Try as you might to keep your jewelry clean, particularly your engagement ring and wedding band, there is not much you can do regarding the daily grime that accumulates on and around your diamonds and jewelry. Dust, dirt, and water eventually make their way to your jewelry, taking away some of the shine that was originally present.
It is therefore imperative to regularly have your jewelry cleaned. This is also a great opportunity to ensure that your diamond and other stones are secure and that everything is mounted safely. There are some things you can do at home to maintain your jewelry and give it a clean appearance but it is still recommended to have it professionally cleaned periodically. Jewelers use materials, tools, and knowledge that most people do not have access to. This allows the jewelry to receive a very thorough cleaning, resulting in jewelry and stones that look as good as new.
What Jewelers Do to Clean a Diamond
Diamonds will always shine, even with a bit of dirt on them, but they will look even more brilliant when professionally cleaned. Jewelers use ultrasonic cleaners with high frequency sound waves and chemicals, which create bubbles that latch on to the dirt on the diamond. The high frequency sound waves pull the dirt away from the stone and bring them up to the surface. When the whole piece of jewelry is being cleaned at once, the jeweler usually puts it under a strong blast of steam in order to wash off the dirt and grime and bring back the jewelry's shine. You can ask for one treatment or the other if you are bringing your jewelry in to the jeweler.
Steaming a piece of jewelry to clean it
Cleaning gold or platinum is a lot simpler than cleaning a diamond and can even be done at home. For optimal results, it is suggested that a piece of jewelry, regardless of its metal type, be professionally cleaned, preferably at least once a year. If it is a white gold piece, you might find after some time that the gold is not as shiny, or it looks a little less white and a little more yellow. This is because white gold is a combination of metals (including yellow gold) and is covered with a coating of rhodium. In order to keep it looking as shiny and as flawless as can be, have it professionally coated and polished when it starts to lose its luster.
Professionally Cleaning Jewelry Vs. Cleaning Jewelry at Home
Detergent-free soap, water, and a soft bristled brush is all you really need to keep your jewelry clean and shiny, but is it the best way? The more often you clean your diamonds and jewelry, the less the accumulation of dirt and grime. This is helpful even if you decide to get your jewels professionally cleaned every so often.
Cleaning diamond jewelry with a toothbrush Image credit: carolyncollado.com
Since gold is a natural element, chemicals such as those in cleaning fluids or in chlorine can affect it. Therefore, it is important not to wear your gold jewelry when you are working with such materials so as to protect it better and prolong its shine. When you are not wearing your jewelry, store it in its original box or a soft cloth bag to keep it protected and clean while it is not being worn.
Unless you are very light on your jewelry or can afford to get your jewelry professionally cleaned often, it is advised to combine safe home cleaning remedies with annual professional cleanings. This will keep your jewelry looking just as new as the day you bought it. It will also give you some special “bonding” time with your jewels, letting you get to know them inside and out and helping you appreciate their beauty and design!
For more information please see 6 jewelry cleaning hacks you wish you already knew and our guide to cleaning gemstone jewelry or how to care for your diamond engagement ring.