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Keeping Your Engagement Ring Clean

By Mike Fried,

A beautiful engagement ring totally lights up the room, doesn’t it? Not only is it the one accessory that goes with absolutely everything- it is also a breathtaking reminder of the love between you and your partner. Keeping your engagement ring clean is key to maintaining that dazzling sparkle and shine, so we’ve gathered the experts’ advice to help you keep that ring looking as brilliant as it did on the day you said “yes”.

As one of your most valuable and cherished possessions, your engagement ring definitely deserves the care and attention that will keep it looking its best. Having your engagement ring cleaned regularly is one of the most important aspects of caring for it and showcasing its beauty and brilliance. Every precious metal begins to tarnish eventually, and even the most stunning diamond ring will begin to look dull over time if it isn’t properly cleaned and maintained.

To keep it looking spectacular, we recommend having your engagement ring professionally cleaned 4 times a year. If you lead a particularly active lifestyle- for instance, if you cook a lot, garden frequently, or exercise while wearing your ring, it will need to be cleaned more often. On the other hand, if you leave your ring stored safely at home when you hit the gym or work in the yard, it will stay brighter between professional cleanings. 

Ring cleaning process using lint free microfiber cloth

Having Your Engagement Ring Professionally Cleaned

You can take your ring to any jeweler’s to have it professionally cleaned. Many jewelers will provide this service free of charge. Especially if you return to the store where your ring was purchased, cleaning services will usually be complimentary. If you visit a jeweler that you didn’t purchase from, they may charge you a fee of $25-$50. You can also send your ring to a trustworthy online retailer like Blue Nile or James Allen for cleaning.

Caring For your Engagement ring Between Cleanings

To care for and keep your engagement ring looking its best, consider taking it off when  participating in activities that could damage your ring, such as washing dishes, playing sports, cleaning (especially with harsh chemical cleaners like bleach, ammonia and oven cleaner), or when engaging in projects that involve a lot of manual work- such as sculpting, landscaping, metalwork, home improvement, etc. 

Your occupation is another factor to consider when caring for your engagement ring. For instance, bakers and cooks, medical professionals, artists, sports coaches or instructors, childcare professionals, and workers involved in building, making or construction have jobs that require working with their hands a lot. In these cases, it might make sense to leave your ring at home, particularly if you will be operating heavy machinery, or doing work that is particularly messy or active, especially if you have a ring that has a prominent setting or large center stones.

How to clean your Engagement Ring at Home

Between professional cleanings, you can clean your engagement ring at home to keep it looking radiant year round.

Cleaning your engagement ring at home is actually very simple, and can be done using household tools you probably already have on hand. All you need is some dish soap or mild detergent that is free of abrasives and harsh chemicals, warm water, a bowl for soaking, and a soft bristle brush for gently cleaning away any built up dirt and grime. Here are the steps to get your ring sparkling with all its true radiance and glory again:

Cleaning a ring with soapy water and bristle brush
  1. Fill a bowl with warm water, and add a drop or two of dish detergent, and stir to distribute the soap in the water. 
  1. Let your ring soak in the soapy water for 20 minutes to loosen and soften any buildup
  1. Using a soft bristle brush (like a soft toothbrush or cleaning brush), gently clean your ring, giving special attention to the undercarriage and any edges or grooves where dirt can easily become trapped. If there is any persistent dirt after scrubbing your ring gently, you can let your ring soak again and repeat the cleaning process.
  1. Once you’ve finished, rinse your ring with clean water. If you do this in the sink, make sure the drain is plugged! If you have hard water where you live, it might be worth cleaning and rinsing your engagement ring with bottled or distilled water, since hard water can leave spots and residue.
  1. Now that your ring is clean, pat dry carefully using a clean, lint free microfiber cloth.
  1. Repeat when necessary. For optimal sparkle, try cleaning your engagement ring once a week. 

There you have it! A shiny, gorgeous engagement ring, brought back to life in just a few easy steps. If you follow these steps and you still feel like your ring could use a little shine up, it’s probably time to have it professionally cleaned.

A Final Word About Cleaning Your Ring at Home

When cleaning your ring at home, it’s important to stick to gentle cleansers. Diamond experts at the GIA recommended avoiding the use of ultrasonic cleaners, steam cleaning, or harsh chemical solutions to clean your precious jewelry at home. Since these harsher cleaning methods can pose a risk of damaging your ring when used incorrectly, they are best left to professionals, since they are able to test the stability of a ring setting and use these methods safely when appropriate. When cleaning your ring yourself, sticking with a mild household detergent like dish soap or a commercial jewelry cleaner is best.

Ring Maintenance

Cleaning is only one aspect of maintaining your engagement ring. We recommend having your ring checked by a professional twice a year to make sure the stones are secure and the prongs are in good shape. Even with proper care, accidents do happen, so we also advise having your ring insured for its full value. Retailers like James Allen and Blue Nile offer a lifetime warranty to give you peace of mind.

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well-known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high-quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. 
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
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