Keeping your ring clean, however, isn’t just about keeping it sparkly. “It also gives you a way to inspect your ring on a regular basis,” explains Stephanie Maslow-Blackman, owner of Metalicious. When it’s sparkling, you’ll be better able to inspect its stones and prongs, looking for a loosening setting or chips in your stone’s surface—and if you find something, you’ll be able to take it to your jeweler before it’s too late.
Our experts recommend cleaning your engagement ring every couple weeks, or more if you’re wearing it during household chores and strenuous activities, such as outdoor sports. Simply put, “the more of this you do, the more often you should clean your ring,” says Elbaz. You can’t clean it too much.
When you clean it, avoid using harsh chemicals—think: bleach, chlorine, and acetone—and commercial, silver and gold cleaners whenever possible. Instead, our experts suggest turning to two household staples to get your ring really shining again: Soap and warm water.
Fill a small bowl with warm water and a squeeze of dishwashing soap, then drop your ring into the dish for a 15-minute-long soak. “This will loosen any dirt, lotion, or dried soap that has settled into any crevices or behind your gemstone,” says Maslow-Blackman. Once it’s had its bath, take your ring out for a rinse. Run it under a steady stream of warm water—making sure your sink drain is stopped—and turn it around, so the water can run over the top and bottom of the ring.
If you spot any lasting residue, take a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently scrub around the stone, taking care to hit the bottom, where the light shines through and really gives your gem its sparkle.
Finally, “dry your ring with a soft cotton cloth—no paper towels, because they will scratch your metal—and let it air dry for about 15 to 30 minutes before putting it back on,” says Maslow-Blackman.
And while you can definitely keep your ring in shape on your own at home, you should also bring your ring back to your jeweler once a year for a thorough ultrasonic cleaning, says Slisha Kankariya, cofounder of Four Mine. “This will ensure that it gets a deep cleaning to keep it looking forever new,” she says. And bonus? Most jewelers will happily offer this service as part of their lifetime warranties, which means you won’t have to pay when you stop by.