Birthstone rings, similar to other types of jewelry, are susceptible to everyday wear and tear. Over time, You may notice that the natural beauty of your ring has begun to diminish, resulting in dullness, scratches, and dirt build-up. Thankfully, restoring your birthstone's natural shine and texture is possible with a bit of good old-fashioned cleaning. We've researched the best techniques to clean your birthstone ring.
For the most part, most birthstone rings can be cleaned using similar cleaning methods and products. Here is a list of general steps to clean a birthstone ring:
- Soak the ring
- Lightly scrub the ring
- Rinse the ring with water
- Dry the ring
Like any other gemstone, birthstones should be cleaned regularly to keep them looking their shiny and brilliant best. When purchasing a birthstone for the first time, it's helpful to ask the jeweler about the best way to clean and maintain it. However, the steps above are a tried-and-true method for cleaning birthstone rings; continue reading as we delve into how to do each. We'll also give some tips for particular types of gemstones and answer what the alternative, a professional cleaning, might cost.
How to clean birthstone rings
Things you'll need:
- Mild dish soap or laundry detergent
- A lint-free cloth
- Warm water
- A bowl
- Gemstone jewelry cleaner
- A new disposable toothbrush or jewelry brush
1. Soak the ring
Start by soaking your gemstone ring in a solution of warm water with a few drops of dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent. Allow it to soak for about two to three minutes. If you are using a commercial jewelry cleaner, be sure to follow the cleaner's directions so that you soak the ring for the appropriate amount of time.
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2. Lightly scrub the ring
Remove the ring from the soapy water and brush it to remove any dirt or debris. Be sure not to brush the ring too aggressively and not scratch the stone or the metal. You can also use a toothbrush or shaved matchstick to pick out any hard-to-reach dirt or grime.
If you use a toothbrush to clean the birthstone, be sure that it is a brand new toothbrush and not a previously-used one. Previously used toothbrushes may still contain toothpaste remnants, which may be harmful to the stone and metal.
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3. Rinse the ring with water
Once you're satisfied that the ring is thoroughly clean, rinse with soapy water (or a jewelry cleaner). Finally, rinse it with clean, warm water. Be sure not to use hot or cold water when rinsing the ring, as the drastic temperature change can potentially damage the surface of the gemstone or metal.
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4. Dry the ring
Next, take a soft, lint-free cloth and gently buff the ring dry. You can also shake the ring to get rid of any excess water around the stones in the ring --but hold on tightly and shake gently not to send it flying across the room!
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Specific Birthstone Cleaning Methods
Though birthstone rings can generally be cleaned using the same method, below are guidelines for cleaning the most popular stones.
The best way to clean emeralds is to remove any grime and dust using a microfiber cloth. You can apply mild dish soap and water, then simply rub to restore the natural sparkle. Afterward, rinse the ring with warm water and dry it with a lint-free cloth.
Most rubies, whether they are heat-treated or untreated, can be cleaned with warm water as well. If the stone has any open cavities or contains any fractures, the best way to clean it is by simply using a damp cloth (and no brush). You can also use steam cleaners and ultrasonic cleaners on these stones.
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Sapphires can typically be cleaned using the same methods as rubies because they are the same mineral, simply different colors. This includes soaking them in soapy water and brushing them gently to remove any grime or dirt.
Diamonds are probably one of the easiest birthstones to clean. You can use soapy water or ammonia to clean the stones, which is best if they are set in solid gold bands. Or you can take a gentler approach and use mild warm soapy water and a soft brush to clean them. The latter method is best for silver bands, as they are a bit more delicate.
You can also clean tanzanite with warm soapy water. However, be sure to test the water on the inside of your wrist, as water that is too cold or too hot can cause this birthstone to crack. A few drops of mild dish soap and lukewarm tap water will do the trick to restore its natural shine. Also, be sure that your cleaning solution does not contain any bleaches or ammonia.
The most important tip to remember when cleaning citrine birthstones is to avoid any heat near the stone, as it is quite sensitive to it. This means no steam cleaners and using ultrasonic cleaners with caution. The best way to restore its shine is to use mild soap or detergent and let it soak for a few minutes before scrubbing it with a soft brush. Also, be sure to buff and dry thoroughly to avoid spotting.
Aquamarine is another birthstone that can be cleaned with warm water and mild dish soap. When cleaning this stone, be sure to rinse it off thoroughly, as the dish soap may leave a cloudy residue. Buffing it dry with a microfiber cloth will help to restore its brilliance.
Tourmaline is another birthstone that can be cleaned with soapy water. It is also sensitive to heat. Avoid steam and ultrasonic cleaners when cleaning this stone, and be sure to brush it gently to avoid scratching its surface.
Rubellite is a pink-reddish variety of the tourmaline stone and can be cleaned using the same method--mild dish soap, warm water, and a soft brush. You also want to avoid heat when cleaning the stone.
If you have any doubts about the best method to clean your birthstone, it's best to contact an experienced jeweler who will know the proper methods depending on the type of gemstone and metal that your ring contains.
How Often Should You Clean A Ring?
It depends. The frequency with which you clean your rings really depends on how often you wear them. It also depends on the stones within the ring, if any. For example, diamonds are way more resilient than opal or citrine, so they may not need to be cleaned as often. If you are wearing a ring daily, especially when the ring is likely to get dirty, you should probably clean the ring every one to two weeks.
Your cleaning routine could be just a mild cleaning with soap and water to remove any dirt, grime, or accumulation of lotion that may have gathered on the surface of the metal or stone. If you wear the ring less often, you may want to opt for monthly cleaning. Sometimes, all the ring may need is a gentle wipe down with a jewelry cleaning cloth and a small jewelry cleaning brush.
Other times, it may need a more thorough cleaning or a soak in a jewelry cleaning solution to remove any embedded dirt and debris. You can also take your jewelry to a professional jeweler to clean it for you. And if you purchased the ring at the store, it may offer free cleanings.
Can You Clean Jewelry With White Vinegar?
Vinegar is slightly acidic and can potentially damage your jewelry. However, it is sometimes used to clean precious metals. It's not advised to use vinegar on soft or porous stones, as it could damage the stone's surface being that it's so abrasive. A better homemade cleaning solution for your jewelry is a solution of mild dish detergent and warm water.
Let your jewelry sit in the water for two to five minutes and then gently wipe it down with a damp cloth or scrub it lightly with a toothbrush to get rid of any debris. Next, simply rinse the ring with warm water and then buff it dry with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.
How Much Does It Cost To Have Your Ring Cleaned?
If your ring is expensive or you feel more comfortable having a professional clean it, the cost depends on the ring's metal type and stones' setting. Overall, ring cleaning services tend to be fairly inexpensive. If you have a ring with an intricate design that may take longer to clean, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $30 for professional cleaning. If it's a simple ring, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $20.
Oftentimes, jewelers offer a free ring cleaning service if you purchase your jewelry directly from them. You can also buy your own ultrasonic cleaning machine, which can cost anywhere from $25 to $140. These cleaners use ultrasonic vibrational energy to lift debris and dirt from rings without harming them. If you have pearls or soft precious stones, this may not be a suitable option, however.
Wrapping things up
Keeping your precious stones clean is one of the biggest proponents of proper care. We hope that this post has shown you the various ways that you can clean and maintain your birthstone rings.
Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:
Can Any Ring Be Used As An Engagement Ring?