Posts Tagged Cleaning
‘Can it clean a Diamond Ring?’ Probably, but may do more damage. Here’s how.
Posted by Michael Wall Bepsoke in Give me your Thoughts, The Gems of Information on November 4, 2012
There is an ad on the telly box that annoys me slightly. Now I don’t really mind the fact it is mainly trader’s puff, and in all fairness the claims in the advert are true. It will clean anything.
However even though it may ‘clean’ your Diamond Ring it may do serious damage to the metals, other stones and finish.
When I sent a Tweet pleading with all you lovely people not to clean your Diamond Rings with this product, I forgot to say do not clean any jewellery in that manner. There are one or two correct ways, and a plethora of incorrect ways.
The most you need to do is use a soft lint free cloth, or a polishing cloth.
There’s a distinct difference between cleaning and removing a tarnished look.
Is your Ring dirty? Is there grit or dirt or foreign substances on it? If yes, it may need a clean. If it’s a little off colour or tarnished then it needs a polish etc.
Now I hear you all saying ‘Oh I clean mine in Baking Soda’, or ‘Granny cleans hers in Gin’, ‘I use Vodka’, and ‘I scrub mine with an old toothbrush’.
Firstly, if you are using Gin, or Vodka, or any other clear Alcohol here’s what you do. Take a glass, fill with ice, add sliced lime (or lemon), then pour in a decent measure of Gin or Vodka, top with your favourite mixer (I use Tonic, but any mixer will do), some garnish if you are so inclined, then sit, relax and enjoy. End of. The Gin is for drinking. So is the Vodka, so no more of that.
Toothpaste is an abrasive, especially the whitening pastes etc. It can scratch stones, even the metals. Yes it can, as Gold is not indestructible, and neither is Platinum. So no more of that either.
Using a toothbrush to clean it can be a dangerous method if it is old or stiff bristled. As well as dislodging dirt, it may dislodge a stone. Dirt may have also dislodged a stone as it caked on, so an overnight soak in a proper cleaning solution would be the best option. From there you can see if your stone(s) are loose. I’ll get to that in a bit. If not, use a soft bristled brush and the same cleaning solution to gently clean the setting and the stone(s).
Let’s just look at the simplest, most effective method to clean your Rings.
As I mentioned previously if it is caked in dirt it is best to soak overnight in a solution of warm water and washing up liquid. Yes, washing up liquid. What you need to do is just use that soapy solution to allow the dirt to soften so it will become easily dislodged with the minimum of effort.
For the majority of you they won’t be caked in dirt, so here you go.
Take a small bowl, preferable plastic or any material that won’t damage the Diamond Ring lest you drop it.
Using warm water and a drop or two of washing up liquid, immerse the Ring in and leave to soak. Take the ring by the shoulder (the pieces to the left and right of the setting), hold firmly, and clean gently with a soft brush. An artist’s bristle brush or a soft unworn toothbrush is fine for this.
Rinse with clean water and dry with a soft lint free cloth.
Your Ring is clean. If there is still some dirt remaining repeat the process, or consider soaking for a longer period.
That is it. No more.
If your Ring still has scratches or looks dull after cleaning that does not mean you have done it incorrectly. Cleaning won’t remove that. To remove scratches it will need to be professionally done.
There are a few points I want you to note:
Ultrasonic cleaners: Never ever put an Emerald, Tanzanite, Opal, Coral or Pearl in. Some mineral and organic Gems will crack, fracture and even dissolve! Stones that have been thermally enhanced or treated in some way can lose their colour. Be aware of your Gems, even Diamonds can come out worst for wear. So if in doubt leave it out.
Vigorous Cleaning: There is no need. As mentioned earlier a stone can be dislodged or pushed aside if dirt has built up. Here’s something you may not know. A Diamond will scratch, erode and wear metal if it is loose in its setting. Surprised? I thought so. Diamond is a very hard substance and will wear a setting if it is loose. If a stone is loose in its setting it can become looser over time by wearing away the surrounding setting.
Loose Stones: After you soaked the Ring overnight how can you check if the setting is loose? Here is a very handy way of doing this. Get yourself a cotton bud (cue-tip) remove the cotton ball, and just tip the Stone with it. If the stone moves, or appears to move, get it checked as soon as you can.
Detergents and cleaning agents: Some of these leave a soapy scum, some remove oils from Emeralds and other porous minerals. Some contain harsh chemicals and abrasives, that not only affect the Gems, but the Gold or Platinum and the metals mixed with them. So no more use of toothpaste’s or any chemical substances that could damage your jewellery.
Care: Yes I’m going to tell you to keep your Jewellery in a pouch, or a box. I know in the real world we all don’t sit at home in front of mirrors unclipping our Diamond Earrings before we go to bed, but a little care and attention goes a long way towards maintaining your Jewellery. It minimises the amount of knocks, and possible damage.
So there you go. I hope that covered the basics. Any questions feel free to ask. As always I welcome your feedback.
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