How to clean your engagement ring, according to a gemologist
Ring looking cloudier than a cataract? You're in the right place.
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When I was married, I would spend an inordinate amount of time each day admiring the glisten and sparkle of my engagement ring—the way it refracted different colors of the rainbow depending on the lighting and felt like it almost completed my identity as a (now former) married person.
Other days, however, it wasn’t as pretty to look at. Oils, film, dirt, and dust muffled its original shine, and looking at it in a subpar state made me feel considerably less put together no matter how long I spent picking out the perfect outfit. And that was quite a shame—I valued quality over size when choosing my ring, which is what most to-be-betrothed people prefer, according to a study by CreditDonkey. Much of that dirt and grime diminished the shine and brilliance I so desperately craved, so I should have been far more diligent about cleaning it.
But getting your ring to its original shine isn’t that difficult as long as you have the right tools. Here is your guide to keeping your engagement ring as clean and sparkly as the day you got it.
How to clean your engagement ring at home
Use an at-home solution:
You likely already have all you need in your pantry to get your ring into tip-top shape. Jennifer L., a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) certified gemologist at Allurez Jewelers, suggests using a few drops of dish soap (Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid is the best dish soap we’ve ever tested) and a cup of water or seltzer water. She says the ratio doesn’t matter too much as long as you have enough of a solution to fully soak the ring. Here’s what to do:
Mix the dish soap/water solution in a small glass.
Soak your ring in the solution for about five minutes, swish the ring around, and then take it out.
Lay the ring on a soft cloth and, using a soft unused toothbrush, gently brush the small space to loosen any remaining dirt that might be trapped in the setting.
Finally, carefully rinse the ring under running water and buff it dry with a soft dry cloth.
Keep in mind that not all stones are created equally. Jennifer says you want to be extra gentle with delicate stones like pearls, emeralds, turquoise, and opals.
For metals that tarnish, like silver, opt for a solution of three parts baking soda to one part water. You’ll want to wet the metal before applying the baking soda paste with a soft, lint-free cloth or soft bristle toothbrush. This cleaning method can also work on wedding bands. “Don’t forget about getting in the crevices, and at the end rinse well and buff dry,” she says.
Use the sparkle cleaning stick our readers love:
For an easy at-home cleaning solution, ring wearers swear by the Connoisseurs Diamond Dazzle Stik, which has more than 26,000 Amazon reviews and a 4.6-star rating for its fine bristles and potent polymer polishing agents that reach deep into stubborn prongs and crevices.
One reviewer says, “After I cleaned, rinsed, and dried my rings, I literally said out loud “Holy $#&%”! I can’t believe how sparkly the diamonds are. They look brand new!”
Customers have reported success in cleaning their moissanite and crystal rings with this product, as well. Note that this cleaning stick is not suitable for use on the likes of pearls or opals, so you'll want to check out the brand’s cleaning solution specially tailored for those more delicate stones.
How often should you clean your engagement ring?
Like brushing your teeth too hard and leaving your gums raw, overcleaning your ring can weaken its integrity, according to Jennifer. “For most people, a weekly cleaning of your jewelry is ideal,” she says. “When it comes to precious stones, like diamonds, you don’t want to scrub too hard and damage the stone.”
Should you get your engagement ring professionally cleaned?
Jennifer suggests taking your ring to a jeweler to be serviced and/or polished annually to ensure your ring has a long sparkly life. If your ring design is more on the intricate side with a lot of nooks and crannies, you should consider going every six months. Going too long without a good clean can result in gunk or dirt buildup behind the setting that could ultimately loosen your stone. This may require demounting it, which could cause further damage, according to Jennifer.
Just remember, while being diligent about your cleaning regimen will help you shine and sparkle, don't lose sight of what matters most: your special bond with your partner.
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