Your engagement ring is possibly one of your most valued possessions, so it’s only natural that you’d want it to always look its best. It’s also the piece of jewelry that you may opt to wear every day, and because of this daily wear, it could lose its shine and radiance for various reasons: sweat and oil, pollutants outside, residue from cosmetics, and general build-up. All this accumulated dirt and oil come in the way of the light that would usually fall on the stone and give that beautiful sparkle that shows off the stone’s cut. The build-up could also serve as a breeding ground for bacteria, making it even more important to clean your ring regularly. How often, though, is ‘regularly’? Usually, cleaning your ring about once a week should suffice, but this can vary depending on how active you are. For more thorough cleaning, taking it to a professional at least once a year will yield the best results and enhance the brilliance of the ring.
Before we get into how to clean your ring at home, there are a few additional factors to take note of: the material of the band, the kinds of precious stones, and the setting of those gems. With more intricate settings come more crevices to pay attention to as dust particles and debris may settle there. So, here are some effective tips to clean your ring at home, in a manner that won’t damage it.
For those weekly clean-ups, you only need some warm water, mild soap or dishwashing soap, a soft-bristle toothbrush and a microfiber or cotton cloth. When choosing a soap avoid ones that have additional moisturising agents as those could leave a cast on the metal. You’ll start by mixing the soap with warm water to create a solution; after that, you can leave your ring to soak in the solution for approximately 20 minutes. With a gentle hand, brush the stones with the toothbrush—remember not to be harsh here as any rough movements can damage the stone or the prongs that hold it in place, thereby loosening it and increasing the possibility of a gem falling. So, keep the pressure as light as possible. For drying too, either let it air dry or use a very soft cloth to pat the ring dry. Keeping it simple will protect the integrity of the ring but still do justice to its design. If your ring is an antique or heirloom piece, proceed with extra caution. Some older rings cannot withstand being soaked for too long, and they could have loose settings, to begin with.
Along with those at-home cleaning sessions, you should take your ring to a professional for a deep clean, and avoid using at-home devices to clean your rings as those could just damage it. Your jeweler can both give it a professional cleaning and also check that the setting and prongs are intact so that you don’t lose any gems. This maintenance increases the longevity of the ring and keeps it in perfect shape. Try and schedule these professional-grade visits at least twice a year. You can use this time to also ask about resizing if required or to address any other issue.
Gems are not invincible; it’s vital to remember that. Exposing them to abrasive and harsh products that contain intense chemicals can impact both the band and the stone, eroding down its structure. Don’t use any such method to clean your ring, and try to be proactive about removing your ring should you need to use those products (like household cleaners, baking soda or other harsh items). One way to help you do that is by keeping small containers in places where you’d normally need to remove your ring; this will help keep it in a safe space and avoid the risk of misplacing it. The need to remove your ring also varies from setting to setting—for instance, a pavé setting could be disrupted by more intense exercise as the stones are smaller in size. For times like that, it makes sense to remove the ring.
If you decide to keep the ring away for a while, choose a pouch or the box that it came in to keep it free from dust. And, more importantly, keep it away from other jewelry. This is vital as the stones of other jewelry pieces could inadvertently damage the surface of your ring if they keep coming in contact.