How to Clean Diamonds: Guide to Safely Cleaning Your Diamond Jewelry
Posted on November 04 2021
Diamond-studded chains and multi-carat diamond rings make a wonderful addition to your jewelry collection. Not only are diamonds captivating to look at, but they are also a timeless symbol of luxury and beauty. Making sure your diamond jewelry is clean and in tip-top shape is essential if you want your diamond pieces to show off their lustrous appearance.
Although many people think that caring for diamond jewelry is expensive, there are plenty of non-costly ways to keep your diamonds sparkly clean. If you are unfamiliar with cleaning diamonds, this guide to safely cleaning your diamond jewelry will fill you in on the basic cleaning process and how to care for your jewelry in between cleanings.
How to Clean Your Diamond Jewelry at Home
Whether rings, chains, or earrings, cleaning your diamond jewelry can easily be done at home. First, make sure you have warm water, mild dish soap, a bowl, a soft-bristled toothbrush, and a soft microfiber towel on hand, and then follow the steps below:
- Mix warm water and ½ to 1 teaspoon of gentle dish soap together in a bowl.
- Submerge your jewelry in the water-soap solution and let it soak for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on how dirty it is.
- Take the jewelry out of the water and gently scrub it with a soft-bristled toothbrush, making sure to get in the nooks and crannies to remove dirt and oil.
- Rinse your jewelry with warm water. You can do this by using another bowl with clean water or with running water over the sink. If you chose the second option, make sure to put a drain plug in before you rinse in case you drop the jewelry.
- Using a microfiber towel, dry your jewelry. Alternatively, lay your pieces out on a microfiber towel and allow them to air dry.
What to Avoid When Cleaning
Although cleaning your diamond-studded rose gold chains, wedding rings, or any other type of gold or diamond jewelry is safe to do at home, there are several things you should avoid. These include using harsh chemicals, rough paper towels, moisturizing products, and ultrasonic cleaners.
Harsh chemicals like bleach, acetone, and chlorine will break down the precious metal portions of your diamond jewelry. Never use products with these chemicals to clean pieces made of diamond set in gold, rose gold, or white gold. Likewise, avoid using abrasive compounds like baking soda or powdered cleaners, as these scratch softer metals like yellow gold.
Microfiber towels are recommended for at-home diamond jewelry cleaning because paper towels are rough on precious metals and can cause scratching on the surface. Avoid using paper towels and even kitchen towels when you clean your diamond pieces.
Moisturizing products like shampoo, body wash, and even some dish soaps can leave a film on your jewelry, reducing its shine. Avoid using any type of soap product that contains moisturizing agents when cleaning your diamonds.
Ultrasonic cleaners seem like a good idea; however, they should not be used to clean your diamond pieces at home. These machines work by sending vibrations through the cleaning solution to loosen dirt and grime on the jewelry.
This process can loosen the diamonds from their settings. If this happens, the best-case scenario is that the stone falls out, and you can take it to a jeweler to have it secured. The worst-case scenario is that the diamond is not visibly loose and falls out without you knowing.
How Often Should You Clean Your Diamond Jewelry?
The frequency with which you clean your diamond pieces depends on your lifestyle and how often you wear the jewelry. For diamond rings or necklaces worn every day, consider cleaning them at home once per week. This removes daily oil and grime, especially if you are active outdoors or wear the pieces while prepping food.
If you wear a diamond piece often, it might also be a good idea to take it in to be professionally cleaned about twice a year. This ensures any leftover dirt and buildup is removed and allows the jeweler to look over the piece to check for unseen damage or loose settings.
For pieces you might not wear as often, giving them a good cleaning every three to five months and keeping them properly stored should be enough to keep them looking great.
Do You Need to Get Your Diamond Jewelry Professionally Cleaned?
While you can keep your diamond pieces looking great by cleaning them at home, it is a good idea to take them to be professionally cleaned once or twice per year. For pieces with large diamonds, this allows the jeweler to assess the stone and its setting to make sure everything is intact. For pieces with multiple small diamonds, it deep cleans in places you may not be able to reach at home.
When looking for a professional jewelry cleaner, choose someone with experience cleaning the type of jewelry you are bringing in.
Storing Jewelry Between Cleanings
How you store your diamond jewelry between cleanings can go a long way toward helping it keep its brilliant sheen. This is especially true for pieces like diamond tennis bracelets or diamond-studded gold chains for men that you might not wear every day. These pieces can gather dust and dirt if not kept in a safe, dry space where they are protected.
There are two main things to keep in mind when storing your diamond jewelry. First, if possible, store the pieces in their original containers. These containers are often lined with a soft material, like felt or velvet, and fit the piece’s shape.
If you don’t have the original container, buy a jewelry box or individual container with a soft lining to place the jewelry. A small box or cloth bag is a good option.
The second factor to consider when storing your jewelry is to keep it separate from pieces that don’t contain diamonds, especially those made of soft metals or inlaid with opals or pearls. Made from bonded carbon atoms, diamonds are one of the hardest substances on planet Earth. They rank as the hardest mineral on the Mohs hardness scale, which means they can easily scratch softer minerals, metals, and gemstones.
It is best to store diamond jewelry separately from other pieces, so you don’t end up with scratched metal bands or precious stones.
Keeping Your Diamond Jewelry in Good Condition
Along with storing your diamond jewelry properly between cleanings, there are a few actions you can take to keep it in good condition and reduce the amount of cleaning your pieces require. The following guidelines can help you keep your diamond pieces from gathering oil and grime or from being damaged.
Take It Off
One of the reasons diamond pieces become dull is due to everyday products like lotions, sunscreen, hairspray, perfume, and other cosmetics. When these substances get onto your diamonds, they leave a film or coating that prevents light from reflecting off the gem’s facets.
While you can spend time washing your diamond pieces each week, you can keep them in better shape by removing your diamond jewelry before putting any of these products on your hands, face, neck, or hair.
You can either put on your products before putting on your jewelry or take them off when using lotion or washing your hands.
Keep It Away from Sinks
Keeping your diamond jewelry away from sinks is a helpful tip that can save you from experiencing that heart-wrenching moment when your gorgeous piece goes down the drain.
It also prevents you from having to tear open the pipes or fish around in the garbage disposal, both of which leave your jewelry caked in grime and filth.
Stay Out of Water When Wearing It
Although diamonds are not harmed by water, the precious metal they are set in can be. Showering with diamond-studded gold chains can dull the diamond with film from shampoos, conditioners, and body washes. Mineral buildup in hard water can scratch the precious metal settings holding the diamonds.
Water from swimming pools and hot tubs contains chlorine, which is a caustic chemical. When you repeatedly wear gold jewelry with diamonds into this type of water, it can weaken the metal and cause the prongs to loosen. So, although the chemicals found in chlorinated water won’t hurt your diamond, they can cause it to fall out.
It is best to keep your diamond jewelry out of all types of water to keep it looking clean and bright and ensure the diamond settings stay strong.
Don’t Sleep in Your Jewelry
Avoid sleeping in your diamond jewelry as much as possible to keep it clean and undamaged. When you sleep, you may roll around or experience night sweats, and both can contribute to making your diamond jewelry less sparkly. Over time, sweat and dead skin cells can clog the setting around your diamond. If you wear any kind of lotion on your skin to bed, this can also cause a film to settle on the diamond.
Moving around can leave diamond earrings or rings bent if you lie at the wrong angle. Sometimes, items like wedding rings can cause you to scratch yourself, a partner, or the headboard if you flail while sleeping. The best course of action is to remove your diamond pieces before hitting the hay to keep everything and everyone safe and to limit buildup on the jewelry.
Handle Your Diamonds as Little as Possible
A diamond’s brilliance comes from its cut—the way its shape and facets reflect light. The more facets a diamond has, the more sparkle it gives off. However, the problem with diamonds is that their surface can become covered in oils from human skin. When you touch the diamonds in your jewelry, the sebum—an oily, waxy substance in your skin—begins to coat the surface of the diamond, dulling its brilliance.
The only solution to this problem is to handle your diamond pieces as little as possible. For necklaces and iced-out pendants, this might mean using a soft cloth to pick them up to put them around your neck.
For jewelry like rings and earrings, you may have to touch the surface to put the piece on, but try to refrain from touching the diamond during the day. By touching the precious gemstone as little as possible, you keep it sparkling and clean longer.
Buy High-Quality Jewelry
Low-quality diamond pieces are made from subpar materials and are more likely to be damaged and dirtied. Poor-quality metals are softer and more easily scratched, and their prong settings for diamonds bend with less effort. Subpar metals’ coloring may change when exposed to different chemicals as well.
A good way to keep your diamond jewelry clean and in tip-top shape is to start with a quality piece. Like these men’s diamond rings from Frost NYC, quality jewelry gives you a solid piece to start with, so you aren’t left trying to clean a piece that will never live up to its initial look. Quality jewelry is easily restored to its original shine because it is made with the best quality of precious metals and diamonds available.Browse Our Collection of Iced-Out Chains
Find the Right Diamond Piece for Your Collection
Whether you are looking for an iced-out necklace and pendant, diamond stud earrings, or a ring full of bling, you can find the perfect piece for your collection from Frost NYC. We carry everything from fully iced-out yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold chains to 14-carat diamond rings.
Browse our full collection of men’s and women’s gold and diamond jewelry to find the right piece for you. Or contact our experienced design team to create a one-of-a-kind piece. You can also explore our educational blog series for more information on cleaning, maintaining, and storing your fine jewelry pieces to ensure your diamond jewelry remains in excellent condition, retains its value, and is ready to wear for any occasion.
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