The ultimate jewelry care & cleaning guide!
Just like the loving commitment your jewelry represents, it needs to be cared for regularly. With the proper care, your jewelry will last for now & forever. Here's some recommendations from our diamond experts on how to clean jewelry!
Neglecting to clean or maintain things like engagement rings or wedding rings could result in discolored metals, scratches and even lost diamonds! The good news is keeping your jewelry shining like new, is easy! And we've got you covered from how to protect jewelry, how to clean rings, how to clean jewelry at home, and even how to polish jewelry and clean pearls!
Protect & Prevent! Jewelry & Watch Storage
A diamond is the hardest material known to man, making it extremely scratch resistant. However, diamonds will scratch other diamonds, gems, and metals if allowed to rub together! The latest jewelry organizers allow you to sort pieces by color or style, and they keep particularly valuable items safe and clean with compartments of many different shapes and sizes.
In fact, you can find a beautiful home for your beautiful pieces with our assortment of jewelry boxes & cases, and displays. Our most popularly gifted jewelry box is the black leather Caroline large jewelry case.
Keeping dependable jewelry boxes in your closet or atop your dresser is the best way to organize everything from necklaces and earrings to rings and bracelets. It’s best to regularly clean out your jewelry box to check your jewelry for damage.
Now, if you want to preserve the quality and value of your designer watches, it's important to store them in a safe, dry place such as a watch box.
Take a look here for a selection of watch boxes and storage solutions to keep the shape of your watch bands in optimal condition, when not in use.
How To Clean Jewelry At Home
While each precious gemstone is slightly different, using warm, soapy water is the universal way to clean gemstones. You can find more information on each stone at our Birthstone Education page. Anything from doing the dishes to putting sunscreen or lotions on your hands can cause dirt and soot to accumulate on your jewelry, making it appear dull.
Using A Diamond Cloth
A diamond sparkles by reflecting light. If a diamond is dirty with even just a finger smudge, light will be unable to pass thru and the diamond will not scintillate.
- Use a lint-free diamond cloth to quickly remove smudges and skin oils.
- Place the diamond inside the cloth and rub it firmly.
- Be sure to never touch the inside of the cloth because this will only add unwanted skin oils to your cleaning cloth.
How To Make A Jewelry Cleaning Solution
You may want to purchase an inexpensive jar of jewelry cleaning solution from any Rogers & Hollands or Ashcroft & Oak store location, or you can make your own!
To make your own at-home jewelry cleaner, to maintain the shine of diamond and gold jewelry, just follow these steps:
- Mix 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and 1 cup warm water
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of ammonia based household cleaner (like a glass cleaner such as Windex)
- Soak your jewelry in the solution for about 5 minutes & then gently scrub with a soft-toothbrush
- Air dry or carefully towel-dry with paper towel or regular cloth.
- Watch it sparkle & fire in the sunshine!
(Important: Do not use chlorine or rubbing alcohol on jewelry.)
- For hard to reach places, try using a toothpick or unwaxed dental floss.
- You might also consider purchasing a diamond polisher, usually in a cream, to polish your diamonds to a high sparkle.
Diamonds Gently scrub the stone with a soft bristle brush and a mixture of warm water and mild soap. To really bring the shine use an ammonia based cleaner.
Gold Mix 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and 1 cup warm water. Add 1/2 teaspoon of ammonia if desired. Dip jewelry in the solution and use a soft bristled brush to remove any marks or residue. Rinse in clean water and pad dry.
Sterling silver Make a cleaner out of baking soda aluminum foil and let jewelry soak for 30 minutes. Remove from water and wipe clean.
Rubies, amethysts, sapphires, garnets Using a soft brush, gently clean with a mixture of mild soap and warm water. Rinse and pat dry.
How To Clean Pearls
The care and cleaning of pearl jewelry is much different from other gemstone & diamond jewelry. In fact, when storing pearls, it's important to keep them in a slightly damp cloth so they don’t dry out.
Our jewelry professionals recommend to restring pearl strand necklaces or pearl bracelets every 3 to 5 years because the silk that holds them together will likely get dirty and cannot be cleaned to their original state.
Plus, did you know that wearing your pearls frequently allows for your body’s natural oils to maintain the pearls’ beauty? It's true! A pearls’ luster improves when worn next to the skin as the oils of the wearer them keep them moisturized.
- Protect your pearls by putting them on after applying cosmetics, lotions, perfume and hairspray.
- Do not test the genuineness of a pearl by biting it with your teeth.
- Never store pearls in a hanging position as it can stretch and damage the silk.
How To Polish Silver Jewelry
When your favorite earrings start giving off that strange smell or your signature necklace looks tarnished, you’ll want to know how to clean sterling silver jewelry without ruining it. Fortunately, it’s easy to do. You can return shine to your silver jewelry by soaking it in 1/2 cup white vinegar mixed with 2 tablespoons of baking soda for two to three hours. Then rinse under cold water, and dry thoroughly.
How To Clean Diamond Earrings
Everyday diamond earrings are easy to leave in your lobes and almost never take out. Wearing your diamond stud earrings daily, not removing them to take a shower or bath, or when applying hair products and sprays are just some common ways they get dirty and dull! Bring your diamonds back to life and keep them as dazzling as possible with our quick and easy guide on how to clean diamond stud earrings at home. Cleaning diamond earrings sounds like a tricky task, but it’s actually surprisingly simple and can bring your earrings to its former glory within minutes. This method is ideal for diamond stud earrings, however, you can also use it for larger diamond earrings with extra care.
- Place earrings in a bowl of warm water.
- Add unscented washing up liquid or soap.
- Mix them and move the earrings in the water - leave for up to 30 minutes.
- Rinse the earring and pat dry with a clean cloth.
- Use a children's toothbrush to remove any leftover residue.
Get Expert Help! Professional Jewelry Cleaning Care
We recommend a professional jewelry cleaning of your most valuable and most worn items at least once every six months.
Ultrasonic Cleaners The most effective way to clean your jewelry is with an ultrasonic cleaner. Curious to know how ultrasonic jewelry cleaners work? Ultrasonic cleaners send high frequency sound waves through a detergent solution dissolving oil and removing dirt from the entire piece, including those hard to reach places for an impeccable clean!
Plus, don't forget that when purchasing jewelry at Rogers & Hollands or Ashcroft & Oak Jewelers, you'll receive FREE lifetime professional jewelry cleanings on the item whenever you like, and at any store with our WE WILL Jewelry Guarantee!
PRO TIP! When in doubt with a colored stone, consult with one of our in-store diamond & gemstone jewelry experts to find out the best method of cleaning that will not negatively affect the shade or appearance of the stone.
Frequently asked questions about cleaning an engagement ring
Q: How often should you clean your diamond engagement ring?
Frequently asked questions about cleaning an engagement ring
A: We recommend cleaning your diamond engagement ring, or other frequently worn diamond jewelry, at home 1-2 times per month, and professional cleanings twice a year. There are a few reasons it’s important to have these precious items cleaned regularly, but the most obvious one is because it’s gorgeous when it sparkles! There’s nothing quite like a freshly-cleaned diamond hitting the sunlight! Vanities aside, having clean jewelry almost always means noticing potential issues from normal daily wear with the structure of the jewelry sooner and therefore lessening the likelihood of a diamond loss, broken clasp etc. So keeping smudges at bay and build ups from lotions, make up or oils means you’ll be able to see - or even hear – a possible problem and address it right away with a jeweler.
Q: Do engagement rings need to be professionally cleaned? If so, how many times per year?
A: If you wear your engagement ring, or any jewelry daily, you’re bound to have a build-up of skin, dirt and soaps. Keep in mind that wearing your rings every day is like wearing the same outfit every day and build-up on your jewelry is inevitable, especially the rings on your hands. At-home cleanings are great and keep your jewels shining, but we do believe having your engagement professionally cleaned every six months is necessary and the extra TLC from pros is worth it! Every Rogers & Hollands Jewelers location offers a complimentary ring cleaning service, regardless if you purchased the ring from them, and for free! Professional ring cleaning typically first involves an inspection of the item underneath a microscope to make sure no stones are loose and are still in good condition. Next the ring is submerged in an ultrasonic cleaning machine containing a specialized washing solvent. This machine uses energy to create vibrations that help shake dirt and dust away without harming the ring. The process typically takes about 15-20 minutes.
Q: Is it okay to sleep with your engagement ring on, or does sleeping in jewelry wear it down/cause it to build up dirt faster?
A: Put simply, it’s best to not sleep with your engagement ring on. Apart from the obvious snagging threat from bedding, hair or even your partner, if you tend to lie on your hands, the pressure of your weight can cause the band to become mis-shapen and subsequently, loose stones. However, if you’re traveling, the mindset of “you can’t lose it when you wear it” is probably best to avoid misplacing any jewelry. When you do take your ring off, our advice is to have one safe spot in your house as the only place you ever take your ring off and store it.