Education: Care of Jewelry

Cleaning a Diamond Ring

Hand lotions, hair styling products and everyday grime all leave enough of a film on your diamond ring to keep it from looking its best. And if you wait too long between cleanings, those materials can accumulate into a thick layer of gunk on the back of your diamond, blocking light and making the diamond appear dull and lifeless. Diamonds are the hardest substance known, but that doesn’t mean we can bring them back to life with any old cleanser. Coatings and other materials used to enhance diamonds can sometimes be removed by harsh chemicals or vigorous scrubbing, so take care when it’s time to make your diamond ring sparkle.

Gentle & Effective Ways to Clean Diamond Rings

  1. Soak your diamond ring in a warm solution of mild liquid detergent and water. Ivory dishwashing liquid is a good choice, but any other mild detergent is fine.
  2. Use a soft brush if necessary to remove dirt. “Soft” is the key — don’t use a brush with bristles that are stiff enough to scratch the ring’s metal setting.
  3. Swish the ring around in the solution, and then rinse it thoroughly in warm water. Close the drain first, or put the ring in a strainer to keep from losing it!
  4. Dry the diamond ring with a lint-free cloth.

If the diamond and setting needs extra help, use a dental Water Pik to flush away small bits of grime. You can also use a wooden toothpick to “very carefully” push dirt away from the diamond and setting.

Cleaning Unfilled Diamonds

Diamonds that have not been fracture filled can be cleaned with a solution of ammonia and water. Use the gentler liquid detergent solution for fracture filled diamonds, because ammonia might eventually either cloud or remove the coating that’s been placed on the gemstone.

Cleaning Rings with Multiple Types of Gemstones

The method you use to clean jewelry should protect its weakest element. If your ring includes other gems, use a cleaning method that is suitable for the less durable stones.