IN THIS ARTICLE
- Cleaning Diamond Rings
- What to Avoid When Cleaning Jewelry
- How Often to Clean Diamond Rings
- Hand Sanitizer and Your Jewelry: What to Know
- How to Clean Gemstone Jewelry
- How to Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry
There are few things more mesmerizing than watching your jewelry sparkle in the light after it’s been properly cleaned. Visit your local KAY for a thorough professional cleaning anytime and maintain your jewelry’s sparkle between visits with the tips below.
Cleaning Diamond Rings
The best way to clean diamond rings, no matter what your ring’s setting and/or metal type, is to make a solution with warm water (almost hot) and dishwashing soap. Soak your ring for about 20 to 40 minutes, very gently brush the stone with a very soft toothbrush, and then rinse under warm running water. Rinse thoroughly, and if needed, repeat. Be sure to take your time—intense brushing can loosen or damage diamonds. A little soak in KAY's fine jewelry cleaner is also an effective regular cleaning method.
Remember that residue can make your ring look and feel dirty. Remove your ring before cooking or applying thick lotions. Oils can get stuck in your setting and discolor your ring—especially if your band is made of white gold or platinum.
If you have a warranty, it’s important to stay up-to-date on your maintenance appointments. Being proactive can prevent damage or stone loss before it happens.
What to Avoid When Cleaning Jewelry
While it’s OK to use dish soap and even body wash to clean your rings, avoid products that include moisturizers. Those ingredients tend to leave a film, which is exactly what you're trying to remove.
When you’re drying your ring, avoid paper towels—they can scratch the metal. Instead, use a soft cotton, microfiber cloth or let it air dry. KAY's polishing cloth is also gentle enough for drying your jewelry.
Never use any household cleaners such as bleach, chlorine, and acetone. These harsh chemicals can break down some of the base metals in your ring.
Never use any kind of abrasive products such as toothpaste, baking soda, or any powdered cleaners, which can easily scratch metals, particularly gold.
Beware of using ultrasonic jewelry cleaners at home. While they do make jewelry sparkle, the machine works by sending vibrations through the water—movement that can cause stones to become loose or even fall out into the machine.
How Often to Clean Diamond Rings
The best advice when thinking about how to clean a diamond ring is to do it regularly. Not only will regular maintenance keep your engagement ring sparkling, but it will also shorten the cleaning process in the long run. To keep your ring looking its best, try to clean it once every two weeks. That's enough to keep everyday grime at bay and sparkle at its max. About twice a year, however, it's good to bring it to your local KAY for a thorough, professional cleaning—find your nearest KAY here.
Hand Sanitizer and Your Jewelry: What to Know
Hand sanitizer is in high demand these days—but what impact does it have on your jewelry? First, know that health is always more important than any piece of jewelry. The most important thing is always to be safe! Generally speaking, hand sanitizer is safe for all hard stones and precious metals such as silver, platinum, titanium, and other plated rings. If the ring contains soft stones like pearls or opals, the alcohol in the hand sanitizer could damage them or dull their shine. If your rings do contain soft stones, we recommend removing your rings before applying hand sanitizer.
How to Clean Gemstone Jewelry
In general, mild soap and warm water are all you need to keep your gemstone jewelry looking its best. For a detailed, gemstone-specific guide, this list is all you need.
How to Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry
Sterling silver jewelry is prone to tarnish. Tarnish is when the surface of the metal experiences a chemical change which results in a discoloration of the metal. This discoloration is not dirt and cannot simply be washed off. You will need to use a cleaning formula or polishing cloth specifically designed for sterling silver. If your jewelry contains gemstones, your safest option is the polishing cloth. Feel free to visit your nearest KAY for a free cleaning, whether you purchased the jewelry from us or not.
Wearing your jewelry regularly can help prevent tarnish. The oils in your skin actually help stop the chemical reaction that causes tarnish. If it's not worn often, proper storage is essential. Store it in an air-tight container such as a jewelry box or even a Ziploc bag.