Diamonds get dirty. There’s not much you can do to prevent this because they pick up oils from your skin and then dirt sticks to them; this is particularly true of diamond rings, which are constantly in contact with your fingers. A diamond that is dirty loses its shine and also reveals inclusions that you ordinarily wouldn’t be able to see. However, there is certainly a way fix this and keep your diamond jewelry sparkling like new.
Let’s take a look at of some of the Do’s and Don’ts for routine diamond maintenance:
DO Soak Your Jewelry In Warm Water
A gentle bath in warm water will remove dirt and dust, giving your diamonds a nearly ‘like new’ look after soaking for just a half-hour. Try to find a small container to prepare the bath or, if you soak your jewelry in a sink, be sure to plug the drain so you don’t lose anything.
DON’T Use General Cleaning Solutions
Anything that is corrosive or could harm your stone in any way should not be used. Although general cleaning solutions might be safe for most materials, it is typically not good to use them to clean your diamonds since you may not know exactly what chemicals are in the solution and whether they are harmful for diamonds. It is best not to leave this to chance. The only exception is cleaning solution that is specifically meant for diamond jewelry.
As for ammonia and alcohol, these chemicals might generally be thought to be safe for your jewelry but it is best to avoid them, as you can’t go wrong just using warm water.
DO Use A Soft Toothbrush And Soap
To really get your diamond to shine, you can remove excess dirt that did not wash off in the bath by gently scrubbing it with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Adding basic soap to the mix is a great alternative to cleaning solutions. Just a little bit will go a long way, so start with a bar of soap (the kind you would have in your shower, or general liquid hand soap) and scrub off a thin layer with your toothbrush. Then briefly run the bristles under water and, very gently, glide the bristles along your stone. Rinse the ring in your warm water bath and make sure all of the soap is removed. If the soap is not fully rinsed, then it can dry and leave streaks on your diamond.
A soft-bristle toothbrush has very fine bristles that poke-up at the top, which provide an extra-gentle touch when used to clean your diamonds
BE CAUTIOUS Using Ultrasonic Cleaners Or Steam Cleaners
If you take your jewelry to a jeweler for regular cleaning, ask if they use ultrasonic cleaners or steam cleaners. Ultrasonic cleaners remove dirt by pulsing high-frequency sound waves through a bath. Jewelry is placed in the bath and then the sound waves send powerful vibrations through the solution, which removes the dirt. The problem is that if your stone is loose in its setting, it can fall out. Also, if you have a 3-stone setting and one of the diamonds is loose, it can crack the other diamonds around it.
Steam cleaners use intense pressure to spray water against your jewelry to remove dirt. However, this too can knock your diamond out of its setting, or smash it against the surrounding stones. So, unless your jeweler has extensively examined the state of your diamonds in their settings, it is best not to use either of these cleaning methods.
DO Schedule Routine Check-Ups
You should either clean your diamond jewelry yourself or take it to your jeweler for cleaning every 6 months. Scheduling a regular time to care for your jewelry in this way does two things: First, it guarantees that your diamonds will look their best whenever you wear them, and; second, it helps to ensure that any loose stones will be noticed before it is too late.
Always remember that diamond jewelry requires more care than most jewelry, and that it is always possible to make your diamonds appear the way they did when you first got them simply by taking care of them regularly and cleaning them properly.