How to Clean Your Engagement Ring
After all the browsing, research and efforts you have put into finding the perfect ring for your better half, it is important to know how to care for it too. Not only is an engagement ring probably one of the most expensive pieces of jewellery in your collection, but the sentimental values attached to it make it all the more precious. It is really important to clean your ring the proper way to preserve its beauty and make sure it remains timeless, just like your bond.
Over the years, general dust and dirt, along with various day-to-day products and items such as soaps, hairsprays, lotions, perfumes and such can become responsible for tarnishing and blemishing your ring if you are not careful. Regular cleaning will keep your ring as good as new, protecting its shine and brilliant look. Engagement rings are unique and often highly personalised. Different metals, stones and settings require different cleaning and upkeeping techniques. You should be well aware of these techniques and should have all the prerequisite knowledge to what type of methods work best for the type of engagement ring you or your partner own. Once you know what your ring needs, the cleaning process is easy to understand and follow.
Most pieces of jewellery are easy to maintain if you know what you are doing and how to do it in the right way. All diamonds need a thorough cleaning but the right way is to be gentle and soft with the stone. Make sure you are mindful of the ring, the setting and the cleaning materials. Carefully follow the guide as you wouldn’t want anything to loosen the stone! The following tips will help you understand how to care for the most treasured jewels you have without any extra hassle and trouble.
Where to store your engagement ring?
Wearing your ring everywhere you go can prove to be risky for its long-term value. Household products, chemicals, chlorines, acids, hard and rough surfaces are just some risk factors that can damage your ring. These can loosen the stone or affect the metal.
So, it does get necessary to remove your engagement ring or wedding band now or then. Knowing where to keep it while it’s off your finger is the task! You don’t want to misplace it, but you always want to make sure it is somewhere safe, where you can remember and where external elements cannot harm it.
Ideal Places You Can Store Your Rings
Both diamonds and metal are durable, but not indestructible. While diamonds can loosen and scratch, metal bands can also dent, deform or scratch if not taken proper care of. So, just ‘think soft’ and store your ring in:
An Individual, Soft Fabric Pouch
A soft pouch made of velvet, feather-silk or cotton is a good choice to remain gentle on the surface of your ring. Make sure it is small and rightly sized for an individual ring, as it should not be kept with other rings or jewellery. Rubbing and clinking into other metals can also damage your ring.
Fabric Lined Jewellery Cases
A small jewellery case or box that is lined with fabric will work wonders. The sturdy exterior will protect your ring from external damage while the soft interior will prevent any scratching. Even a separate compartment in a larger fabric-lined jewellery case will do the trick just fine!
The Original Ring Box
Well, you surely saved the original box the ring came in, right? That is the perfect, snug little home you can give your ring. Just pop it into the slit to keep it upright, protected and safe, and you can put it just about anywhere. Keep it in with the rest of your jewellery, in a bag or drawer.
Somewhere in The Kitchen or your Place of Work
You can consider finding a more permanent and secure location in the place you work and tend to remove the ring the most. Instead of running back and forth to your room, you can install a small cushion or fabric-lined box in a kitchen drawer or workplace drawer for safekeeping or your ring while you work.
In a Cool and Dry Place
Wherever you decide to keep your ring, make sure it is not too hot or humid. Heat and humidity act as major external conditions that can tarnish metals and gemstones.
Avoid keeping rings in the following places:
Gym lockers, wooden boxes, wrapped in tissue paper, on kitchen sinks, window sills and other places where moisture can affect them or they can get damaged.
When to take your wedding ring off
There are times when wearing the ring can only damage it. Taking your engagement ring off at the right time can help keep it shining and bright for longer. Yes, you heard it right. With proper care and upkeep, you can keep your ring in mint condition. For that, you need to know when to take it off.
When You Are Cleaning or Gardening
While you clean, your ring is constantly banging against hard surfaces such as kitchen counters, floors, windows and more which can seriously damage your ring. If you are doing the dishes while wearing your ring or using products containing chemicals, detergents, bleaches or other formulas found in common household cleaning and gardening agents, you can damage the stone and its setting along with potential discolouration.
Preparation and cooking of food involve germs and bacteria that can quickly get caught in the ring setting. It can even slip off into the sink to only cause panic! Not to mention the risk of scratching it with knives and potato peelers. So, it’s always better to take your ring off while cooking.
In the Shower
Though it doesn’t seem like such a bad idea, showering with your ring on can be dangerous for it. Your ring can easily slip off your ring due to oils, soaps and shampoos and end up in the drain – next to impossible to retrieve! Soaps and chemicals can also wear the ring down, tarnishing the finish of the ring.
When You Work Out, Go to The Gym or Sports Activities
First and foremost, sweat and heat! These can drastically impact the finish of your engagement ring. Pressure applied onto the ring while you work out or play your favourite sport can cause it to deform and bend, as precious band metals, although durable are still rather soft to endure certain activities.
When You Get Ready
Lotions, moisturisers, hairsprays, hair gels and other cosmetics can build up in your ring setting and diminish its shine and brilliance over time. Make sure your hands are completely dry and clean before you put your ring back on when you are done grooming yourself. This will avoid any product from gradually layering onto your precious ring, in the long run, keeping it free of tarnish.
Going to the Beach or Swimming
Cold water is responsible for shrinking fingers, making it much easier for your ring to fall off in the water when you go for a swim. The sea is out of the question, while the swimming pool has even more drawbacks. The chlorine present in the swimming pool can damage and discolour your ring mounting. Precious gold, silvers and platinum can be drastically affected by this.
How to clean your diamond engagement ring?
As discussed in-depth, many factors affect the durability and life of engagement rings. If there is a build-up of oils, soaps and residue on your ring, you will have to clean it to prevent it from further damage. It is a good idea to get your rings professionally cleaned as every different metal and every different diamond require different care techniques. If you wish to clean your ring at home, you will still need to go for a professional clean-up later.
What You Need to Clean Any Diamond Ring
The most effective way to clean your engagement ring, or any jewellery piece, is to use dishwashing soap. All you need is dishwashing soap, warm water, a soft-bristle brush and a gentle cloth. Do not use any harsh cleaning agents or chemicals that can damage or discolour the metal and the stone.
What to Do:
- Make a solution of the hot water and dishwashing soap in a bowl
- Soak your ring in it for around 30-40 minutes
- Gently brush the stone with a soft-bristle toothbrush
- Take it out and rinse it under running water
- Wipe it with a soft towel; DO NOT use paper towels as they can scratch your ring
- Repeat if needed
Metal Specific Home-Cleaning Formulas You Can Try:
- Silver Ring – 1/2 Cup Vinegar and 2 tablespoons of Baking soda can do the trick. Mix them in a shallow bowl and soak your ring in it for 2-3 hours, and rinse it under cold water afterwards.
- Tarnished Silver Rings – Dip any tarnished silver rings in a bit of ketchup and wipe them clean to watch the shine return! Yes, you heard it right! Ketchup!
- Solid Gold Ring – If your gold ring is losing its lustre, slip a bit of beer onto a soft cloth and wipe your ring clean with it. Do not use beer on the diamond, but it will surely clean away any residue on the gold band.
How Often Should I Clean My Ring?
To keep your ring glistening as fresh as ever, clean your ring at home at least once or twice a week. This will prevent any stubborn residue from permanently building up and layering your rings. Once the layer gets thicker with more and more substance, dirt and unwanted bacteria, it gets harder to clean and maintain. Sometimes, it does not return to its original brilliance even if you clean it, but do not do it too regularly.
Apart from this, every engagement ring should be taken to a professional jeweller for an expert, deep clean every one or two years. Professionals know exactly what each type of ring needs and they know how to budge the stubborn deposit that your toothbrush wasn’t able to fight!
What Not to Use to Clean Your Engagement Ring
If you do not look after your engagement ring in the right way, improper care may lead to rings losing lustre. It is even worse if you use the wrong products on your ring and damage it unknowingly. You should know what you should not use on your engagement ring. This includes:
- Household cleaning supplies such as bleach, chlorine, acetone – Household cleaning products that contain chemicals should not be used on precious metals and expensive diamonds as they can drastically harm your ring.
- Abrasive products such as toothpaste, undiluted baking soda, powdered cleaners – Such abrasive and harsh products can scratch the surface of your engagement ring in seconds.
- Do not use ultrasonic jewellery cleaners at home – Ultrasonic jewellery cleaners create waves underwater to nudge out any lodged impurities and residue from your rings. The electric cleaner does deliver a brilliant result, but the vigorous vibration from the machine can cause stones to loosen. So, do not do this without expert supervision.
- Harsh materials and hard brushes – Do not clean your ring with hard-bristled toothbrushes and scrub pads that can scratch the surface. Make sure you use only soft-bristle brushes to scrub the stone without risking any damage.