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Cleaning Your Engagement ring

Taking care of your engagement ring - our care guide

The average price of an engagement ring in the UK is over £1,000. Given how valuable your engagement ring is to you on both a financial and sentimental level, imagine how heart-breaking it would be if it started showing significant signs of wear and tear. With this in mind, we’ve put together a detailed guide on how to clean and look after your engagement ring. This guide talks you through how to clean different types of engagement rings and provides some little-known tips that will help you protect your rings as best as possible.

 

How Often Should I Clean My Engagement Ring?

You should clean your engagement ring roughly every two weeks if you wear it every day. This will help keep it in pristine condition and shorten the cleaning process in the long run. How often you clean your engagement ring depends on the gemstone. Diamond engagement rings are more water resistant than, say, cameo and opal engagement rings, so you can deep clean these more often without worrying about them eroding. Another key factor in how often you clean your engagement ring is how active you are. If you spend a lot of time outdoors or carry out chores such as cleaning dirty dishes or surfaces, your ring will inevitably attract some dirt. Therefore, you may want to give your ring a gentle scrubbing once a week. As a rule of thumb, you should send your engagement ring off to your jewellers for a professional clean once every six months. However, some experts have warned that professional jewellery cleaning machines can damage your ring by loosening smaller stones, so you may want to do some further research before sending it off.

How Do I Clean My Engagement Ring?

There are some simple methods you can use to clean your engagement ring at home, depending on the type of ring you own. The exact cleaning care method you use will depend on the type of gemstone in your engagement ring, as certain stones are more durable than others.

A ring’s durability is based on the Mohs' scale which is one of the scales used to define hardness in minerals. For example, diamond sits at number ‘10’ on this scale whereas something like Topaz is an ‘8’. This means that Topaz will scratch a lot easier and its brightness and shininess will fade faster than a diamond so should be cleaned less often.

 

Mohs’ scale of mineral hardness

Substance/Mineral

Hardness

Diamond

10

Ruby, Sapphire

9

Topaz, Cubic zirconia

8

Emerald

7.5 - 8

Silicon, Jade, Opal

6 - 7

Gold, Silver, Jet

2.5 - 3


If you own a diamond engagement ring, you can clean this by using plain soap and water, whatever the ring’s setting. Fill a small bowl with warm water and some washing up liquid, then drop in your ring and soak it for 15 minutes on each side. If you spot any excess residue when you take it out of the water, gently brush the stone with a soft toothbrush.

This is a general cleaning method for all diamond engagement rings. However, if you’re looking to clean your engagement ring more thoroughly, silver and gold diamond engagement rings require different forms of cleaning.

For silver diamond engagement rings, we recommend soaking these in half a cup of white vinegar mixed with two tablespoons of baking soda, for two to three hours – rinse your ring under cold water and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth once finished. Would you believe it, you can also clean a silver diamond engagement ring using ketchup! Simply leave your ring in a small bowl of ketchup and let it sit for five to 10 minutes.


If you own a gold diamond engagement ring, try pouring some beer onto a cloth and rubbing it gently over the gold band. Avoid rubbing beer on your diamond and use a second cloth or towel to dry the ring once you’ve rubbed the beer onto the band.


As for cameo engagement rings, these should be cleaned with caution. Before cleaning an authentic cameo ring, hold it up to the light so you can detect any chips or cracks. Always clean cameo rings using soapy water which is warm, but not too hot, and tend to them using either a toothbrush or soft cloth. Avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach, chlorine, and acetone – instead, opt for household staples, like soap and toothpaste.

What Should I Avoid Using to Clean My Engagement Ring?

As touched on above, although you might think cleaning agents such as bleach will add sparkle to your engagement ring, they actually have the opposite effect. The harsher the agent, the more likely it is to dull the finish of your ring and break down some of its base metals, so stick to simple substances.

You should also avoid using ultrasonic jewellery cleaning machines to clean your engagement ring. These can be bought readily on sites like eBay and Amazon, but they rely on a combination of heat and high pressure to clean jewellery. Brittle engagement rings made of gemstones or diamonds rings are at greater risk of cracking or breaking if cleaned using this method, and the vigorous movement of these machines can loosen your ring’s diamond. Therefore, avoid using one of these machines at home.

Although we’ve recommended using warm water and soap to clean your engagement ring, some gemstones need to avoid contact with soap, water and liquid cleaners. If you’re not sure what chemicals to avoid using to clean your engagement ring, we would advise asking a member of staff at your local jewellers for their advice.

How Do I Care for My Engagement Ring?

As well as regularly cleaning your engagement ring, there are other steps you can take to retain its sparkle. Here are some top tips on how to further protect your engagement ring:

  • Avoid resizing your ring too often – Each time you resize your ring, it becomes more fragile and vulnerable to long-term damage. Instead of continually resizing your ring, let your body adapt to changes over time and if at any point the ring doesn’t fit, store it away in a safe place until it fits again. 
  • Remove your ring for certain activities – If you wear your engagement ring while cooking, certain foods and oils can discolour it and, in some cases, may be almost impossible to remove, so if you’re planning on cooking something saucy or powdery, be sure to take it off! You should also go ringless for other hands-on activities such as gardening and moving furniture, to avoid your engagement ring getting dirty or damaged. 
  • Get an engagement ring dish – If you ever want to remove your engagement ring while doing rigorous activities, you need somewhere handy you can store it without worrying about it getting lost. An engagement dish is the ideal solution and there are plenty of styles you can choose from. 
  • Book regular maintenance appointments with your jeweller – We recommend scheduling maintenance appointments with your jeweller at least once a year. In these appointments, your jeweller will inspect your engagement ring to make sure the prongs are tight, the diamond isn't loose and there are no hairline cracks in the shank. 
  • Take out specialist ring insurance – Even with the best will in the world, your engagement ring could get damaged, lost or stolen. That’s why you need to protect it with specialist engagement ring insurance to avoid having to pay for repairs or replacements out of your own pocket.

At Ripe Insurance For Valuables, we offer competitive engagement ring insurance which provides you with the best cover at the best price. Get an instant online quote with us today and make sure your engagement ring is adequately protected.

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