You wear your engagement ring basically 24/7, and while there’s no shame in flaunting that sparkler (unless you're doing one of these activities in which you should take your ring off), the daily buildup of dirt, beauty products and yes, even food will make it look a little less than brilliant. If you’re wondering how to clean an engagement ring, the best and safest way is by taking it to a wedding jeweler, but sometimes you just need a quick fix. So whether you’re simply looking to keep your ring looking its sparkliest, or you have suddenly discovered that there’s a chunk of dried avocado stuck in the prongs (no judgment), we’re here to help.
Keep in mind that most wedding jewelers will offer cleanings as a complimentary or discounted service if you purchased the ring from them—they will steam clean, inspect, and repair your ring if necessary. Ideally, you should do a professional "deep cleaning" about twice a year. But until then, follow these easy steps.
Here’s exactly how to clean an engagement ring at home.
What you’ll need:
- Basic dishwashing soap (do not use any formulas with lotion or skin-softening moisturizers)
- A clean, soft-bristle toothbrush (baby toothbrushes are a good option)
- A small bowl for soaking and/or rinsing your ring
- A lint-free or microfiber cloth (similar to a cloth for eyeglasses or camera lenses)
The first rule of thumb for how to clean an engagement ring at home is to proceed with caution. Remember: this doesn’t have to be a deep, intensive clean—that’s what your professional jeweler is for. Start by using warm or hot (but not boiling) water to soak your ring in a soapy solution for up to 30 minutes. This softens contaminants like hairspray, lotion, dirt, food, and dust that are most likely stuck to your ring.
If you’re working above a sink, close the drain first! Remove the ring from the water. Take the soft-bristle toothbrush and gently scrub the ring—do not use a lot of force, because you don't want to risk scratching the stone and/or metal. If you still see dirt that is clearly lodged in the ring after brushing, carefully use a toothpick to try and loosen the debris.
With the sink drain still closed, run the ring under cool water to wash off the soap. Be sure to hold the ring upside down and on each side, allowing the water to rinse from all angles and flow through any openings in the setting. Alternatively, you can fill a bowl with water and gently swirl the ring around with your hands to rinse off the soap.
Gently dry your ring using the lint-free cloth. Avoid using paper towels or regular bath towels, since they can leave microscopic scratches or pieces of fuzz on your ring. If you have extra time, you can let the ring air dry on a ring dish or jewelry holder. Voilà! Your ring is now ready for its closeup.
Things to avoid
When cleaning an engagement ring, don’t use any abrasive substances, including toothpaste, bleach, baking soda, window cleaner, or acetone. These are harmful to diamonds but especially to colored gems, like morganite and other rare stones. Also try to avoid using standard gold and silver polishes—these may work well on your silverware and vases, but not all formulas are suitable for the metal bands on engagement rings. Lastly, you might think that an ultrasonic jewelry device is a foolproof solution for how to clean an engagement ring at home, but the tiny vibrations can sometimes loosen rings with delicate stones and pavé settings.
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