When you're gifted a diamond ring or purchase one for yourself, you want to treat it with the utmost care, ensuring that your precious stone will last a lifetime. When choosing a diamond engagement ring, suitable care of this gem is of even greater importance. While diamonds are famed for being a durable stone, rings can soon get dirty due to the oils on our hands, the lotions we use, and the dirt on surfaces and items we touch. Keeping your diamond clean and sparkling is an essential part of jewellery maintenance. Cleaning is best done by a professional jeweller, but can be completed at home.
You should treat your ring with great care, not only when you're cleaning it but when you're wearing it. Take it off when you're washing dishes or doing any household jobs, and store it in a jewellery box to avoid it getting chipped or damaged. Looking after your ring will reduce its exposure to dirt, and limit the possibility that the stone could become loose (a loose stone can often lead to dirt getting in to the setting, as well as heightening the risk of it dropping out completely). Precisely how to clean a diamond ring at home may vary from source to source and many old wives’ tales exist, but it should always be done with a gentle touch, no matter how stubborn the dirt you are tackling.
Knowing how to clean a diamond ring properly will keep it sparkling, so you should give your ring a regular - but very gentle - scrub. All you need is water, a gentle cleaning agent such as washing up liquid, a soft cloth and a toothbrush kept just for this purpose. Soak the ring in a bowl of warm water with a few drops of detergent for about 20 minutes (you can also soak it in a solution of ammonia and water, being careful to use rubber gloves to protect your hands). Use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub the ring, making sure to concentrate on the gaps between the stone and the setting. Do not place any pressure on the ring, as you could loosen the stone. Rinse the ring in clean water, and dry with a soft cloth or leave to air dry.
While a toothbrush makes the ideal tool for cleaning your ring, toothpaste is definitely not the ideal cleaning agent. Its abrasive properties make it too harsh for cleaning your precious ring, as it could end up scratching the gold. Any household cleaning products with such harsh properties, such as bleach, should also be avoided as incorrect use can damage not just the lustre of your diamond but the colour and condition of the ring itself.
It is possible to buy an ultrasonic cleaner for the purpose of diamond cleaning, which uses sound waves to break down any dirt present. Although able to be bought at relatively small expense, these machines should be used with caution. Most diamonds have inclusions, or flaws, and the sound waves can cause damage to these flaws, further emphasising them or causing the stone to crack. The more flaws the diamond has, the higher the risks when using an ultrasonic cleaner. Coloured diamonds should not be cleaned in this way as it may cause the hue to change or diminish.
If your ring is particularly valuable, the stone is at all loose, or you're not confident about cleaning it, professional cleaning is the most suitable option. The jeweller has all the equipment and skills needed to leave your ring sparkling. They will also check the ring to see if the stone is loose or the ring needs repairing. It's recommended that your ring is cleaned every six months, and checked annually for wear or damage. This will help you keep your ring in good condition and looking at its best.