Cleaning Diamonds and Jewelry

Once you get that special high quality piece of diamond jewelry you will want it to do what you paid for, sparkle. To do that it will need to be kept clean.

How it gets dirty.

Jewelry can get a film of oil and dirt on it very quickly. This is because we use our hands all the time and in our modern world we deal with a wide variety of chemicals. Common ones are, makeup, lotion, soap, hair products, sweat, perfume, sea water, household cleaners and pool chemicals.

My advice

Keeping your jewelry clean takes a bit of work but is worth it in the beautiful jewelry that you get to wear. What my wife does to clean her wedding rings is to stop by the local mall jeweler (not to buy anything) and ask them to clean it while we shop around the mall. Most stores will do it for free and check the settings while they are at it. They are hoping to find something wrong so they can talk you into some service which is fine if it needs it and doing it locally is usually a fair deal. When she gets it back she always smiles because freshly cleaned platinum is amazing.

How to clean your jewelry.

First off, how not to clean your jewelry. DON'T use bleach it can weaken the metal and damage the gems. Also I would not recommend using toothpaste to clean your jewelry. It is an abrasive that can scratch some gems and metals. Many cleaning solutions recommend using ammonia but some metals and stones do not do well with ammonia.

Home cleaning solutions

Make a solution of 1 tablespoon of dishwashing detergent or car wash soap and two cups of lukewarm water. Let the jewelry soak for 20 minutes to loosen and dissolve the dirt and film. Next use a soft brush and/or a toothpick to clean out any remaining dirt. Finally rinse with warn clean water. Dry with a clean cotton cloth. Make sure to close the drain on the sink if you are doing this over the sink.

Store bought cleaners

Most jewelry stores sell cleaners and polishes that you can use at home to keep your jewelry clean. Ask your local jeweler about what they carry and recommend.

Steam Cleaners

I have seen jewelry cleaners that use steam to clean the jewelry. Steam cleaning anything is all the rage currently on the infomercials. After seeing one on a jewelry steam cleaner I had an idea. I already have a steam cleaner- my espresso machine. Espresso machines have a wand on them that creates steam. So I gave it a try and held my wife's platinum ring under the steam for a few seconds and it did seem to get cleaner. I would not try this with softer stones that might crack under the rapid temperature increase. If you would like to purchase a specially designed steam jewelry cleaner Amazon.com sells a wide assortment of Steam Cleaners

Ultrasonic cleaners

Ultrasonic cleaners are machines that use ultrasonic waves and water to clean jewelry at the microscopic level. The basic ultrasonic cleaner consists of a base unit that plugs into the wall and a tray that holds the jewelry and water. To operate them you place your jewelry in the tray and fill it with water and any cleaning solution that is provided with the machine. Next you turn it on and it will go through a cleaning cycle on its own. This usually takes less than five minutes. Many people do this every morning while they are in the shower.

The base unit emits sound waves at around 40,000 Hz which causes the water to cavitate. This cavitation creates millions of bubbles in the water which gently loosen dirt and grime from the jewelry. After it is removed from the tank it can be rinsed and dried and will look like new. Ultrasonic cleaners are not for all kinds of jewelry because some soft stones could crack or weaken with the ultrasonic waves.

Besides cleaning jewelry, ultrasonic cleaners can be used to clean watch bands, necklaces and eye glasses and coins. Any thing that is small and metal can usually be cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner which makes it quite handy to have around the house. If you are looking at getting an ultrasonic cleaner Amazon.com also sells a number of Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaners