How to Keep Your Wedding & Engagement Rings Clean, Shiny, and Sparkly
Whether you just got engaged or you’ve been sporting a wedding band for a while, that ring on your finger is a reminder of how lucky you are to be in love. It’s near and dear to your heart, and chances are, you wear it just about everywhere. However, with all that exposure to outside elements, your ring may have lost some of its shine.
Don’t worry though, that shine isn’t lost forever! Below, you’ll find our expert advice on how to clean your engagement ring or wedding ring so it glitters with the same brightness as the day you first put it on.
Why Does Your Engagement Ring Get Dirty?
Before learning how to clean your diamond ring, it’s good to know what can make it dirty in the first place. Your diamond might appear bright and sparkly on your finger, but you may be surprised when you realize how much buildup can accrue during everyday activities. Even if you’re careful not to expose your ring to dirt and grime, some buildup is unavoidable.
Simple actions like washing your hands, putting on hairspray, or lathering on moisturizer and sunscreen can dull the shine. Even when your ring is off your finger, dust can accumulate on the stone. Little by little, these products build up on and around the stone, causing your ring to lose some if its sparkle and shine.
There is good news though! The buildup on your engagement ring is usually only temporary and very much fixable. Your engagement ring is meant to be worn, shown off, and loved, so don’t obsess over keeping it away from absolutely everything. Instead, get into a ring cleaning routine.
How Often Should You Clean Your Engagement Ring?
When it comes to determining how often you should clean your engagement ring, the answer will depend on personal preference and how much exposure it’s getting to outside elements. As mentioned previously, ordinary activities can cause your diamond to lose its luster.
Of course, you want your diamond to shine its brightest all day, every day, so consider adding a weekly ring-cleaning session to your routine.
When you want to go for a deep clean, it’s best to turn to the professionals. You might consider taking your wedding or engagement ring to a professional jeweler once or twice a year, especially if your ring gets a lot of wear and tear. Jewelers have the heavy-duty professional tools and ultrasonic cleaners that can really make your diamond sparkle. They are also familiar with the best kind of treatment for your ring’s individual needs. For a free, professional jewelry cleaning, find a REEDS Jewelers near you!
Once you know how to clean your engagement ring, it’ll be easier to determine how much time you need to devote to the jewelry cleaning process.
Best Ways to Clean Your Engagement Ring
Now for the fun part: figuring out the best ways to clean your engagement ring! Because no two engagement rings are the same, there are several ways to approach the process.
Of course, your time and budget will play a role in determining how to clean your engagement ring. As mentioned above, you should think about taking your ring to a jeweler at least once a year for a professional cleaning. If you have the time and budget to do so, you might go more often!
If you’re constantly on-the-go and looking to clean your ring without spending too much money, find a few minutes each week to perform the following jewelry cleaning routine at home:
- In a small bowl, mix a couple drops of mild, degreasing dish soap with warm water.*
- Soak your engagement or wedding ring in the mixture for one minute.
- Use a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub the ring.
- Rinse the ring in warm water.
- Dry your ring with a lint-free cloth (e.g. microfiber cloth).
*Do not use chemicals like bleach, chlorine, or acetone, as they could permanently damage the metal or stone!
Cleaning Different Metals: How Do I Keep My Engagement Ring Shiny?
Your ring is precious, and you want to be gentle with it. In addition to avoiding harsh chemicals, you will want to stay away from abrasive materials such as toothpaste, baking soda, or powdered cleaners, which can scratch metals, especially gold.
Each metal may react differently with chemicals and cleaners, so it’s important to find the safest and gentlest option. When it comes to determining how to clean an engagement ring with a white gold band, for example, do not use abrasive or harsh chemicals. A simple solution of warm water and mild soap will best preserve the metal plating. After soaking the ring for 20 minutes or so, rinse it and dry it off, ensuring there is no residue left behind. Your ring will be looking shiny in no time!
In fact, this routine is considered the best way to clean engagement rings with rose gold, yellow gold, silver, and platinum. You can even use a jewelry cleaning cloth, which is gentle enough to help bring back the shine. Some experts recommend using other solutions like vinegar or even ketchup (yes, ketchup!), but it’s best to consult a jewelry professional who can give you suggestions for your ring, specifically
Cleaning Different Gemstones: How Do I Make My Diamond Ring Sparkle?
Next, understand that the kind of gemstone you have in your ring may determine how you clean it. Some gemstones scratch more easily than others, while some may have certain treatments that you ought to know about.
Of all the gemstones, diamonds are the toughest—in makeup, not in cleaning requirements! When you want to clean your diamond ring, you can usually use a store-bought jewelry cleaner, like the REEDS Jewelry Cleaner, as long as it’s free of abrasive ingredients. When using a jewelry cleaning solution, you’ll dip your ring in the liquid for 30 seconds. Once you’ve removed it, dry it with a lint-free cloth for the most shine. For an on-the-go cleaning option, consider a jewelry cleaner pen that you can keep in your purse, car, or pocket.
If you’re researching how to clean an engagement ring with a gemstone rather than a natural or lab-grown diamond, you’ll find that you need to be more careful. For example, when it comes to cleaning sapphire engagement rings, your safest bet is warm, soapy water; the same goes for rings with emeralds and rubies. In general, these gemstones are more vulnerable to harsh chemicals and acidic solutions, which can permanently alter their color and clarity.
At the end of the day, if you’re unsure about the best way to clean your engagement ring, speak to a professional jeweler. Taking a few minutes to get their expert opinion could save you from permanently damaging your ring. Your engagement ring represents a precious moment in your life, and you want to do all you can to keep it safe—and shiny!
When Should You Not Wear Your Engagement Ring?
You’ve figured out how to clean your engagement ring, so now it’s just a matter of keeping it looking sparkly and brand new. We know your ring is absolutely lovely and you want to show it off whenever possible, but there are some activities that you may want to do ringless to help preserve its shine. Avoid doing anything that could cause excessive residue or buildup on the gemstone and band—or worse, could loosen or damage the stone.
Some of the activities you should definitely avoid doing with your ring on include:
- Cleaning, especially if you’re using chemical products.
- Cooking food, because germs, grease, and bacteria can seep into the mounting.
- Swimming in the pool, as chlorine can cause discoloration.
You’ll also want to take your engagement ring off if you’re working out or engaging in contact sports that could lead to a missing or damaged ring. On top of those activities, consider removing your diamond ring when you’re moisturizing or putting on makeup, as these products can create a film on your stone. The same goes for if you’re getting a manicure at the salon. Whenever you take your ring off, keep it in the same safe space each time, so you don’t have to worry about misplacing it in the process.
Because you wear your ring so often, remembering to take it off for the above activities may not come as second nature. If your ring is damaged over the course of normal wear and tear, you can rest assured there are options for repairing it to its original splendor. With a REEDS Jewelry Care Plan, a professional jeweler will repair chips and cracks in gemstones, as well as fix thinning or cracked ring bands. For your peace of mind, a care plan may be worth considering.
Understanding how to clean your engagement ring is an important responsibility that comes with the honor of wearing such a special piece of jewelry. If you’re the one popping the question, make sure you also check out our guide on how to buy an engagement ring. Then, learn about the four C’s of diamonds and figuring out ring sizes so you can pick a ring with confidence. When you have a full understanding of the care requirements for your engagement ring of choice, you’ll be able to help your partner keep it looking as fantastic as the day you proposed.
Regardless of which stage of the engagement or wedding process you’re in, this is an exciting time for you and your loved one, and happy days are ahead!