(Easy & Simple) How To Clean Your Engagement Ring


Your engagement ring is arguably one of your most sentimental pieces of jewelry, and in many cases, it’s also the most valuable. But even diamond jewelry requires care. Here’s everything you need to know about cleaning and caring for your engagement ring.

Is it Important to Clean Your Engagement Ring?

engagement ring cleaned with blue cleaning cloth

For many, their engagement ring will be the third most expensive single item they’ll ever buy, after a house and a car. Think about how often we clean our homes and cars. Our engagement rings deserve no less treatment and care, especially since most people wear them daily.

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.

Additionally, 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, can have a detrimental effect on all jewelry, but particularly on rings, as we use our hands constantly.

If you compare jewelry in a jeweler’s case or what your ring looked like when you first purchased it, you may notice that your ring looks dull and cloudy by comparison. Another dead giveaway is if you’ve ever had jewelry sent in for repair or to get the size adjusted. You may notice how sparkling and shiny it looks when you get it back. This is because, like auto shops that clean the cars they fix before returning them, many jewelers will deep clean the jewelry they repair before returning it to the customer.

Professional jewelers use expensive equipment like steam cleaners and buffers to shine and polish rings so they look practically new. While having your engagement ring professionally cleaned occasionally is a good idea, you can and should still regularly clean it at home. And you can do it using basic household supplies, no need for expensive equipment or cleaning solutions.

How Often Should You Clean Your Engagement Ring?

You should clean your engagement ring at home minimally, once a week, and bring it to a jeweler for a deep clean and polish about once a year. Regularly cleaning your ring not only means that it’ll maintain its sparkle and gleam, but it also gives you a chance to inspect it for damage or loosening of the stones before it’s too late.

One other thing to consider: not cleaning your ring doesn’t just affect its appearance. It also means that your ring, and by extension, your hands, harbor bacteria that can transfer to anything you touch and eat. So clean your ring regularly; it’s better for both the longevity of your ring and for hygiene.

Tips for Cleaning Your Ring at Home

Cleaning diamond ring with toothbrush and soapy water

There are a few things to know before cleaning your ring at home.

Firstly, and this is a big one: NEVER clean your ring over the sink! Drains can be very unforgiving, and should your diamond go down one, at best, you’re left with a hefty plumbing bill. At worst, you’ve not only lost what was likely an expensive investment but also something with irreplaceable sentimental value.

Secondly, don’t be tempted to use an ultrasonic cleaner, as these use sound waves which cause vibrations. While you won’t hear or feel them, your diamonds will, and they will almost certainly loosen enough to pop right out at some point.

It’s also important to refrain from keeping your ring submerged in soaking liquid for too long. Sitting in a cleaning solution for hours on end can erode the metals and precious stones.

Lastly, while it may be tempting to just scrub vigorously at your ring, remember that the metal is still susceptible to scratching and the stones to loosening. So exercise caution and a light hand when cleaning your ring.

What to Use to Clean Your Engagement Ring

cleaning diamond engagement ring with toothbrush over bowl of water

When cleaning your engagement ring, use warm or cold water only. Hot water can damage the stones and loosen them from their settings. And it goes without saying that using boiling water is a no-no.

Next, which cleaning agents should you use when cleaning your engagement ring? There are several options, and the choice will depend on the type of stone and metal in your ring.

For most stones, mild dish soap is the best choice. Hand soap, while tempting, often contains antibacterial chemicals that can harm precious stones.

If your engagement ring contains diamonds and only diamonds, you have the additional option of using Windex or a 50/50 solution of Windex and hydrogen peroxide to deep clean your ring. This method is beneficial if your ring has lots of small crevices and details where dirt gets trapped easily. The cleaning agents easily lift the dirt off and remove gunk better than if you just scrubbed.

Warning: Do not attempt the Windex method with a ring containing any stone other than diamonds (even if it’s just the accent stones). The chemicals in the cleaning solution can easily damage your stones beyond repair.

As far as tools go, your best bet is a soft-bristle toothbrush because it can reach all the hard-to-clean places. Another helpful tool is a brush pick for teeth; the tiny bristles can reach the super-tight spots that even the toothbrush might struggle with.

Finally, 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 heat of any kind to speed up the drying, and obviously, keep it in a safe (read kid and pet-proof) spot while it dries.

How to Clean Your Engagement Ring at Home

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

  1. Fill a small bowl or cup with warm water (we suggest using a shot glass).
  2. Add a pump of dish soap to the cup and swirl to dissolve.
  3. Place the engagement ring inside the bowl and soak for 5 minutes.
  4. Gently scrub the ring using a soft-bristle toothbrush.
  5. Use a brush pick to scrub off dirt gently for detailed work and small crevices.
  6. Rinse the ring in warm water.
  7. Use a lint-free cloth to dry the ring.

That’s it. It’s really not a difficult process and once you get used to doing it regularly, it won’t be a big deal to incorporate it into your weekly routine.

How to Deep Clean Your Engagement Ring with Windex

tools for cleaning jewelry on wood table

The basic method may not be enough for really grimy rings, and you might want to use the Windex method to deep-clean your ring. Like we said before, this method is only safe for diamond-only rings.

Here’s how to deep clean your engagement ring using the Windex method.

Method 1: Place the ring in a small bowl and spray enough Windex to coat it, turning the ring over if necessary. Then, use a soft toothbrush to remove the dirt, and the Windex will lift any stuck dirt out nicely.

Method 2: Create a 50/50 solution of Windex and hydrogen peroxide and place the solution with the ring into a small bowl. Let the ring sit for several minutes while the Windex removes the dirt, and the H2O2 kills any lingering bacteria.

Note: Whichever method you choose, we highly recommend using gloves, as Windex and hydrogen peroxide will dry your skin quite quickly.

The Basics of Caring for Your Engagement Ring

In addition to regular cleaning, there are several things you can and should be doing to keep your engagement ring in optimal condition.

Firstly, consider how your lifestyle might affect your ring. For example, if your daily tasks involve physical or messy work, you can reduce the risk of damage by simply not wearing your ring while you work. Alternatively, if wearing gloves doesn’t interfere with your work, keeping a pair on whilst your hands are engaged will help protect your ring.

Another step you can take to help prevent damage to your ring is to make sure to remove it while showering or washing dishes. As we mentioned above, hot water and detergents can erode the integrity of the ring. We recommend keeping a decorative ring holder on your bathroom vanity and near your kitchen sink as a reminder to remove it and a safe place to store it while it’s off.

Obviously, regular cleaning is a must, but also take a moment to look for any loose stones or scratches that may have appeared. If you notice loose stones or hear a rattling sound when shaking your ring near your ear, it means it’s time to take it to the jeweler ASAP. There’s nothing worse than randomly glancing at your ring only to notice a stone, or worse, the center stone missing.

As far as scratches go, this ties into our final recommendation. Have your ring professionally cleaned and polished at least once a year. Regular home cleaning will help keep your ring looking good, but you’ll need professional work to achieve a brand-new shine and a smooth, scratch-free surface.

Final Thought

Keeping your engagement ring clean can be easy as long as you do it regularly. It doesn’t matter how busy you think your life is; all you need is 15 minutes a week, which you can incorporate into any of your weekly cleaning routines.

To quote Ben Khordipour from Estate Diamond Jewelry, “It is better to spend a few minutes cleaning your engagement ring than the thousands of dollars it could cost to replace the diamond.”

Click here to view our collection of engagement rings.

Watch a Video Tutorial on How to Clean Your Engagement Ring

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

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