Caring for Your Bling

Today’s post is inspired by the fact that I had to bring my engagement ring to the jeweler for its first annual cleaning yesterday. I dropped it off at the jeweler who sold FH my ring (and who of course was trying to upsell me on the male and female wedding bands!—but apparently she gave FH a great deal on my ring so we’ll definitely consider her for the bands), which got me thinking about how I’ve been taking care of my ring, so just wanted to share that with you guys.


Mark Schneider Engagement Rings / Image via

Remove the ring before showering, washing dishes, or any activity that involves long exposure to water.

The last thing I want is for this bad boy to fall down the drain. It’s not even worth the risk, so I pretty much always take it off before doing these activities. I am guilty of wearing it sometimes while swimming (like when I’m on vacation and I don’t feel comfortable leaving it in the hotel safe), but for the most part you should definitely avoid exposing the ring to chlorine—it can cause damage.

Buy a ring holder so you always store it in the same place.

FH bought me this adorable little elephant ring holder, so I always put the ring there whenever I remove it for a prolonged period of time. A jewelry dish also works really well. If you have a large house you may want to have more than one of these, but keep the jewelry holder/stand/dish in the same place so you always know where to find your ring.


Elephant Ring Holder from Urban Outfitters

Clean the ring as often as needed. (There are a number of ways to do this.)

My friend Alyssa introduced me to the art of cleaning your ring with a toothbrush and toothpaste (yup, you read that correctly). She apparently does this every day and her ring always looks impeccable. Just give it a nice light brushing (dilute with a splash of water, and you may not want to use an abrasive toothpaste as that may scratch up the gold) for 15–30 seconds to really get into all the nooks and crannies, rinse, pat dry with a towel, and voila—a sparkly ring that smells vaguely minty fresh! It may sound crazy, but it works. Just make sure you PLUG THE DRAIN BEFORE ATTEMPTING THIS. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I’ve heard you can also use clear alcohol like vodka to clean the ring (and it kills germs too!). Also heard that dish soap, liquid detergent, or just plain old jewelry cleaning solution work too. Oh, and ALWAYS PLUG THE DRAIN BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANY CLEANING.

Take your ring for an annual “checkup.”

As I mentioned above, you should take your ring once a year to the jewelers for a professional cleaning but, most importantly, to make sure that the prongs holding your diamond in place have not become loose. It’s worth it—my jeweler only charged me $25. Just make sure it’s a jeweler you can trust since they may need to keep your ring overnight. (The last thing you need is someone switching out your diamond.)

Got any more ring-care tips, bees?


Mrs. Mongoose

New Haven, CT
Wedding Date:
May 2013

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  1. Member
    clairebear000 309 posts, Helper bee @ 6:24 am

    I leave my ring on as much as possible, really I think if I take it off I am going to lose it! Only when I have a bath or when I go play volleyball do I take it off (mostly so I don’t scratch the rest of my team!)
    I chose my E-ring to be really practical anyway so I can wear it everywhere, and I find that after doing the washing up my diamonds sparkle like crazy!

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Margot, Guest @ 11:09 am

    I actually use the steam wand on my espresso maker to clean my rings about once a month. As its just strong jetting steam, it does wonders to get oils and hand cream and soap and things out of tiny crooks and holes without worrying about scratching it or using soaps or chemicals. I’d definitely recommend it – we just use tongs to hold the ring in place so we don’t burn our hands!

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Kristy, Guest @ 11:11 am

    @Miss Leopard: I’m with you! I never take mine off unless I’m putting my hands in something gross or gooey (dough or making meatloaf). I even lift weights with it on! It fits snugly, meaning it’s not going to slip off while I’m doing dishes or washing my hair. I do have a ring holder though (bunny ears!) for the times I do take it off to knead dough.

  4. Member
    Rubies 887 posts, Busy bee @ 11:13 am

    Mine is actually off more than its on. I put my hands through a lot in a day, and I’d rather not have it damaged. I am switching to a plain band after we are married since it fits in better with my lifestyle.

    There are some interesting stories out there of women who never took their rings off, then had to go in for surgery and because their finger had grown larger, they had to have them cut off with like a saw! Another woman had her skin actually growing into the ring!

    So, while I am all for leaving it on a lot, maybe at least a once a month take it off, give it a little polish and give the skin beneath the ring some air.

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Sydney, Guest @ 11:32 am

    Good advice about the ring holder!! Although my jeweler just mentioned to me not to use toothpaste since it will do some damage. I’m exactly sure if its just because mine is white gold?? Just wanted to share tht little bit of info.

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    Mackenzie, Guest @ 11:53 am

    @Sydney: I’ve heard this too. Toothpaste is gritty. It’s meant to scrape plaque off your teeth and will over time scratch softer metals like white gold, silver and platinum.
    Someone else mentioned soaking rings in a solution of hot Windex/ammonia and hot water, I do this all the time and it works like a charm!

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Citrus Press Co, Guest @ 12:00 pm

    I take mine off through the day and it only goes back on when I go out. When I started to have kids I noticed the diamond/prongs scratched my babies or when I was trying to nurse or get them dressed or bathed, putting cream on them etc. I felt AWFUL when I scratched my first one across his face with it. It all healed fine, but being a first time mum this really made me think twice about wearing it. After that it was off unless I went to work or out – didn’t want to raise any eyebrows. I’m back to that again now that we’re on baby #2. Also, having baby-brain doesn’t help, so I have 3 spots around the house that I put – and it’s out of reach of small hands as well.

  8. Member
    Serendipity 10356 posts, Sugar Beekeeper @ 12:54 pm

    @mariewest: Since you work at a jewelry store, what’s your recommended way for cleaning at home?

    I personally clean with hot water and vinegar, it seems to work well for me.

    @Miss Mongoose: I would actually be careful about using toothpaste, my jeweler said it’s not a good idea. It can actually damage the stone and sometimes also sticks to it.

  9. Member
    Serendipity 10356 posts, Sugar Beekeeper @ 12:56 pm

    @Miss Gray Wolf: I’ve done something similar, it works well!

  10. Member
    msmongoose 264 posts, Helper bee @ 1:23 pm

    @Rubies: Whoaa that’s very disturbing about the skin growing into the ring. Gross!!

    @Margot: That’s GENIUS–I’ll have to try that :)

    @Sydney: @Mackenzie: Yea for sure, that’s why I make sure to use a regular toothpaste, not the gritty/abrasive kind. It’s been working like a charm for me so far but I know I have to be careful in choice of toothpaste.

  11. Guest Icon Guest
    Amy, Guest @ 3:49 pm

    I use an ultrasonic cleaner for all my jewelry…they are AMAZING!! U can get a good one at Brookstone, I’ll tell you they will make your jewelry look and sparkle like brand new!!!

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    Brandie, Guest @ 4:39 pm

    I’ve worked in jewelry for my entire adult life and told countless women to take their jewelry off. However, I hardly ever take mine off! I take care of it and I clean it professionally every day at work. Water is not going to damage a gold and diamond ring, the only danger there would be it falling down the drain.
    And $25 just to clean and inspect is a bit of a rip off! Especially if you got your ring there the cleaning should be free as many times as you want to take it by for that service. But it is very important to get your ring inspected or you’ll never know if you’re in danger of losing a diamond. All of the above mentioned cleaning methods are great but if you can, taking it to your local jeweler is the BEST clean you can get. I can clean mine at home and go to work and clean it again and it looks brighter and shinier all over.

  13. Member
    Future.McGuffee 293 posts, Helper bee @ 8:05 pm

    I use baking soda and warm water. Doesn’t harm my ring at all, and causes a gorgeous sparkle.

  14. Member
    Miss Party Cat 109 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:48 pm

    I use a baby toothbrush, hot water, and Windex. I’ve been collecting ring holders on our vacations.

  15. Guest Icon Guest
    bridalbridle, Guest @ 2:22 pm

    I’m genuinely surprised how many of you take your ring off regularly. I only ever take mine off to knead bread or put on hand cream, as it has small gaps in the sides where gooey stuff could get stuck. I know it will probably get scratched etc. but since I’m planning to wear it for my whole life, I figure it’ll get worn sometime…

  16. Member
    yuletide 58 posts, Worker bee @ 9:33 am

    I looove your ring holder! So cute!

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