How Often Should You Clean Your Engagement Ring?
Opening that ring box to a perfectly shiny engagement ring is almost as wonderful as the prospect of marrying your soulmate. Many of my recently engaged clients claim their new, sparkly engagement ring is a road hazard as it “blinds” them while driving. Whether this is true or not, the look of new jewelry is dazzling. However, after cooking dinners, putting on lotion, working outside, and feeding your kiddos, that shiny and sparkly ring is not quite as brilliant. Life gets into our jewelry. Keeping your ring clean is, obviously, an important consideration. So how often should you clean your engagement ring?
I believe there are three types of “clean” and each should be considered after different periods of time. You will get different results with each, and each has their benefits over the lifetime of the ring.
Getting your engagement ring refurbished is the most intensive option of the three. In this case, you would take your ring to a professional jeweler (ideally whomever you purchased it from) where they will thoroughly check the integrity of the ring, make any necessary minor repairs, buff scratches or gouges out of the metal, and finish with professional cleaning tools. At the end of this service, your ring should look as good as when you first opened that box!
So how often should you request this “like-new” treatment? As a professional jeweler, I don’t think you ever HAVE to have your ring refurbished. Small repairs will be necessary over the years, but you never have to request a full rehaul. Ultimately this decision is entirely up to you. Cost will be one of your biggest considerations as most jewelers won’t do this for free. If you go back to the jeweler you purchased your ring from, this may be a free service or “perk” for your patronage (this is part of my limited warranty for all my custom jewelry customers), though this is not always the case.
Pro tip: Don’t request this very often (maybe once every two years or so). As gold is sanded and polished, microscopic layers of the gold is removed from the ring. It is very possible to over-polish a ring and start to lose detail and thickness.
Most jewelry stores/jewelers will professionally clean your ring. This involves either bringing the ring to a store or studio or shipping your ring to the jeweler who made it. A jeweler should look at your ring under magnification and check the stones and the overall condition the ring. After being looked over, the jeweler will then put the ring in an ultrasonic cleaner for a few minutes and finish with a steam clean. This brings all the stones back to a sparkly clean and gets rid of any dirt or grime stuck in the crevasses.
As a professional jeweler who specializes in engagement rings, I have one rule I ask of all my clients. Everyone should have their rings professionally cleaned and checked at least once every six months (though you can do this as often as you’d like). Since engagement rings get a lot of daily wear and tear, having them inspected periodically can catch problems like loose diamonds or gemstones, damage to the settings, metal wear, etc. If these issues are caught early, it can save you a lot of headaches AND money in the future. Most independent jewelers will provide this service for free, especially if you bring or ship the ring back to where you purchased it.
Your final option is to clean your engagement ring yourself. This is super easy and involves some blue dish soap, a soft bristled toothbrush, and warm water. A scrub and rinse can bring your ring back to a nice shine, though some of the tougher, stuck in dirt may not be easy to remove this way. As long as your ring is in good shape (none of the stones are falling out, for example), you can clean it this way as often as you’d like!
Be Cautious: If you have an opal or a pearl set in your engagement ring, be careful with this method. If you scrub too much or are too aggressive, you can damage these stones. Avoid soaps or other cleaners, as well, as they can also cause damage. If you are unsure, simply ask a professional jeweler!
Clean engagement rings are the BEST, but not always easy to maintain. In most cases, it’s completely up to you how often you should get your ring cleaned. If you’re anything like me, life gets in the way and I simply look fondly at my less than sparkly diamonds…. On those occasions I do give it a nice clean and check, I am always amazed at how much prettier it looks! As a custom jeweler, I get lots of questions about cleaning, so if you have one in mind, feel free to reach out! I would love to say hello.