How to Clean Your Engagement and Wedding Rings

Gold Wedding Band and Diamond Engagement Ring Stacked on White Fabric

Congratulations! You had your fairytale proposal or wedding, and now it’s time to show off that stunning ring. It’s still gorgeous, but after a few weeks or months, you can notice the pressure of daily wear starting to catch up to it. Who wants to sport diamonds that are cloudy and dull? Our guide to cleaning diamond rings will teach you how to clean wedding rings at home so you can keep them sparkling.    

The Importance of Keeping Your Jewelry Clean

Pear Shape Diamond Twist Shank Engagement Ring

Your engagement ring and wedding band are going to be the most treasured pieces in your collection for a lifetime. Your Prince Charming made sure to pick out the perfect diamond; you want to be able to show it off! Knowing how to clean rings with diamonds at home will help them sparkle and shine forever.

Wearing your rings every day can build up layers of debris, oil, and residue on the diamond’s surface. When your ring is dirty, it will spread bacteria and can leave your skin feeling irritated. Plus, a dirty band can lead to scratched stones and discolored metals. Even though it’s great to get a professional cleaning, sanitizing it regularly at home will keep it in stunning condition.

Are At-Home Ring Cleanings a Replacement for Professional Ones?

Routine ring cleanings help keep dirt and bacteria from damaging your ring. However, cleaning diamonds at home is not a replacement for professional upkeep. It’s easy to get rid of buildup on the surface of your stone and maintain the shine on your own, but cleanings at the jewelers will remove deep layers of dirt without damaging it. On top of knowing how to clean rings with diamonds at home, you should be getting your bands cleaned professionally about once or twice a year.

If you do many strenuous activities, you might need to get your engagement ring cleaned more often. Things like sweating it out at the gym, cooking in the kitchen, and being active outdoors could damage your ring. These things could cause your band to accumulate hard, compacted layers of dirt and oil.

If you remember to take your ring off during activities that could cause dirt or damage, you might be able to get away with visiting the cleaner a bit less often. We encourage you to bring your jewelry to Fink’s to get it professionally serviced. All of our staff is experienced and knowledgeable in jewelry care. You can call, email, or schedule an appointment with us on our site. 

What to Use When Cleaning Rings at Home

Person Shining Diamond with a Black Cloth

One of the essential parts of knowing how to clean wedding rings at home is understanding how to pick the right supplies. Certain products can be harmful to your ring and do more harm than good. To get a pristine band, the basic supplies you will need for cleaning diamond rings are:

  • a bowl
  • warm water
  • soft bristle toothbrush
  • gentle cotton cloth

You want to make sure you are using delicate items when you clean your ring. A simple soak in warm water is effective for getting bacteria and dirt off the band. Plus, these are all materials you’ll likely already have at home. Once you know how to handle cleaning rings at home, you can start the routine as soon as possible!

What Not to Use When Cleaning Rings at Home

As mentioned before, gentle is the way to go when it comes to a stunning ring. There’s nothing worse than damaging your precious piece due to improper care. Certain chemicals and cleaning supplies can leave your band appearing lackluster. The main chemicals to avoid when you’re cleaning diamond rings are:

  • bleach
  • chlorine
  • acetone

Cleaning solutions with harsh chemicals can actually break down some of the base metals in your ring. You don’t need abrasive cleaners to keep your diamonds sparkling. Even chemicals that won’t harm your band could discolor the diamond. When learning how to clean wedding rings at home, you should also avoid things like baking soda, toothpaste, or other powdered cleaners. These solutions can easily scratch metals, especially gold.

Person putting their ring in cleaning solution with other jewelry

Ultrasonic jewelry cleaners are becoming a popular pick for cleaning rings at home, but they aren’t the safest option. They produce a sparkling result by sending vibrations through water and cleaning solution. These vigorous movements can cause stones to become loose. Diamonds can even fall out entirely in the machine. When diamonds loosen or fall out, the ring will need to be professionally repaired.

If your ring has been damaged, check out our post about quality jewelry repair for everything you need to know. It’s hard to assess whether diamonds are fully intact without professional help, so they could loosen without your knowledge and fall out later. If you do decide to use an ultrasonic cleaner for your diamond ring cleaning, proceed with caution.

When you’re scrubbing the dirt and grime off your ring, the brush you decide to use is super important. If you use a brush with stiff bristles when cleaning diamond rings, it could scratch the stones. Harsh bristles will lower the ring’s value and dull its sparkle. When it comes to drying your jewelry, steer clear of paper towels, as they can scratch the diamonds and metal.

How to Clean Your Wedding Ring at Home

.50ct Cushion Cut Diamond Ring Set

Now that you know what needs to be on your ring cleaning list, how can you keep your jewelry stunning and shiny right at home? First, you need to know what care your unique piece needs depending on the settings, metals, and stones within it before you start the process of cleaning rings at home. 

Once you’ve identified the qualities of your ring, you can give it a proper cleaning. The most important thing to keep in mind when learning how to clean your engagement ring is patience and being gentle.

To safely clean your diamonds at home, place your ring in a bowl of warm water and let it soak for about 15 to 20 minutes. Once the band has finished soaking, you can brush it gently with a soft toothbrush. Then, rinse it under warm running water. Make sure you dry it with a soft cloth made of cotton before putting it back on.

If you want a clean that’s slightly deeper but not too abrasive, you can make safe solutions for cleaning rings at home to rid your engagement ring of dirt. You can simply soak your ring in about a half cup of white vinegar to restore shine. Leave the ring in the vinegar for 10 to 15 minutes, and scrub with a soft toothbrush after if needed.

How Often Should You Clean Your Ring?

person wearing sparkling diamond ring

So, how often should you be giving your engagement and wedding rings their own little spa treatment? We recommend cleaning your rings at home about once a week to keep them in gorgeous condition. When you’re wearing your ring daily, ordinary things like lotion, shampoo, hairspray, soap, and oils can leave your rings looking cloudy. A quick soak in some warm water and a gentle scrub with a toothbrush will have them looking good as new in no time! Keep in mind that your ring might need to be cleaned more or less often, depending on your activities while wearing it.

Maintaining and Caring for Your Band

There are a few other ways you can maintain your shine and shimmer aside from knowing how to clean wedding rings at home. The most crucial thing to keep in mind is that your ring is a fragile object, so you need to handle it with care. One bang or bump could loosen the ring’s setting or dent the band, so we recommend taking your ring off before doing any strenuous activities. And to avoid ultra-frequent ring cleanings, it would be best if you also left it off for things that tend to be on the messy side. One easy thing you can do to avoid a cloudy, dirty ring is to apply your thick lotions and creams before you put them on.

Yellow Gold Diamond Prong Set Ring

You should always remove your ring when you’re cooking. Cooking is such a standard part of the day that you may not even think twice about removing your ring before you do it. However, food and cooking oils can actually discolor your ring or get stuck in it. If food gets lodged in the ring, it could be impossible to remove, depending on the ring’s setting.

Now that you know how to clean wedding rings at home, you can maintain it between professional services. With a routine for cleaning diamond rings and some thorough care, keeping your band shiny will be a breeze. You’re officially on track to have the most dazzling ring in town!