How to clean diamond jewelry
Diamonds are forever - and with a little bit of care, its sparkle can last forever too.
Why does your diamond ring need to be cleaned?
Daily wear can dull your diamond ring’s sparkle. Oils, sweat and dust all adhere to the diamond’s surface, hiding its brilliance and beauty. The solution is regular cleaning.
How often do you need to clean a diamond ring?
Experts recommend a gentle clean once or twice a week, and a professional clean by a jeweller once or twice a year. During the professional cleaning, the jeweller can also check that all stones are properly and firmly placed in the setting to ensure the safety of your stones.
How do you clean a diamond ring?
There are several ways to clean a diamond ring depending on the amount of dirt, the metal used in the setting, how fragile the setting is and the presence of other gemstones. If you’re not sure, contact your local jeweller for advice.
Before you start, remember to close the drain if you are cleaning your diamond ring near a sink to reduce the risk of something slipping down the drain.
- Gentle cleaning
This is suitable for all ring types, but may not get stubborn dirt off your diamonds.
Soak your ring in a small bowl of warm water and mild washing up liquid for 20-40 minutes. Then use a soft, clean toothbrush to gently remove any remaining dirt. The toothbrush will help clean hard-to-reach places like the back of the diamond, where dirt accumulates. Rinse the ring under warm running water. Repeat this process if necessary. When your diamond ring is clean, dry it with a soft, lint-free cloth. Avoid air drying as this can leave hard water spots on your diamonds, reducing their sparkle.
To protect your jewellery from potential abrasive materials, like toothpaste, it is important to use a new, soft toothbrush that is exclusively used for cleaning jewellery. Also, don’t scrub too hard with the toothbrush as fragile settings (e.g. prongs in antique jewellery) or tension settings (e.g. a diamond held in place by pressure from the shank) can easily be damaged.
- Commercial cleaning solutions
There are a number of commercial cleaning solutions available on the market. Remember to check the instructions and warnings carefully and ensure it doesn’t contain any chemicals or abrasive materials as this could cause your ring to be discoloured or lose its durability.
- Ultrasonic cleaner
Only use an ultrasonic cleaner if you are certain all stones are firmly placed. If your ring contains other stones it might be best not to follow this method as it can cause other gemstones, such as opals, to shatter.
An ultrasonic cleaner is used to remove encrusted dirt on diamonds. It works by sending low frequency sound waves through a solution. The vibrating fluid removes the accumulated dirt and grime. Unfortunately, it can also shake loose stones from their mountings or chip the girdles of diamonds set next to each other. That’s why it’s recommended to only use an ultrasonic cleaner if you are certain that all the stones are firmly placed. It’s also a good idea not to go over the recommended time or use the ultrasonic cleaner too often as it can cause unnecessary wear on your ring and make some stones come loose. Like in the previous methods, after the ultrasonic cleaning process, rinse your ring under running water and dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
Cleaning your diamond rings: what not to do
When cleaning your rings, there are some things you should never do:
- Never use chlorine, bleach or acetone as they can break down some of the base metals in the ring.
- Never use abrasives, such as household cleaners or toothpaste, as they can easily scratch metals.
- Never use ammonia or ammonia-based solutions if you’ve had your diamond treated in any way.
A sparkling diamond ring is a joy to see – and with a little care, you can enjoy it every day.