The day you put on your engagement ring is one of the first moments of pure excitement about your impending nuptials. The stress to come of organising a wedding is forgotten momentarily by this beautiful sparkling ring and you can’t wait to show anyone and everyone. Fast forward a little and life takes over, the wedding has taken place and your photographs have taken pride of place in the home; you look down at your once glittering engagement ring and notice that it has become dull and clouded and you decide it’s time to bring the sparkle back, but how? This guide has been created to show you how to rejuvenate a tired looking engagement ring, making it look brand new and reminding you of those early engagement days.
1. Washing Up Liquid
As with every method discussed, this must be taken with a gentle approach, so don’t go squirting neat washing up liquid on your ring and leaving for hours! A mild solution of warm water and a small squidge of liquid should do the trick. Leave to soak for an hour or so and remove. Take a fine art brush and have a firm grip on the shoulder of your ring (the sides either on the left or right of the setting). Next, begin to softly brush the ring; the soaking will have softened any dirt to make the brushing process lift out any debris with ease. Rinse the ring with clean water (do not run directly under a tap for fear of dropping into the sink!) and dry with a non-abrasive cloth.
Top Tip! Dry your ring with chamois leather for a thorough dry with a good buff!
2. Check Your Terms and Conditions
When you collect your engagement ring you are often presented with a wad of paperwork including a diamond certificate, receipt and warranty that are promptly filed away and forgotten about. If your ring becomes tarnished or dirty, it’s time to dig them out of the folder and check your cover. Some jewellers offer a “free cleaning for life” service which means you can drop your ring into the jeweller it was purchased from and get it cleaned professionally with zero cost. Now, where did you put the receipt?!
3. Baking Soda Paste
Making a paste with cold water and baking soda mixed to a thick consistency is a fantastic and safe way to bring back the sparkle. Rub the paste all around the ring and leave for a couple of minutes before immersing in cold water and rinsing thoroughly. A super quick way to restore a ring to its former glory on the cheap.
4. Can you Really Use Vodka?
There are many blog posts singing the praises of cleaning your engagement ring using a spirit such as vodka or gin. Is it a potentially detrimental old wives tale or is it a powerful and safe cleaning method? A trawl through various blog posts will show that few reputable jewellers recommend this as a safe cleaning method and when in doubt, avoid! avoid! avoid!. Instead, try an ammonia rinse with equal parts cold water and ammonia and leave the ring in the solution for 5 minutes (you can leave it in there for up to half an hour if the ring is particularly grubby and tarnished). This is a safer method than using alcohol and let’s face it, why waste valuable vodka on cleaning when it could be in a tall glass mixed with a fruit juice and topped off with plenty of ice? A much better use!
5. Are the Jewellery Specific Cleaners Better?
You may have seen jewellery cleaners in the shops for a rather steep price. Professional jewellers sometimes sell this but the truth is there is nothing in that little pot that will achieve a better finish than any of the simple cleaning agents outlined above. The only real benefit of jewellery specific cleaners is the teeny brush that often comes with them, which helps to really get into those intricate little spaces and get rid of the dirt that lurks within them. The advice from many pros? Buy the kit once and save the brush, or use a soft bristled baby toothbrush as a far cheaper alternative that’s just as effective.
Of course it goes without saying that prevention is better than cure and best practice is always to take the ring off at night and pop it in its box, as well as before showering or bathing, deep cleaning the house (to avoid it coming into contact with harsh chemicals) and swimming. There will of course be times when you forget to do this as busy life takes over, so having these handy home remedies available to rectify little slip ups is vital. Remember, larger scratches should always be checked out by a professional jeweller.