Hand lotions, hairstyling products, cooking ingredients, and everyday oils and grime all leave enough of a film on your diamond ring to keep it from looking its best. If you wait too long between cleanings, those elements can accumulate into a thick layer of gunk on the back of your diamond which blocks light and makes the diamond appear dull and lifeless.
Diamond rings are an investment, so take care when it's time to make it sparkle. You can use the same technique, with gentle liquid dish detergent, to safely clean a fracture-filled diamond ring (a diamond injected with a glass-like substance to beautify a lower-grade stone), also called a treated or clarity-enhanced diamond ring. This technique is also gentle enough for other soft gemstones that may also be mounted on the diamond ring.
How Often to Clean a Diamond Ring
A diamond ring can be cleaned once or twice a week to keep it sparkling. The key is to clean it with a gentle cleaning mixture. Diamonds are durable, but that doesn't mean any old cleanser will bring a diamond ring back to life. Harsh chemicals or vigorous scrubbing can sometimes remove coatings and other materials used to enhance diamonds. Also, precious metals in diamond settings can be porous, soft, and prone to damage, especially when exposed to harsh chemicals, exfoliants, or cleansers. The best way to clean a diamond ring is to be gentle and use mild cleansing ingredients.
Equipment / Tools
- Small bowl for water
- Mild liquid dish detergent
- Warm water
- Soft toothbrush
- Dry, clean lint-free cloth
Mix the Cleaning Solution
Mix in a deep bowl a solution of mild liquid dish detergent and warm to almost hot water. Ivory dishwashing liquid is a popular choice, but any other mild detergent is fine.
Soak the Ring
Soak the diamond ring in the bowl for 20 to 40 minutes to loosen the dirt stuck in the prongs and in other hidden spots around the ring's setting.
Gently Brush the Ring
Use a very soft brush if necessary to remove dirt. Make sure the brush will not scratch the ring's metal setting. Pay special attention to the undercarriage of your ring and between the prongs where there may be dirt and grime build-up. If your diamond appears hazy or dull when it hadn't before, it is likely due to a thick layer of gunk in this general area.
Swish the Ring Around in the Solution
Swish the ring around in the solution and let it sit for two to three minutes.
Close the Drain and Rinse
Close the sink drain tightly before rinsing the diamond ring thoroughly in warm water.
Blot the Ring Dry
Blot the diamond ring dry with a dry lint-free cloth.
Tips to Keep Your Diamond Ring Clean Longer
- Use an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner with extreme caution with a diamond ring. The vibrating fluid may remove grime, but it can also damage or loosen stones in their settings. Never use an ultrasonic cleaner to clean a fracture-filled, treated, or clarity-enhanced diamond.
- Wear rubber gloves or remove your rings anytime you are handling chlorine, harsh detergents, washing dishes, or cleaning your hands in order to eliminate soap residue build-up and decrease the risk of losing your diamond ring down the drain.
- When removing a ring, never pull it off by the stone and setting. Glide it off using the shank (the circular part of the ring).
- If the diamond and setting need extra help, use a dental irrigation device, such as a Waterpik Water Flosser, to flush away small bits of grime. Or, use a wooden toothpick to very carefully push dirt away from the diamond and setting. Then repeat steps 3 through 5 above.
- Though a solution of ammonia and water can be used to clean diamonds on a rare occasion, it is not advised for fracture-filled diamonds or for rings with delicate settings. Ammonia can cloud or remove the coating on a gemstone and severely damage your setting.
- Do not use household cleaners or toothpaste to clean a diamond ring because the abrasiveness can damage the stone and setting.
- Invest in a gem cloth, available in jewelry and hardware stores, to remove oily substances from your ring (after cooking, for instance) between cleanings.