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How to clean your engagement ring

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Looking after your engagement ring

A well-made engagement ring should last a lifetime if looked after properly. However, this doesn’t mean that it will always look as good as new without a bit of love and attention! Most engagement rings are worn every day, and as a result, are subjected to a significant amount of wear and tear over time.

Engagement ring needing cleaning

Shampoos, moisturisers and cosmetics can all leave behind residues that cause precious metals to look dull and obscure the sparkle of gemstones and diamonds. In order to keep your engagement ring looking at its best it is important to know how to clean your engagement ring.

If everyday items like hand cream and shampoo can leave a residue on your ring, should you take your ring off when you moisturise or when you have a shower? The answer is that it depends. Ideally, you would take it off to avoid getting it dirty and would put it back on again afterwards. However, if there is any risk at all that you might forget where you left it, then you should keep it on – losing the ring is a disaster, while having to clean it more frequently than you would like is not such a big deal. At Ingle & Rhode, we generally advise clients to keep their ring box on their bedside table and to put their engagement ring in the box any time they take it off - no leaving it on the mantlepiece or by the side of the sink. If there’s only one place the ring can be, you’re unlikely to panic when you think you’ve lost it.

Cleaning at home

The good news is that platinum or gold rings set with diamonds, rubies or sapphires can be cleaned at home, with just a little warm water and a soft toothbrush. Gold and platinum are relatively soft, so you should avoid using a hard brush which could scratch the metal, and steer clear of cleaning products which may do more harm than good. After you’ve cleaned your ring, gently dab it dry with a soft towel.

If your engagement ring contains any other gemstones, in particular emeralds or pearls, we advise you not to try to clean the ring yourself as there is a risk that you could damage the gems. If you are in any doubt, check with your jeweller first.

Professional cleaning and polishing

If you feel that your engagement ring needs a more thorough clean that you can give it at home, most jewellers offer a professional cleaning service. Sometimes a clean on its own may not be enough. As previously mentioned, gold and platinum are relatively soft, so something as simple as grabbing a steel door handle or handrail can create a tiny scuff on your ring. Over a period of months and years, these tiny scuffs accumulate, causing your once beautifully polished ring to lose some of its lustre. If your engagement ring has become scuffed and scratched, your jeweller should be able to polish it for you to restore it to its former glory.

David Rhode
Together with Tim Ingle, David created Ingle & Rhode to offer a better alternative to the traditional luxury brands. Since 2007, we’ve provided our customers with genuinely ethical engagement rings, wedding rings and fine jewellery – free from conflict diamonds, dirty gold and child labour. With more than 16 years experience in the jewellery industry, David has deep expertise in diamonds, gemstones and jewellery design and manufacturing.