How To Clean Your Engagement Ring

Written by: Benjamin Khordipour, Jewelry and Gemology Expert
November 22, 2017 – Posted in: Jewelry Blog

Here’s an article with everything that you need to know about cleaning your engagement ring.

Is it Important to Clean Your Engagement Ring?

Engagement Ring next to Jewelry Cleaner

None of us live in truly sterile environments. We touch so much dust, dirt, and grease without even realizing it. This dirt can affect the look of an engagement ring, and even damage it beyond repair. Learn how to clean your engagement ring.

Even everyday use of creams and other emollients, as well as shampoos and soaps that we don’t make enough of an effort to rinse properly from our hands, will all have a detrimental effect on all jewelry, but especially on rings due to the fact we use our hands constantly.

The Basics on Cleaning your Ring

Illustration of engagement ring in box

If you have a job that is dirty, or very physical, reduce the risk of damage by simply not wearing it whilst you work. But, even if you have a safe – and seemingly clean – office job or if you are a homemaker, you should realize the value of your diamond engagement ring.

Your engagement ring isn’t a disposable commodity. It’s not a vacuum cleaner, or a TV or even a car, it’s much more important than any of those.

It’s also, for many of us, the third most expensive single item we’ll ever buy, after a house and a car, and yet we clean both of those at least 50 times more, every year, than we do our engagement ring.

Add in the obvious sentimental value of an engagement ring, and the question shouldn’t be “Should you clean your ring?”, but “Why wouldn’t you?”

Read below to learn of the dangers of not cleaning your ring.

How to Clean your Ring at Home

Cleaning Engagement Ring in Hot Water

The process for the simple home cleaning of an engagement ring is really easy.

  • Fill up small cup (we suggest using a shot glass) with hot water
  • Add soap to the cup and swirl
  • Place engagement ring inside the container for 5 minutes
  • Gently scrub the ring with soft-bristle toothbrush
  • Wash the ring in a warm water
  • Use a lint-free cloth to dry the ring

Never clean your ring over the sink, because drains can be very unforgiving should your diamond go down one.

Use a soft, lint-free cloth to dry your engagement ring, and let the drying process finish naturally at room temperature overnight. Don’t be tempted to apply any kind of heat to speed up the drying, and make sure the kids or cats can’t get at it whilst it’s drying!

Cleaning a diamond engagement ring isn’t rocket science, it’s not even elementary school project science. It’s simple, it’s easy and it can be enormously fulfilling to know you’re doing something right.

How Often Should You Clean Your Engagement Ring?

You need to clean your engagement ring at home once a week, and you need to bring it to the jeweler once a year. It’s much easier to do a light clean regularly than to have to remove months (or years) of ingrained dirt and grease. It also gives you a chance to inspect your engagement ring for damage or loosening of the stones before it’s too late.

Oh and, by the way, dirt means bacteria, and bacteria means infection. It just makes plain sense to keep your ring clean.

Big Warnings When Cleaning Your Ring

Don’t use strong cleaning agents or anything which contains chemicals used for cleaning floors, windows or anything else. Do it and there may well be no coming back. Don’t leave your engagement ring soaking overnight, as it simply isn’t waterproof enough to stand submersion without potential damage to the mount or anything else.

Don’t be tempted to use an ultrasonic cleaner, as these use sound waves and sound waves mean vibrations. You won’t hear them or feel them, but your diamonds will, and they will almost certainly loosen enough to pop right out at some point.

If you have emeralds or pearls in your ring, do not put any chemicals on the ring.

Here’s our list of the stones that can be cleaned with chemicals and hot water. Please note that even for diamonds (which are the strongest), you may want to bend towards caution when cleaning them. You never know.

Stones that are safer to clean with chemicals

Finally, don’t be tempted to go at your ring like you’re washing clothes down at the river. If the ring is too dirty to use anything more than the lightest touch, take it to a professional. Almost all jewelers offer an insured cleaning service, and they will get it looking better than you ever could.

How To Clean Your Diamond Engagement Ring
Click here for a tutorial on how to clean your ring

How to Deep-Clean Your Engagement Ring?

Diamond Engagement Ring on Cleaning Cloth

If your diamond engagement ring is particularly dirty but you still want a go at cleaning it yourself, the above method may be a little too gentle to get the worst of the dirt off. If so, you will need to be mindful of both the stones and the metal or metals used in the setting.

How to Clean your Engagement Ring with Windex

windex spray for ring cleaning

Assuming your ring is either just platinum, gold or silver and ONLY has diamonds, you can use Windex to clean it.

Just put the ring in a small bowl and spray enough Windex to make sure the ring is coated, turning the ring over if necessary. Then use a soft toothbrush to remove the dirt, and the Windex will happily lift it out nicely.

For extra protection, use a 50/50 solution of Windex and hydrogen peroxide and place the ring into the cup. The Windex will remove the dirt and the H2O2 will kill any lingering bacteria. Either way, we highly recommend the use of gloves when using this method as it will dry your skin quite quickly.

Warnings when using Chemicals on Ring

Although Windex shouldn’t harm any hard gemstone, we seriously recommend using this method only for diamonds, and only for platinum, gold, and silver. Windex is an ammonia solution, and harmful to soft gemstones (for example, emeralds and pearls), so using it for anything else is just too big a risk of damage.

Otherwise, stick to the mild soap and water method. If it means you need to repeat the process initially to get your diamond engagement ring clean, so be it. Once you have it back to its original beauty, cleaning it will be a breeze.

The Dangers of a Dirty Ring

Engagement Ring in clamps

If you can actually notice that your engagement ring needs cleaning, it may be too late. Diamonds may be the hardest natural mineral on earth, but that doesn’t mean that nothing else can ever affect how it looks. Look at any object that has been in use for any length of time, and you will see signs of wear and tear, and it’s no different with a diamond.

All that grease and grime you touch on a daily basis means that some will cling to your ring and never let go. These microscopic particles of dirt build up over time, until your once sparkling diamond is suddenly looking dull and lifeless, and has become the very antithesis of what a diamond should be.

In addition to the loss of sparkle on the diamond itself, grease and dirt will get into every tiny nook and cranny on the ring, including under the stone itself. If enough dirt builds up, the increasing pressure under the diamond may cause it to work loose enough that, you’ll look down one day and all you have is a setting and no stone. Diamonds, in the big scheme of things, weigh very little. A 2-carat diamond weighs just 400mg. The diamond is so light that you won’t feel any difference whether your diamond is there or not. Before you realize that the diamond is missing, it will already be gone.

Final Thought

If you have any doubts, take your ring to a jewelry store. Once you have your ring back, keeping clean will be really easy, as long as you do it regularly. It doesn’t matter how busy you think your life is, all you need if half an hour a week, or about the length of an average sitcom.

To quote Ben Khordipour from Estate Diamond Jewelry, “It is better to spend a few minutes cleaning your engagement ring than the $1,000’s it could cost to replace the diamond.”

You need to keep your diamond engagement ring clean. Something as meaningful as an engagement ring should be clean and pristine.

Click here to view our collection of engagement rings.