Did you know it is important to keep your diamonds clean in order for them to maintain their sparkle? If you had worn your diamond jewelry for a while and wondered why it had suddenly became dull and lifeless, a dirty stone is very likely the cause.
Usually, the main culprit of a dirty diamond is grim and oil residues originating from fingers or skin contact. As the muck builds up on the surface, it can severely hamper the diamond’s ability to transmit light properly.
Note: even a thin film of oil on a diamond’s facet can completely change the angles in which light refracts and reflects; resulting in lower brilliance and sparkle.
When it comes to keeping your diamond clean and shiny, there are some ways for you to perform a simple cleaning routine at home.
Ultimately, the type of diamond and setting you own will determine the most ideal cleaning method to utilize. For example, certain ring designs like the 4 prongs or 6 prongs settings are relatively easier to clean compared to diamonds mounted in a bezel setting.
In general, the following 10-step method will work well for most types of diamond jewelry.
Step 1: Fill a small bucket or cup with warm water. The water should be lukewarm and not too hot for your hands to touch. Never use the sink basin with a blocked drain directly because you don’t want your treasured possessions to be accidentally washed down the drain.
Step 2: Pour some detergent into the warm water and mix well. You only need to use a very small amount of detergent to get the water slightly soapy.
Step 3: Place your diamond in the soapy water to soak for roughly ten minutes. This will give sufficient time for any built-up grim to breakdown and allow easy removal.
Step 4: Fill a second bucket with warm water and add a small amount of ammonia-based glass cleaner. NEVER use chlorine based cleaners because they might chemically react with some jewelry metals.
Step 5: After ten minutes in the detergent bath, remove your jewelry and place it in the second container with the glass cleaner.
(Steps 4 & 5 are entirely optional and recommended if your jewelry is really dirty)
Step 6: Remove the jewelry from the bath solution and start cleaning it with a soft bristle brush. Clean all sides of the diamond by brushing gently with the bristle brush. Since dirt normally builds up at the edges and the back of the ring in normal usage, you might want to give these areas an extra scrub.
If the jewelry has a prong-based type of setting, be careful not to brush vigorously as the bristles may get caught by the prongs and become loose when you apply excessive force.
Step 7: After brushing, place the diamond jewelry back into the solution of water and detergent. Brush the jewelry within the solution to wash off the loosened dirt.
Step 8: Now, use clean running water to rinse the jewelry. If you’re rinsing from the sink basin, remember to plug a strainer into the drain to avoid losing your jewelry by accident.
Step 9: Dry the jewelry with a piece of lint-free cloth and blow dry with a hair dryer if necessary. Tip: don’t allow the water to evaporate from the ring by itself as it can leave water stains on the diamond.
Step 10: Do a quick routine check on your jewelry for possible damage like the loosening of prongs.
• Dirt collected in between the prongs may be hard to remove even after soaking with detergent and brushing. In that case, you can use a toothpick to remove stubborn grim but always exercise caution.
• Do not use bleaching agents and other abrasive chemicals on your diamond jewelry. It may corrode the metal band of the ring and destroy the aesthetics of the ring’s finishing.
• Take care when placing your jewelry in extremely hot or warm water especially if you have jewelry with mixed gemstones. Some gemstones with inclusions at weak spots can shatter when experiencing a sudden temperature spike. Likewise, diamonds that had undergone clarity enhancements may require special cleaning procedures.
• Professional cleaning by a jeweler is my recommended choice since they have specialized equipment like steam cleaners which can remove stubborn gunk. On top of that, these cleaning services are usually performed free-of-charge and can be done at the same time you take your jewelry for repairs or routine checkups.
• There are special machines like ultrasonic cleaners which you can purchase for home use. When the machine is turned on, the sub-surface agitation generated will dislodge dirt particles effectively from the diamond’s surface. These cleaners usually come with a metal cup for you to place your jewelry in and have various modes of function for different jewelry types.
Always read the manufacturer’s manual carefully before usage especially if you have mixed gemstone jewelry. Diamonds can take the stress of an ultrasonic cleaning but that doesn’t mean gemstones like opals can withstand the same process.
Jewelry, and particularly diamonds, are some of the most expensive and prized possessions in a home. They tend to outlive most of your other possessions. And if you want to enjoy looking at a brilliant and sparkling gem, keep that as a reminder to perform regular cleaning routines.