A diamond ring is often a most precious prized possession, and for rings and jewellery that is worn every day, it’s important to keep them in tip-top shape to help maintain their quality and preserve their beauty.
As careful as you think you may be, your fine jewellery or diamond ring is most likely exposed to oil and dirt that can damage its surface. To keep your precious jewellery looking as bright as the day you got them, it is recommended to have them cleaned by a jeweller regularly to help increase their longevity and maintain their shine.
In between these professional cleanings, it is also important to know how to take care of your precious jewellery yourself – in the right way.
Firstly, let’s start by debunking common myths on cleaning methods for your jewellery.
Myth 1. Toothpaste
We’ve all heard it before… ‘toothpaste can clean your jewellery!’ Unfortunately, this is a very common myth. Not only can toothpaste be quite challenging to remove from those hard-to-reach places, especially once it dries up and hardens, what people often forget is that toothpaste is also a mild abrasive. Did you know that toothpaste and gold have an almost identical hardness rating, meaning toothpaste can scratch your jewellery? Yep, it’s true. Metals and gemstones used in jewellery sit along a Mohs Hardness Scale that represents their ability to withstand scratches, with many gemstones equal to or only just a bit higher than toothpaste. So unless you are cleaning a loose diamond, it is best to avoid using toothpaste and stick with a jewellery cleaner made to clean your specific jewels or have it professionally done.
Myth 2. Boiling water
This is another one that seems like it could do no harm. However, when it comes to jewellery with semi-precious or soft stones, utmost care needs to be taken. Boiling water can cause damage to your gemstones with extreme heat even affecting the metal. We’ve all heard that heat can expand metal – and the same applies to your precious jewellery. The high temperature from boiling water can distort the metal causing loose gemstones to fall from their settings.
Although ultrasonic jewellery cleaners use hot water, this is very different from the process of a DIY clean you’d do at home. The cleaning solution’s temperature in an ultrasonic jewellery cleaner is regulated and is programmed to never reach the boiling point of 100 degrees Celsius. So again, better leave it to the experts.
Myth 3. Household cleaning products
Although there is ‘cleaning’ in their name, many of these household products can result in severe and irreparable damages to fine jewellery. Common cleaning products, chlorine and bleach, are both very corrosive and have the ability to start breaking down the metal alloys in your jewellery, causing pitting in gold and a complete change in colour in silver. In saying so, the occasional swim in a chlorinated pool won’t have a severe effect, however, if you are an avid swimmer you may want to consider storing your jewellery somewhere safe. Abrasives should also be avoided at all costs, as they have the potential to leave tiny scratches on the surface of softer metals like gold. Therefore, you should never clean jewellery with baking soda or other powdered cleaners.
How to Clean a Diamond Ring & Fine Jewellery
The easiest and most effective technique in cleaning a piece of fine jewellery at home involves only a few basic household items (that aren’t chlorine or bleach of course!)
- A mild dish detergent (preferably one with natural ingredients) or a natural body wash (without a moisturizing agent)
- A little warm water
- A new child’s toothbrush with very soft bristles
- A soft, clean microfiber cloth
Fill a bowl with warm water and add a few drops of gentle dish soap into the bowl, swishing it around a bit.
Soak your ring or piece of jewellery in the water for about 20 to 40 minutes. This will penetrate the dirt, allowing it to loosen.
Then gently brush the stone with the toothbrush, carefully pushing the bristles into the hard-to-reach crevices.
Once cleaned, rinse under warm running water and pat the ring dry with the microfiber cloth or lay it down on a paper towel and allow it to dry.
Other tips to protect your jewellery
Caring for your diamond jewellery every day is just as important as cleaning it regularly and correctly, particularly in the long run. There are many day-to-day activities that could dull your jewellery’s brilliance or even damage it. To keep your fine jewellery looking its best for years to come, be sure to follow these handy jewellery care tips:
- Avoid showering with your diamond ring and fine jewellery. Harsh shampoos, conditioners and other body washes may contain harmful chemicals that could have a damaging effect on the metal over time.
- Always wear protective gloves or remove your jewellery when using strong household chemicals. As we learnt earlier, bleach or chlorine is no good for our precious jewellery.
- Put your jewellery on after you style your hair and put on makeup. Skin lotions, powders and other products can leave a residue on diamond jewellery that has a dulling effect on its shine.
- Remove your jewellery when doing hard work, such as gardening, repairs or moving furniture. A hard knock on a diamond ring could damage the setting, scratch the metal or even chip the diamond.
- Get your diamond ring or fine jewellery checked and cleaned by a professional jeweller regularly. The jeweller will look at the prongs and mountings to make sure they are secure, making sure your jewellery is in top condition.
As you can see, there is a lot in properly caring for your treasured pieces in order to keep them in their best condition. Just like we take our delicate clothing to the drycleaners, we should do the same for our fine jewellery to a professional jeweller.
At Shadwick’s Fine Jewellery we offer a lifetime cleaning service on your diamond jewellery. Bring your pieces into our workshop every 3 months for a professional clean where at the same time we will check all settings for your peace of mind.