Engagement and wedding rings seem to lose their initial sparkle over time as they collect dirt, and although we've all been washing and sanitising our hands more than ever following the COVID-19 pandemic, it's not enough to keep your rings looking brand new.
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With 1,600 Google searches for "how to clean diamond ring" every month, we've turned to bespoke jeweller and gemmologist Emma Clarkson Webb and jewellery experts at Hatton Jewellers for help.
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How to clean engagement rings and wedding rings
"Diamonds attract dirt incredibly easily so it's very important to clean your rings regularly," says Emma. "It's pretty simple. Just use an old, soft toothbrush, warm water and fairy liquid. Fill a bowl with warm water and a squirt of washing up liquid and let your ring soak for around thirty minutes. Gently clean with an old toothbrush and it'll be as good as new!"
She adds that it's important to clean the entire ring, making sure that you get to any areas where dirt might be trapped, such as the base of the diamond.
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And if you don't have a diamond? "The same applies for gemstones such as sapphires and rubies," says Emma. "But don't use any force or soap with brittle gemstones such as emeralds or opals. Warm water is fine, then finish with a cotton or linen cloth to dry or let the ring air dry."
Gemstones shouldn't be cleaned with soap
How to clean gold or silver rings
It's not just the diamond or gemstone that can lose its sparkle, so how do you keep the metal looking picture-perfect? According to Hatton Jewellers, the same soapy water and gentle toothbrush method above applies to gold and silver rings, too, but they recommend rinsing it in cool water afterwards and drying it with a soft lint-free cloth.
Alternatively, silver cloths can help restore shine to your silver jewellery.
Goddards polishing kit, £8.90, Amazon
How often should you clean your engagement rings?
Robert Cuomo, Managing Director at Hatton Jewellers said: "We recommend getting jewellery cleaned at least every six months either professionally or at home to keep it looking new.
"Regularly check for warning signs of vulnerability in your jewellery, such as checking for loose stones or prongs. This may prevent the need to spend more money to replace lost stones later down the line."
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Should I clean rings separately?
Though you might not always take your rings off when washing your hands, Emma says that it's definitely necessary, now more than ever, to take your rings off and give them a thorough clean.
Meanwhile, Hatton Jewellers suggested also removing jewellery when showering, swimming, exercising and doing any outdoor activities. Rings should be stored in a box away from dust and other old jewellery, which could cause tarnishing to transfer.
Will hand sanitiser ruin my ring?
"Excessive exposure to hand sanitizer can dull the lustre of a ring," says Emma. "It can also loosen the prongs that keep diamonds in place." To protect your rings, take them off when you apply hand sanitiser and leave the sanitiser to dry before putting your rings back on.
Jewellery cleaner, £6.25, Amazon
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