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How to clean a diamond engagement ring

We all want to maintain that fresh-out-the-box shine and sparkle with our jewellery. Unfortunately, our engagement rings inevitably build up all kinds of oils and residue, causing their sparkle to be dimmed over time.

Getting your jewellery professionally cleaned every now and then is a great idea for getting this sparkle back. However, learning how to clean a diamond ring at home will help them look their best in between appointments.

Whether it’s your engagement ring or simply your favourite diamond ring, read our tips below on how to clean a diamond ring.

How to clean a diamond ring at home in 5 steps

Whether your ring is platinum, white gold or yellow gold, cleaning a diamond ring can be done in a few easy steps. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. A toothbrush
  2. Warm water
  3. Washing up liquid
  4. A soft cloth


Check the ring for damage

Step 1: Check the ring for damage

Closely examine your diamond ring to make sure the stone is secure. Check the claws are firm – if the diamond moves, take it to a jeweller to clean it carefully without damaging it. Plus, they can fix it and make sure everything is secured.

If you continue to clean a damaged diamond ring, there is a risk that rubbing it may cause more damage and cause the stone to come fully loose. Always seek professional advice as soon as you notice any damage to your diamond ring.

Allow to soak

Step 2: Allow to soak

In a mixture of warm, soapy water, let your diamond ring soak for around half an hour to dislodge and lift any dirt.

Use a toothbrush to clean tight spots

Step 3: Use a toothbrush to clean tight spots

Using a soft toothbrush, like a baby toothbrush or one with soft bristles, gently clean the diamond ring using the warm soapy mixture. Toothbrushes are the best way to get into all the small cracks and crevices of the diamonds without causing any damage.


Step 4: Rinse

Using cool or lukewarm water, rinse your diamond ring under running water, being careful not to drop the ring. This will ensure that no soap dries on the diamonds.


Step 5: Dry

Gently dry your diamond ring with a soft cloth. Or, let it air dry.

cleaning a diamond ring

What to avoid when cleaning a diamond ring

The steps for cleaning an engagement ring are easy enough but use the wrong products and you risk causing untold damage to your diamond ring. Here’s what NOT to use when cleaning a diamond ring:

  1. Napkins or paper towels: they may seem harmless, but drying your diamond ring on a paper towel or napkin can actually be quite abrasive, causing scratches to the metal of your ring.
  2. Toothpaste and baking soda: both are harsh enough to scratch the metal of your ring, particularly if your ring is gold.
  3. Household cleaners: it goes without saying you shouldn’t reach for bleach, chlorine or acetone to clean a diamond ring, as they can break down the ring’s base metals.


Ultrasonic cleaners

Ultrasonic cleaners are a great way to remove dirt that has been encrusted onto diamonds.
However, it’s important to know when this is necessary and when this isn’t.
If the diamonds on your ring include feathers (fractures or fissures in your diamond that reach the surface) or have previously been fractured and now include fillings, it’s best to avoid an ultrasonic cleaner.
Although the low-frequency sound waves that travel through the solution help shake off any thick dirt build-up, the vibrations can cause the diamonds to become loose or chip if they are set next to each other. For the likes of three-stone rings for example, where the diamonds are diligently placed next to each other, ultrasonic cleaners may not be a wise choice when it comes to keeping them clean.

How often should you clean a diamond ring?

While you should get your jewellery professionally cleaned every few months, we recommend cleaning your diamond ring at home once a week to keep it sparkling and looking its best.

Diamonds are oleophilic which means they are naturally attracted to grease. Your everyday products like makeup, lotions, hairspray and more will cling to your diamond creating a film of grease that can help it appear duller. Regular cleaning will prevent this layer from building up.

However, it seems like not all Brits are following our advice! We conducted a survey of 2,000 Brits which reveals that 66% never clean their jewellery! Just 5% said they clean their jewellery weekly, 6% do so yearly and 8% clean theirs every six months. 31% of women never clean their jewellery in comparison to 36% of men.

When to clean an engagement ring before a wedding?

If you’re due to tie the knot, you may want to book your engagement ring in for a professional clean prior to your wedding day. Many people choose to do this to freshen up their engagement ring and make it look as shiny as their brand-new wedding ring will be.

engagement ring cleaned

You should have your engagement ring cleaned around a week before your wedding day. However, you should always check with your jeweller how long it will take for your jewellery to be cleaned and delivered back to you. You may wish to give yourself a little more time to account for any delays that could happen.

Once you’ve received your cleaned engagement ring back, we recommend keeping it in the box and not wearing it until your big day. This will keep it as sparkling as possible and prevent the grease and dirt from building up in the run-up. If you feel naked without your engagement ring, you can wear a temporary ring on your ring finger in the meantime.

If you would prefer to wear your engagement ring prior to your wedding, we recommend removing it when washing your hands, showering, applying beauty products or cleaning to maintain its shine.

Where to get your ring cleaned

Your jewellery is precious so if you are looking for a jeweller to clean it, make sure you choose a professional jeweller with a good reputation. Many people will choose to have their jewellery cleaned by the jeweller they bought it from, as they have the best knowledge of the ring.

How to keep a diamond engagement ring clean

The easiest way to keep your diamond ring clean is to prevent the build-up of grease that will dull both your diamond and the metal of the ring. However, even with the best precautions in place, you’ll still need to clean your diamond ring regularly to keep it at its sparkling best.

When to remove your diamond ring to keep it clean

You should always remove your diamond ring when you:

1. Use hand sanitiser

The chemicals in the hand sanitiser gel react with the metals and can deteriorate the look of your ring. The finish on white gold wears down faster and rose gold rings can develop a tarnished layer when frequently exposed to hand sanitiser.

Yellow gold and platinum rings are the least susceptible, but it’s still worth removing them to keep them in good condition.

2. Wash your hands

Regular hand washing can also cause soap buildup between gemstones, dulling your diamond’s previously iridescent shine.

Special moisturising soaps contain ingredients designed to keep your hands wonderfully soft, but they can cover diamonds in a thin film that hides their sparkle. After several months of washing, there’ll be so many layers of build-up, that your diamond could almost look cloudy.

3. Do the washing up

Washing up can damage your ring if you live in a hard water area. The high levels of minerals in hard water can easily dull the shine of your ring, making it look old before its time. We suggest removing your ring every time you wash up, or putting on a pair of washing up gloves to protect it.

Another risk of wearing your ring while washing up is that it might fall down the sink but that should only really happen if your ring is too big. We offer a free 90-day ring resizing service, so you never need to worry about this happening to you.

4. Baking and cooking

Whenever you’re planning on getting your hands really messy in the kitchen, it’s a good idea to remove your ring. Whether you’re kneading pizza dough, shaping meatballs or rolling biscuit dough, taking off your ring when there’s a chance little bits of food will get stuck between the gemstones or inside the intricate design is always a smart move.

5. Doing housework

Some metals are tougher than others, but that doesn’t mean they’re indestructible. Even though platinum is one of the strongest jewellery metals, if you’ve got a platinum ring and you bash it enough while doing housework, the metal will begin to bend and become dented.
Whenever you’re gardening, deep-cleaning your house or moving furniture, take off your ring and keep it somewhere safe until the hard work is over.

6. Sleep

Some people choose to remove their diamond ring before they go to sleep for a few different reasons. If you toss and turn at night, you might want to remove your ring to avoid losing it in the bed (although this will only happen if the ring is too big).

Some people believe that putting weight and pressure on a diamond ring could change the shape of the band or loosen some of the diamonds. Others remove theirs to avoid passing grease or dirt to their sheets, while some do so to prevent sweat and skin cells from building up on their ring as they sleep.

7. Exercise

We recommend that you don’t wear your engagement ring while doing heavy handwork, such as when you’re exercising or swimming. Sweat can start to build up on your diamond ring, dulling its sparkle, while the handles of weights and workout equipment could cause scratches to the metal of your ring.

The chlorine in a swimming pool can dull your diamond, corrode the metal of your ring and potentially damage the prongs that hold the stone in place. If you are going for a dip, always remove your ring first.

Where to put your ring when not being worn

Many people think that their finger is the safest place for their diamond ring to be. However, it’s necessary to take it off from time to time depending on the activity you’re doing. We recommend placing your ring within a soft cloth in a ring box to keep it safe when you’re not wearing it.

Avoid leaving your ring on the side of a sink, a window ledge, or in a tissue that could easily be mistaken for rubbish or in your pocket, as it could easily get pushed in with the washing!

Keeping your diamond rings in the remarkable condition they were purchased in doesn’t have to be a challenge. All you need is the correct cleaning products and some top tips on how to carry out this process effectively. If in doubt, follow our golden rules:

  • Clean your diamond ring at home every week if possible.
  • Book a professional clean every six months to one year.
  • Take your ring off when using products that could damage it or dull the diamond’s sparkle.
  • Store it safely when it’s not on your hand!

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