As far as jewellery goes, you will expect to wear your engagement ring far more than any other. These particular pieces are crafted to last a lifetime, spending the best part of fifty-plus years on your finger. With such extensive wear, it’s important to give your ring the love and attention that it deserves. This will ensure that it retains its sparkle and shine from the very first day that it was slid onto your finger.
Intimately understand your ring
It’s important to know precisely which metals and gemstone your ring is constructed from before you embark upon cleaning it. This will prevent you using any damaging products that could ruin certain aspects of your piece.
Diamonds, for example, are among the hardest substances on Earth, but that doesn’t mean that they are completely immune from damage. Luckily, caring for diamonds is easy once you know how, but you should still take extra care when working around any gemstone or precious metal.
With this in mind, gemstones other than diamonds will require a certain degree of extra care, as they lack the high durability of the said stones. Pearls and turquoise, for example, are particularly soft, so keep all chemicals away from those little guys. On the other hand, sapphires and rubies are not too far behind diamonds in the durability league.
Is your ring already hurt?
If it is, don’t attempt to clean it just yet, as you could exacerbate the problem and cause even greater damage. Common ring imperfections include scratches, loose or missing gems, or a bent shape. If this is the case, it’s probably best that you bring your ring into a Showcase Jewellers store. We can clean it up and repair it for you, so that you can then start looking after it as you would any other piece.
Plug the gap
One of the biggest problems with cleaning jewellery isn’t the actual act itself, but the fact that jewels can get washed down that pesky hole in the sink! There are two easy solutions here: Check, double check and thrice check that you have put a sturdy plug in place, or use a clean washing up bowl.
Make a simple solution
There is no need to run out and buy an expensive cleaning solution for your jewellery. Often, home is best, and all you really need is warm water and a reputable detergent, such as mild washing up liquid. The more bubbles, the better! Have a soft toothbrush to hand as well, but make sure that it’s both new and used only for cleaning your ring, as contact with other chemicals could have a detrimental effect on your piece’s materials.
Using the detergent and warm water solution is not only effective, but it will also safeguard your precious ring from the detrimental effects of other, shop-bought jewellery cleaning products.
Some of these can actually do more harm than good, so what exactly are the products that you should avoid?
Cleaning products to swerve
Toothpaste may seem soft and gentle on your ring, and it is indeed great for ridding it of gunk and grime, but it is, in fact, pretty abrasive. Therefore, it has a tendency to scratch some of the softer metals, and is better avoided.
Other cleaning solutions to give a miss are ones that contain overly harsh chemicals, such as bleach and ammonia. Keep it simple and stick with detergent and warm water.
Soak to sparkle
With your bowl or sink half full with the solution, it’s now time to start the cleandown in earnest. Firstly, submerge your ring in the bowl for five or so minutes before you get down to business, as this will help loosen old, solidified grime and makes your coming work a little easier. The oily residue that excretes naturally from your hands can also find a home somewhere on your ring, and soaking will help dissolve it.
Brush up on your cleaning skills
Using the tooth brush, gently sweep away at your ring, targeting visible dirt and grime but also working your way into crevices, getting under the jewels and other hard-to-reach places. Work over all sides of the piece, but ensure that you pay a certain attention to the ring’s underside – a lot of dirt finds its home here!
Don’t use your cleaning solution to rinse your ring, as this may leave residue spots when the ring dries. Running water from a tap works much better, as you’ll have a constant stream of fresh water to wash away any remaining product. Ensure, of course, that you plug the sink, and hold your ring tightly!
Dry it out
Use a lint-free or specialist jewellery cloth to polish and dry your ring. Don’t use tissues or paper towels, as the lint contained within them can scratch your piece.
Even though you can clean your engagement ring at home, it’s good practice to have it professionally maintained at least once a year. At Showcase Jewellers, we’ll check your piece over thoroughly, making sure that the stones are secure and set to sparkle for years to come!