Written By: Vahid Moradi
Whether you’ve just exchanged vows or have been happily partnered for years, the best way to restore your wedding band to its original condition is always to take it to a trusted jeweler. However, there are some tricks of the trade you can use to maintain and clean your wedding rings in San Diego while in a pinch.
In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the best at-home practices for cleaning your wedding ring in the interim before you ask your jeweler to take it from dull to dazzling for you.
How To Care For Your Wedding Ring
Any piece of jewelry that gets as much exposure as a wedding ring can lose its luster fairly quickly. Depending on its design, your lifestyle, and how often you wear it, most wedding rings will start to look a little sundry sallow within 1-2 weeks of regularwear.
The best way to keep your wedding ring in good shape is to know the occasions when you should take it off. There are 3 occasions when you should always remove your ring:
- Before you deep-clean the bathroom – Bleach and jewelry—particularly of the gold variety—are not a friendly combination. A harsh chemical in its own right, bleach canseriously damage precious metals and cause them to fracture at a chemical and visible level. Always take your jewelry off before using bleach for any reason.
- Before you go swimming – Most pools and hot tubs use chlorine to keep conditions sanitary, but chlorine can be incredibly harmful to fine silver. Bear in mind that some tap water contains trace amounts of chlorine, so consider filtering or boiling it before using it to clean your jewelry. Salt can also cloud the shine of diamond and gold, so be sure to take your wedding ring off before you take a dip in the ocean.
- Before you hit the nail salon – Acetone, commonly used to strip the nails of polish, can be just as abrasive on any alloys used to strengthen the composition of your wedding ring. To preserve the tenacity of your ring for generations to come, be sure to remove it before you give yourself over to a nail tech (or give yourself a manicure at home).
In addition to these circumstances, many of the daily products we come in contact with can blunt its shine over time, including:1
- Perfume, cologne, and aftershave
- Cosmetics like lotions or hairsprays
- Cleaning supplies
Your hands do a lot during the day, so it’s no surprise that keeping your wedding ring in good condition requires some regular maintenance. In the sections below, we’ll introduce you to some quick, effective cleaning techniques you can integrate into your routine.
How To Clean A Simple Wedding Band At Home
One option for cleaning jewelry at home is to purchase an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner, a popular model that works by using sound waves to curdle water and lift dirt out of tough-to-reach spots in your jewelry. Costing approximately $50, they require little more effort than the push of a button, but they aren’t always effective at restoring luxury rings to their original luster.
Humans have been wearing precious metals for eons, so it should be no surprise that we’ve developed some effective analog ways to keep them sparkling like the next best thing to new. With little more than water and some other household staples, find out how to tend to your wedding band at home below.
Gold or Platinum Bands
Taking care of a tarnished gold or platinum wedding band is relatively simple to do at home:
Fill a small bowl with hot water (not boiling!) and stir in a few drops of dish soap
Mix the soap and water to emulsify
- Let your wedding ring soak for a half-hour, then rinse clean and dry with a microfiber cloth.
While platinum tends to be more resilient, remember that gold is a notoriously supple precious metal. The purer a gold wedding ring is (24 karats is the most unadulterated form for jewelry), the more susceptible it will be to getting scratched and scuffed—which means no taking harsh textures like a sponge or “firm” toothbrush to your ring to scrub it clean!
If you have an engraved platinum or gold wedding ring, it’s recommended you have it cleaned by a jeweler to get into the nooks and crannies of the embossment to make it gleam like new. Knowing the difference between white gold vs yellow gold will help you identify which cleaning method you should use.
Sterling Silver Bands
Fortunately, one of the best things you can do to keep your silver jewelry glistening is to wear it. Since the skin’s natural oils on their own do an excellent job of keeping silver lustrous, if you’re wearing it every day, you’re off to a great start.
That said, silver jewelry is highly reactive to sulfur, a chemical that’s ambiently present in our atmosphere in the form of hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide.2 Because of this, silver jewelry can easily develop a tawny patina over time—especially if neglected.
Maintaining the luminosity of a sterling silver wedding ring can easily be a part of your weekly regimen. If you’re willing to put a bit of effort in, you can also make an effective silver cleaning bath with items you probably already have in your pantry:
- Step 1 – While boiling 1 cup of water, line a small food container or baking tray with aluminum foil, glossy side up. Place your ring inside.
- Step 2 – Add an equal ratio of salt, baking soda, and mild dish soap over your ring (1 tsp of each will be more than sufficient).
- Step 3 – Once boiled, pour water over the tray and stir to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes (you may catch a whiff of sulfur as the chemicals settle).
- Step 4 – When the water is cool to the touch, gently use your fingers to remove any stubborn debris remaining on your ring. Rinse with lukewarm water, and use a silk or microfiber cloth to polish.
To clean sterling silver in a pinch, you can even try spritzing a glass cleaner on your ring (don’t use this method on pure, delicate silver). A slightly more professional method is to pick up some silver polishing cloths from your jeweler, which use delicate microfibers treated with a polishing agent to restore silver’s natural moonlit luster.
If you’re the owner of a silver wedding band, make sure you know how pure your silver is before you reach for the Windex. Pure silver is another highly sensitive precious metal, while sterling silver is alloyed with other compounds that can maximize its resistance to corrosion.
How To Clean A Stone-Set Wedding Bands At Home
While wedding band designs have historically been simpler than dainty engagement rings, these days, it’s more common to have wedding rings inlaid with precious stones such as:
The only drawback of complex designs, of course, is how much more difficult they can be to keep them glittering without damaging their facets in the process. Here are 3 cleaning tips for cleaning wedding rings with precious stones:
- Clean it regularly – Try to clean your diamond jewelry-set wedding band regularly to keep the setting free of debris that can collect from regular wear. Every 2 weeks (1 if you’re physically active, or frequently use cosmetics like hand lotion) will protect the integrity of the settings.
- Keep it simple – Soaking your ring in a small bowl of hot (not scalding) water and mild dish soap will suffice, though you can also use sparkling water if you spot any obvious dirt or grime between the inlays.
- Use a delicate touch – The best protocol for at-home diamond cleaning is to keep it a simple routine. Be sure to dry it using a microfiber towel, as rags or even a paper towel can scrape the face of the stone.
Cleaning gemstones at home will help give your wedding ring a boost with a quick turnaround. If your aim is to make your wedding ring look impeccable for an anniversary or big event, you’ll want to take your piece to a jeweler to restore it to its original flawless condition.
Note: CJ Charles is not responsible for any harm to your jewelry that may result from at-home cleaning.
Professional Cleaning The Best Way To Maintain Your Wedding Ring
If love itself is a matter of chemistry, it should come as no surprise that cleaning precious stones and metals requires as much knowledge of chemical alchemy as it does technical acuity.
Here are some techniques a professional jeweler apply to restore each individual piece of fine jewelry to its original incandescence:
- Expertise – Every earth-derived substance has its own attributes that influence the type of conditions adequate for its care. Temperature, texture, and pressure all come into play when treating specific stones and metals. It’s part of a professional jeweler’s job to use their knowledge of the attributes specific to platinum as opposed to gold, ruby as opposed to diamond, to give your crown jewels the royal treatment.
- Tech – Most jewelers use a more powerful version of the ultrasonic jewelry cleaners you’ll find on the cheap online. After the cleaning process, they’ll also typically apply heat or steam to the piece to restore it to its original incandescence.
- Tools – Wedding rings are exquisite pieces of craftsmanship, and they require equally refined tools to free all of the micro-pollution that can accrete from regular wear. While a soft toothbrush may do the trick when you need it most, there’s no match for the tools a professional jeweler has in their arsenal.
In the end, there’s no substitute for the expertise, facility, and thoroughness a jeweler can offer your most prized pieces of fine jewelry. To refurbish your wedding ring in full, leave it in the hands of a trusted professional.
Renew Your Wedding Rings with CJ Charles Master
Maintaining the condition of your jewelry comes down to simple, steady, routine care at home. But if you want to know how to clean a wedding ring properly, you’ll need to recruit a professional who can appreciate the attributes of your unique piece, and treat it accordingly.
At CJ Charles, we treat every piece of jewelry with the precision and industry expertise it needs to be restored to impeccable standards. Drop into a showroom to have your wedding or engagement rings in San Diego restored by masters who prize their craft as much as you prize this special heirloom piece.
Written By: Vahid Morai
Vahid Moradi’s lifelong passion, dedication, and commitment for the jewelry industry led him to become the respected owner of CJ Charles Jewelers in 1988. From that moment, Moradi’s single focus in business was to become recognized as the pinnacle of value and world-class quality in the his Community. Over 34 years later, CJ Charles continues to grow and thrive as a successful, family-owned business that consistently provides exceptional service to all their clientele.
- The Spruce. How to Clean a Diamond Ring. https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-clean-diamond-rings-2042568
- Environmental Protection Agency. Sulfur Dioxide Basics. https://www.epa.gov/so2-pollution/sulfur-dioxide-basics