Do you even need to clean it at all? (The answer is yes, you filthy animal…)
When you first get your engagement ring, it’s totally natural to never want to take it off. Ever. It’s so sparkly and beautiful, everyone wants to see it, and you probably love it equally as much as the person who gave it to you. If you wear it constantly however, you’ll soon notice that it’s gotten a little less dazzling. That’s especially true if you wear it when exercising, or engaging in hand-dirtying activities like gardening or baking.
Over time tiny layers of grime, dust and dirt will attach to your ring. So it needs to cleaned periodically. There are no exceptions to this, unfortunately. Not cleaning your ring doesn’t just mean walking around with a diamond that doesn’t glitter – it could also cause damage to your ring in the long-term. If enough grit gets into the various nooks and crannies of your bling it can loosen settings and, in a worst case scenario, contribute to a gemstone falling out. Think of it like plaque on your teeth. Plus, just imagine the amount of bacteria that’s sitting right on your finger.
So how often should you clean your ring?
In the same way that cleaning your ring too little is a bad thing, cleaning it too much also isn’t good. Poking at the delicate parts of your ring like the prongs can result in less durability, which again can mean a loose or missing stone. The maximum we would recommend is once per month, and even that’s a bit much. Once every couple of months is much more reasonable, but that’s only if your ring is regularly exposed to dirt/dust/grime (i.e. if you’re especially active or work with your hands a lot).
If you take your engagement ring off for showering, dish washing, food prepping, using hand cream and the like, then you can easily get away with cleaning it once or twice per year. The key is to examine it up close on a regular basis – if it seems duller than before (even with good lighting conditions), then it’s probably time for a clean.
The type of ring you have will dictate how often it needs a clean, to an extent. Heavily detailed, ornate designs with plenty of places for dirt to get lodged will need more regular cleaning. A simple solitaire with a prong setting will stay dazzling for longer. A contemporary setting like a bezel or channel setting is somewhere in between. As a general rule, once every six months should do the job nicely.
So how should you clean your engagement ring? The best way for results that look great and don’t damage the ring in any way is to take it to a jeweller for professional cleaning. We advise doing this at least once a year, since the jeweller can also give your ring a quick assessment for damage and the like too. A professional cleaning is quick and inexpensive, and can be done while you wait in many places.
If for some reason you don’t want to do that, you can also clean your ring at home. Steer clear of any guide that tells you to use ammonia or other crazy chemicals. All you need is warm soapy water, a soft bristled toothbrush, a bowl and some tissue paper. Add the water to the bowl, place the ring inside and let it soak for a minute or two, gently scrub it with the toothbrush, then leave it on the tissue to dry. It won’t get every single particle of dust out like a jeweller’s cleaning would, but it’ll definitely improve your ring’s appearance.