best at all times- but cut down on the cleaning process each time it’s performed.
What Not To Use When Cleaning Your Engagement Rings: The Pros Weigh In
- Avoid harsh cleansers & chemicals: According to Mark Mann, the director of Global Jewelry Manufacturing Arts at the GIA, you’ll want to avoid using household cleaners (such as chlorine, acetone, or bleach) at all costs. Mann explains, “These harsh chemicals can break down some of the base metals in your ring.” He also adds, “Never use any kind of abrasive products such as toothpaste, baking soda, or any powdered cleansers, which can easily scratch metals, particularly gold.”
- Beware of ultrasound jewelry cleaners: Although it may be tempting to perform an at-home cleaning with the many ultrasonic jewelry cleaners available on the market, most experts recommend against it. While it may seem like an effective method – the machine operates by sending cleaning solution and vibrations through the water to agitate the jewelry in a matter of minutes – it may not be the safest mode of cleaning your fine jewelry. As Mann notes, the aggressive movement within the device may loosen stones. In addition, an expert jeweler can examine your ring to see if the stones are loose in the setting post-cleaning, while you may not know after running it through a machine – and then have the misfortune of a stone falling out. Ultimately, for professional results, leave expert jewelry cleaning to the pros.
Engagement Ring Care 101: Maintenance Tips
Although it’s essential to know the proper way to clean your diamond alternative engagement ring, it’s also crucial to follow these general guidelines to keep your ring free from premature aging or damage:
- Stay current with maintenance: Whether you have a warranty or not, it’s in your best interest to have your engagement ring inspected annually to ensure it is in good condition. For those who do have a warranty on their ring, staying current with maintenance appointments at your jeweler for routine inspections can help prevent any existing problems, such as chips, cracks or loose stones.
- Avoid hand lotions & creams: While it’s normal to moisturize your hands, try to avoid overexposing your ring to hand creams and greasy lotions – it will not only give your ring a dingy appearance and make the stones look cloudy, but they can potentially cause discoloration. This is particularly true in the case of bands made of platinum or white gold, so take extra care and remove engagement rings and wedding bands when applying lotions or creams.
- Handle with care: It most likely goes without saying, but your engagement ring is delicate – even though diamonds are touted as a durable stone, they can still be damaged, and the metal on your ring is prone to dents and scratches if mishandled. In fact, banging your hand hard enough into another object may lead to loosening the setting or even chipping the band. Therefore, take your ring off and store in a safe spot if you know you’re going to be involved in labor-intensive activities or other actions that may be rough on your fine jewelry.
Our engagement rings’ value goes way beyond monetary, as they are a priceless symbol of the bond we share with our partners. That’s why it’s so important to take good care of your ring – you’re not only protecting a cherished object of beauty but also the sentiments behind it. If you’re ever uncertain whether or not a cleaning solution (DIY at home or store-bought) is going to be safe for your ring, be sure to speak with a professional jeweler first to ensure the best results.
1 Guzman, Angela. “How to Clean a Diamond Ring at Home.” The Knot.com, (no publish date), https://www.theknot.com/content/how-to-clean-diamond-ring-at-home. Accessed November 21, 2019.
2 “Secrets to Keeping Your Diamond Sparkling.” GIA.edu, December 10, 2015https://www.gia.edu/gia-news-research-secrets-keep-diamond-sparkling. Accessed November 21, 2019.
3 Hsu, Carolyn. “How to Clean Your Diamond Engagement Ring.” Brides.com, November 17, 2019,https://www.brides.com/story/how-to-clean-engagement-ring. Accessed November 21, 2019.
4 Wickell, Carly. “The Right Way to Clean a Diamond Ring.” The Spruce.com, May 19, 2019,https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-clean-diamond-rings-2042568. Accessed November 21, 2019.
*Here at Diamond Nexus, we strive to provide valuable information while being clear and honest about our products. The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a patented lab created diamond simulate that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look, weight and wear of a diamond, with two exceptions – it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. Price points and environmental facts expressed in this blog were taken from popular online retailers and may vary. Learn more about the environmental impact of mining by visiting our blog.