6 Best Ways to Clean a Wedding Ring at Home
Cleaning your wedding or diamond engagement ring is a task that can easily be forgotten in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, it’s important to keep it spotless and free of any build-up so that it looks its best for years to come!
The question is – do you give your precious to a professional jeweler to handle or go through the whole process at home yourself? And if you go for the second option, what is the best solution to clean a wedding ring?
No worries, I will answer these and many other questions in my small guide. Let’s jump right in!
Table of Content
- 6 Most Common Cleaning Supplies for a Wedding Ring
- Cleaning Tips for Different Wedding Ring Metals
- How to Keep a Wedding Ring Clean
- What Not to Use When Cleaning a Ring
- Wrapping Up
6 Most Common Cleaning Supplies for a Wedding Ring
A ring is one of the most important symbols of your marriage, in addition to your wedding dress. To me, it’s also a reminder of your commitment to your significant other.
But naturally, if you wear your rings every day, they will start looking dirty and tarnished. It mostly happens due to the following reasons:
You can get rid of the built-up dirt by using a few common engagement ring cleaners you can purchase at the store, and I’m sure some of them you already have at home. But the most important thing to remember is not to use any harsh chemicals, as they can damage delicate metals. Instead, opt for something mild and gentle. Below, I’ve prepared the best solutions for you to consider.
The first option you can use to clean your wedding ring yourself is hydrogen peroxide. It’s a very common and popular cleaning agent. It is effective because it releases hydroxyl free radicals that break down the dirt, oils, and grime that builds up on jewelry over time. In addition, hydrogen peroxide is also a natural sanitizer, which helps to kill any bacteria or germs.
How well hydrogen peroxide cleans a ring depends on its material. If it’s made of platinum or gold, hydrogen peroxide shouldn’t be necessary because both of those metals are durable. However, if your ring is made of a more delicate metal like silver, then hydrogen peroxide can help to brighten it up and remove any tarnish or oxidation that might have built up over time.
How do you use this solution?
Here I’ve prepared a handy graph for you:
So, basically, you need to mix equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide in a small bowl. Soak your ring in the mixture for about five minutes, then use a toothbrush or soft cloth to scrub it clean. Then, rinse well with water and leave to air-dry.
Baking soda is a great cleaning agent for delicate items such as wedding rings. It’s gentle enough not to scratch the surface, but it’s still effective in removing dirt and oil build-up.
I recommended using a baking soda paste. It’s super simple: just mix it with water to form a paste, then rub it on the ring using a soft toothbrush. When you’re done, simply rinse it well and dry your ring completely. Here’s a more detailed visual guide if you’re interested in using this method:
Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can help remove light scratches and blemishes from gold or silver jewelry. It’s also effective at removing dirt, oils, and other tiny debris. And because it’s alkaline, baking soda can also help neutralize acids that can damage white gold wedding rings or silver over time.
Yes, vinegar is a common cleaning supply for jewelry in general, as it’s gentle and won’t scratch the metal. Since it’s very acidic, it’s perfect for removing old stains and grease that have accumulated on your jewelry or anything else.
There are a few different ways to involve this solution in the cleaning process. One option is to create a mixture made up of equal parts of white vinegar and water. Soak your ring in it for about 15 minutes, then use a soft toothbrush to scrub it gently. Then, rinse the ring well with water and dry it off.
Another way is to make a paste out of baking soda and vinegar. I recommend applying the paste to your ring and letting it sit for about 5 minutes. Use a soft toothbrush to scrub, then rinse your jewel with water and let it dry. Here’s a handy graph with both methods in action:
There are a few disadvantages to using vinegar:
- It doesn’t work as a disinfectant.
- High concentrations can damage your jewelry.
- It leaves an unpleasant smell.
That’s why be careful when choosing the right vinegar solution to clean your ring. I recommend the usual 9%, but still, make sure to rinse everything very thoroughly.
I’ve already mentioned that, when cleaning your ring, it is important to give preference to gentle soap over harsh chemicals. Dish detergent is a great option in this case because it doesn’t contain any abrasives in it. Besides, it will also disinfect your jewelry and will leave it shining.
To keep your ring clean with dish detergent, start by mixing a small amount of it with water in a bowl or cup. Next, soak the jewelry in the mixture for a few minutes. Afterwards, use a soft brush to remove the dirt away. Finally, rinse everything with clean water and dry with a towel.
If you’re looking for a step-by-step process for this method, this video by jeweler Bobby White is the best one to follow:
He also talks about the method of ultrasonic waves which professional jewelers use to clean wedding rings. Basically, the jewelry gets inserted into the apparatus, which heats it to a certain temperature, which helps melt down built-up oils and grease and remove it easily afterward.
Beer and ketchup
Yes, beer and ketchup can indeed be used as cleaning supplies for a wedding ring. Beer is a natural cleaner and can be used to remove dirt and dust. Ketchup can also be used as a solution to get rid of grease and dust.
What’s the chemistry behind both of these options?
If we’re talking about beer and light beer specifically, it doesn’t contain as much hops, which creates the right acidity level allowing to clean the jewelry and make it sparkly. The same is with ketchup – the acids from tomatoes and vinegar work as organic cleaners to wash away any build-up on your rings.
Beware: if your ring has many elements, tiny stones, and intricate details, ketchup can get stuck in them and will be difficult to rinse and remove. In time, it will give the stones a yellowy color. I also don’t recommend using this method on white gold, silver, and platinum.
Cleaning Tips for Different Wedding Ring Metals
Most of the methods I listed above work perfectly for all types of wedding and engagement rings. They won’t damage the integrity of your jewelry and will keep it shiny for a long time.
That said, I also want to give a few additional recommendations for every metal commonly used in wedding rings. This way, you will be better prepared when cleaning your jewel at home.
1. Diamond rings
Diamonds are naturally more prone to accumulating dirt, so after coming into contact with human skin oils, their surface may start looking faded. Apart from that, these precious stones are very delicate, so you need to treat them very carefully.
Here are a few key things to remember as an easy way to clean diamond rings:
- Opt for dish detergent. The best (and most convenient) way to clean your diamond ring is with soap and water, rather than harsh chemicals that can damage it. Put a drop or two of dish soap in the small bowl, fill it with warm water, and let the jewel soak for a while.
- Dry your diamond ring thoroughly. If you don’t do it properly, moisture can cause corrosion and damage. Besides, the diamond will look faded and bleak.
I recommend not to wear your diamond ring while cooking or spending a regular workday at the office as the dirt can easily build up over time. Also, try not to touch the center stone too often as it will become dull.
2. Golden rings
Gold is one of the most popular metals for wedding rings. It doesn’t corrode and rust, meaning that it will serve you for many years to come. Apart from that, it’s also more malleable, thus, it is easier to use for delicate and intricate jewelry details.
However, if you’re not careful enough with your golden ring, soon you’ll notice multiple scratches on it. Here are a few tips to prevent that:
- Store your ring in a box when you’re not wearing it. The soft material of the box will prevent scratches and maintain the jewel’s original shine.
- Avoid working out while wearing a ring. Dumbbells and other exercise equipment can heavily damage your jewelry.
- Take the ring off before working in the garden. Dirt can lead to discoloration and get into the small crevices between the stones.
The best solution to clean this metal is with a bit of baking soda and water – it will also smooth out the scratches. For the ring with diamonds, go for dish soap and water.
3. Silver rings
Sterling silver’s affordability makes it a popular metal, but its composition results in tarnish very quickly. You`ll recognize that your piece of jewelry needs a quick clean if you spot darkened parts on it. It is often caused by a chemical reaction with oxygen or sulfur particles.
So, can you still clean your silver rings at home?
Sure you can; here are three easy ways that worked for me:
- Water and baking soda paste. Mix the ingredients in equal parts, apply the paste to your silver ring and rub with a soft cloth until the tarnish is gone. Rinse off with warm water and buff with a dry cloth.
- Vinegar and salt mixture. Combine 1/2 cups of vinegar and 2 tbsp salt and submerge the ring into this mixture for about 5 minutes. Then, scrub very gently with a toothbrush, rinse thoroughly with warm water, and buff with a dry cloth when done.
- Lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide. Both solutions have enough acids to clean your jewelry. Just soak it for about 15 minutes, then scrub with a toothbrush before rinsing and buffing.
I do not recommend using the ketchup method on silver rings. If you do, you may notice discoloration over time, and your precious jewel will become yellow.
4. Platinum rings
Unlike other metals, platinum will not fade or tarnish with age. However, it will develop a soft patina over time. This is due to the way light interacts with fine scratches within the metal, which can make the jewelry appear darker than when originally purchased.
So, here are a few tips to help you keep your platinum wedding rings looking their best:
- Clean with a toothbrush only. I don’t recommend any of the methods we talked about earlier for platinum. It’s enough to use a simple, gentle toothbrush and very carefully scrub the ring. Do not use bleach or harsh chemicals, which can damage the ring’s finish.
- Store your rings in a jewelry box or pouch. This will help prevent them from becoming scratched or tarnished.
If you take proper care of your ring, it will last for many years to come, no matter what kind of material it is made of. You can ensure the long-lasting quality of your wedding rings by following the above instructions.
How to Keep a Wedding Ring Clean
Finally, some general rules of thumb can be followed to maintain a wedding ring’s cleanliness, so you don`t have to worry about your jewelry fading with age. Here are a few methods I personally find very helpful:
- Avoid exposing your ring to harsh chemicals, such as bleach, ammonia, or acetone. These solutions can severely damage the metal and stones.
- In case you’re planning some household activities where you’ll be working with your hands, it’s recommended to remove all jewelry. If your ring gets dirty repeatedly, it will soon become discolored.
- If your ring gets wet, dry it off as quickly as possible with a towel.
- Store your ring in a fabric-lined jewelry box or pouch to protect it from scratches.
Taking care of your jewelry every day will positively affect its quality over time, and you won’t have to bring it in for professional treatment as often.
How often should I clean my ring?
As I mentioned before, cleaning your ring is important for two reasons: first, you’ll maintain its pristine look; second, it protects the metal from discoloration.
I should say that the frequency of cleaning your ring depends on two factors:
- How often you wear it
- The material it’s made of
To keep the ring shiny, I recommend cleaning it at least once a week. However, if you live in a particularly humid or dusty environment, you may need to clean it more often.
What about bringing your precious to the jeweler?
In the video I mentioned above, Bobby White says that once a year is a perfect frequency if you want to clean the ring professionally. In this case, the process also involves polishing, so if you do it too often, it will thin out the metal over time.
What Not to Use When Cleaning a Ring
Out of all the ways I’ve tried, the warm water and dishwashing soap method worked the best for me. If there is any built-up residue, you can use a toothbrush or soft cloth to scrub it away. Remember to rinse the ring well after cleaning and dry it with a soft cloth.
However, there are a few things you should steer clear of when caring for your ring:
- Abrasive materials, such as toothpaste and steel wool. These can scratch the metal or gemstones.
- Harsh chemicals like bleach or chlorine. They can strip the metal of its precious coating and cause it to rust.
- Billo pad. It can damage the metal, causing it to lose its shine.
- Ammonia-based solutions. These cleaners can corrode the metal and damage the gemstones.
Whenever you are working with chemicals or if you are in an environment that could damage it, such as the ocean or a pool, you should remove your ring. Even abrasive cleaning products can harm your jewels, especially the ones made of gold.
So, there you have it – the best ways to get the dirt out of rings at home. All of these methods are simple, inexpensive, and can be done with things that you probably have lying around your house.
My personal favorite is the dish soap and water method because it clears out all the gunk and leaves the ring shining. Sometimes, I also clean it with baking soda paste, but I use this approach occasionally to not create even more scratches on the gentle metal surface. I also recommend bringing your jewel for professional handling once a year. There, you can get it polished and professionally treated.
How do you usually clean your wedding ring? Have you tried any of these methods before? Let us know in the comments below.
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