How To Clean Wedding Ring At Home

Updated March 21, 2023
How To Clean Wedding Ring At Home

Every woman should know how to clean a wedding ring at home to maintain its shine for decades to come.

Although professional wedding ring cleaning is always an option, it’s costly and unnecessary with proper home care.

Most of us aren’t accustomed to wearing fine jewelry daily, so not knowing how to clean a wedding ring is natural.

The best suitable cleaning method depends on your ring’s metal, gemstone (or the lack of one), and condition.

The good news is that you don’t need to buy professional cleaning solutions. Household items like dishwashing soap, ketchup, and baking soda will do the job.

Regularity is key to a beautiful, sparkling wedding ring. Don’t let grime build up for years before you clean it.

How To Clean Diamond Rings

Diamond sparkle is mesmerizing, but even the prettiest ring can lose its bling under a coat of cosmetics, mud, oil, or other dirt. If you’re wondering how to clean a diamond ring at home, use regular dishwashing soap and water.

Mix a bit of dishwashing soap in warm water and let your ring soak for about half an hour. Note that the water should be almost hot, or the method won’t work.

Then, rinse under warm water and wipe with a soft cloth. Repeat if needed.

You may use shampoo, body wash, or hand soap instead of dishwashing soap, but don’t use anything moisturizing because such products will leave a film on the stone.

Avoid drying the ring with paper towels. Although they won’t harm the diamond (it’s the strongest precious stone, after all), the paper towels may scratch the metal, especially if the ring is from soft high-karat gold.

Ensure that no soap residue is left between the prongs and other ring elements. If you notice any residue, don’t use sharp objects to get rid of it. Instead, carefully rinse the ring again until it’s clean.

Alternatively, you may use Windex and hydrogen peroxide solution for gold and silver diamonds rings. Simply mix the Windex and hydrogen peroxide 50/50, soak the ring, then rinse carefully and dry with a cotton cloth.

How To Clean Other Gemstones

Precious gemstones such as sapphires, rubies, and moissanite can be safely cleaned using the same methods as diamonds because they are nearly as durable. However, soaking may damage softer gemstones, including emeralds, pearls, coral, onyx, and opals.

Water and chemicals may cause stone discoloration and damage. If you aren’t sure which cleaning method to use for your wedding ring’s gemstone, check its hardness on the Moh’s scale. Anything below 7 requires gentle cleaning.

You may be wondering how to clean gemstone rings without water. The answer is simple – use a soft polishing cloth like the one you use for mirrors. If it isn’t sufficient, bring your ring to a professional to avoid permanently damaging it.

How To Clean Gold Rings

If you have some beer, pour it onto a soft cotton cloth and rub the band to bring back its shine. Don’t use dark ale, and don’t let it get onto the gemstone.

There’s no need to rinse the ring but use a clean cloth to dry it. Never use toothbrushes, paper towels, and other tools with a rough surface on an 18-karat gold ring to avoid damaging it.

Ammonia is helpful for occasional gold jewelry deep cleaning, but don’t use it too often because it can be caustic. Mix one part of ammonia with six parts of lukewarm water and soak your ring for a minute.

Then, rinse the ring under warm water and let it air dry or wipe it with a soft cloth. Lastly, you can clean gold bands with boiling water. Note that this method is only suitable for plain gold bands without gemstones.

Boiling water can make opals, pearls, and other semi-precious gemstones crack. It’s safe for diamonds, sapphires, moissanite, and other hard gemstones.

Place your wedding band in a small bowl or cup and pour boiling water into it. Wait until the water becomes cool enough for you to put your hands in it and take the ring out.

Rub the ring carefully with a polishing cloth and let it dry. The water appearing dirty is a good sign – it means that the grime that has built up on your ring floats to the surface.

How To Clean Silver Rings

Silver isn’t as durable as gold or platinum, so you should be extra careful when cleaning a silver wedding ring.

An old silver jewelry cleaning method involves white vinegar and baking soda – you likely already have them somewhere in your kitchen cabinets.

Mix half a cup of vinegar and two tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl, ensuring that the baking soda is completely dissolved. Leave the ring in the solution for a couple of hours – it won’t get damaged.

Then, rinse the ring under cold water and let it air dry or wipe it with a soft cloth. Another silver jewelry cleaning recipe is more creative – you’ll need ketchup and a toothbrush.

Believe it or not, ketchup effectively removes tarnish from sterling silver bands. Leave the ring in a small bowl of ketchup for up to five minutes, and voila – it’s shiny again. Of course, you should rinse it carefully.

Don’t leave the ketchup on the ring for longer, and make sure no ketchup is left on the prongs.

If you don’t trust DIY wedding band cleaning methods involving household items, get special wipes for silver jewelry – it’s a quick and effective way to get rid of dirt and tarnish.

How To Clean Tungsten & Titanium Rings

Tungsten and titanium are natural elements multiple times stronger than gold, initially used in industrial applications. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t damage a tungsten or titanium ring.

Harsh chemicals like chlorine and ammonia aren’t suitable for tungsten and titanium wedding band cleaning.

Instead, use a solution of warm water and a drop of detergent-free soap. Soak the ring for a bit, rinse it thoroughly, and rub it with a soft cloth.

If this didn’t work, your tungsten or titanium ring might need polishing. It should only be done by a professional.

How Often To Clean The Ring

Many people only clean their wedding bands once a year or even rarer. However, dirt and natural oils build up on the ring every day, especially if you don’t remove it during cooking or doing makeup.

Technically, you can’t clean your ring too much if you do it correctly. You can use gentle wedding ring cleaning methods weekly to maintain the shine.

These include water and soap solution for gold rings and vinegar and baking soda solution for silver rings.

Harsh methods shouldn’t be used more often than once in a couple of months, including the ketchup cleaning method for silver and ammonia for gold bands.

Of course, many of us don’t have the time to clean a wedding band weekly. Most importantly, pay attention to its visual state. If the shine is dull and you notice discoloration, it’s time for cleaning.

As a rule of thumb, regular gentle cleaning is better than occasional deep cleaning because it maintains the ring consistently shiny and prevents damage.

How NOT To Clean The Ring

Diamonds are known as the strongest precious gemstones, but they aren’t resistant to any abuse. Never use harsh chemicals like bleach and chlorine for cleaning a diamond wedding ring.

Although chemicals may not cause harm to the gem, they will inevitably damage the setting and may cause the stone to fall out.

Don’t use toothbrushes with hard bristles for cleaning metals and semi-precious gemstones to avoid scratching them. Although scratches can be removed with professional polishing, it’s best not to scratch the ring in the first place.

Abrasive products like powdered cleaners, baking soda, and toothpaste shouldn’t be used on gold, although soda solution is suitable for silver jewelry.

Don’t attempt to use ultrasonic jewelry cleaners on gemstone rings. Such cleaners help to achieve a brilliant (literally) result, bringing back the metal shine.

However, they work by sending intense vibrations into the water, which may lead to the stones becoming loose.

When To Have The Ring Professionally Cleaned

There’s no need to bring your wedding ring to a professional if you managed to clean it at home. In fact, you can avoid professional cleaning at all if you regularly clean your ring at home.

However, if stains or tarnish don’t go away after DY wedding ring cleaning, professional cleaning is a must. Don’t attempt using harsher methods at home.

Rings with prong or high crown gemstone settings may appear dull and discolored even after careful home cleaning because the dirt builds up in areas you can’t reach. Such rings require professional cleaning at least once a year.

Sometimes, ring fading and discoloration are a result of tiny scratches rather than dirt. Home cleaning isn’t of much help here, but a professional can polish your ring and bring back its shine in no time.

Some jewelers offer cleaning for free if you’ve purchased your ring off them; others may charge you $25-$60, depending on the ring’s material, gemstone, case complexity, and cleaning method.

Image credit: Unsplash

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