How to Clean and Care For Your Engagement Ring So It Sparkles Like You Want It To
If preserving your engagement ring is important to you — and I'm guessing it is — I present you everything you need to know about safekeeping, cleaning, and caring for your most special piece of jewelry. But this involves way more than just wearing it every day and being sure to show it off at the perfect angle in your next mirror selfie.
I chatted with Sarah Dickinson, ecommerce and customer experience manager of Mociun, and Caitlin Mociun, designer and founder of Mociun. Mociun is a jewelry company you might recognize for its signature inimitable shapes and stone pairings. Caitlin's engagement rings are handmade in New York City and especially unique. I figured the women behind such beautiful creations would have plenty of tips and tricks up their sleeves for taking care of bridal jewelry.
Sure enough, both Sarah and Caitlin are armed with good advice, and they even gave me suggestions for protecting wedding bands, because not everyone wears an engagement ring, and that's totally cool. Scroll through to read all their helpful dos and don'ts, and you'll feel like a jewelry know-it-all in no time.
How to Clean Your Engagement Ring Safely
The first step is to make sure you're using a cleaning solution that's safe for all the materials that make up your ring. A lot of standard solutions are not safe for delicate stones like turquoise and opals, so be sure to check. You should also find a soft surface before you begin cleaning, just in case you drop something.
What to Clean Your Engagement Ring With
You'll need a soft, bristled brush (if the brush is rough, it can scratch!) and the cleaning solution that's right for your ring. Forget what you've heard about toothpaste, bleach, chlorine, and ammonia. If you clean your bathroom with it, it's off limits. Products like diamond dazzling sticks are great for durable diamonds and sapphires but wouldn't be good for more delicate stones, including pearls, emeralds, turquoise, and opals. If you take your ring to the jeweler for a cleaning, they'll likely use ultrasonic cleaners that use vibrations to ensure a smooth clean, but it's better not to try this at home. Cleaning at home should be done regularly in between servicing at your jeweler.
When to Clean Your Engagement Ring
For most people, a weekly cleaning is ideal. However, you should be taking your ring to the jeweler to be serviced and/or polished annually to ensure your ring's longevity. If your ring design is more intricate, consider going every six months. If you let your ring go too long without being cleaned, a buildup of gunk or dirt behind the setting could require demounting your stone, and that could cause damage.
Do Engagement Rings Lose Their Sparkle?
Most stones do not actually lose their sparkle but are just begging for a good, deep cleaning or servicing at your jeweler. Many clients feel like they have a new ring after having it cleaned because they have forgotten how sparkly their ring once was!
Does the Metal Make a Difference?
If you are using proper jewelry cleaner to take care of your ring, then no! There are certain types of plating that can be affected, however. For example, if you have a platinum, yellow, or rose gold ring, these rarely have much plating on them. White gold is often plated with rhodium to mimic platinum, which does come off or wear over time, so the more it's cleaned and worn, the more often it may need to be replated.
Replacing Engagement Ring Stones — What If One Falls Out?
If a stone falls out of your ring, don't panic. Look around to see if you can find it, and reach out to your jeweler immediately. Take your ring (and stone if possible) to your jeweler, and don't wear it until you can get there. This is important because if a single stone is lost, it's likely that others on the ring are loose. Of course, the same goes for loose stones — do not wear your ring until you take it to the jeweler for service to prevent further damage.
When Should You Take Off Your Engagement Ring?
Caitlin has the best advice for this question: treat your jewelry like a silk dress. If you are wondering if you should take off a piece before doing an activity, ask yourself if you'd do it in a silk dress. If the answer is no, take it off. For the most part, you should take off your engagement ring before sleeping, bathing, cooking, or exercising. Working out can also cause your hands to swell, which may make it harder to remove your jewelry later on. As far as handwashing goes, be careful when applying sanitizers, as some may not be safe for delicate stones such as opals and pearls.
Where to Store Your Engagement Ring
You should always keep your jewelry in a safe place. If you have a home safe, that's a great option — especially if it's tucked away in a place that's not easily accessible. You may also consider insuring your engagement ring, which is easy and inexpensive. You can also add your engagement ring onto your renters or home insurance.
Should You Keep Your Engagement Ring in a Box?
Yes! You absolutely should when you're sleeping. Over time, the constant exposure to the heat of your body can cause your bands to warp to the shape of your finger, so taking off your ring and stowing it away at night gives it a little breather. Invest in a jewelry box worth your while. This one, called the Skultana, has a soft lining and a sturdy base, so it won't knock over. If you keep a small box like this on your bedside table, it should remind you to take off your ring before going to sleep.
How to Preserve Your Wedding Band
For rings without stones, you don't run the risk of loosening or damaging your ring, so some people do sleep in their rings — like men with their wedding bands. If you have an eternity or infinity band, you might consider going for one with stones only on one side, since the underside of the band is more susceptible to getting banged up (think door handles or housework!). Some people also find a design like this one more comfortable to wear.