Take care of those precious gems (without leaving the house).

By Maggie Seaver
July 13, 2020
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diamond engagement ring on a light blue background
Credit: Getty Images

Regularly deep-cleaning your wedding and engagement rings, especially if they’re studded with diamonds or other precious gemstones, is a must to ensure they stay as bright and brilliant as the day you said “I do.” It’s up to you whether you take your sparkler to get professionally cleaned once a year or give it a gentle scrub with household products every few weeks (or both). Either way, thanks to everyday wear, your jewelry inevitably picks up dirt, germs, and grime, so periodic ring baths are essential.

The thing is, you won’t always have a spare 45 minutes to soak and scrub your rings—and you might not always have a safe place to remove and store them during possibly dirty and damaging activities (like making meatballs or rearranging furniture). So in between more intense washes or trips to the jeweler, you’ll want to protect your wedding bands from dents and scratches (like while you're lifting weights) and to buff any precious stones quickly (like after a particularly long day of gardening).

Here are some handy tips, tools, and products for safeguarding and sprucing up your rings so they last a lifetime.

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1 Basic Dish Soap (and a Soft-Bristle Toothbrush)

Yes, it’s really as simple as giving your rings a quick suds with basic household finds. Kaeleigh Testwuide, founder of The Diamond Reserve, breaks down how to do it right:

“Soak your engagement ring in hot water and gentle dish soap in a bowl weekly. Let it soak overnight. When you remove it take a soft-bristle toothbrush and give it a gentle scrub. Rinse with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. This is so easy, and will keep your ring shining bright.”

Ukoke, UUC06S, Ultrasonic Cleaner, Professional Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner with Timer
Credit: amazon.com

2 Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner

Professional-grade jewelry cleaners are available at many different price points, and Testwuide insists you don’t need the most expensive one to see results. This one is under $30 and deep cleans everything from jewelry to sunglasses to baby bottles.

Use professional jewelry cleaner soap, too (Testwuide recommends Blitz 653 Gem & Jewelry Non-Toxic Cleaner). Fill the ultrasonic cleaner with water and mix in four caps of cleaner.“Soak your ring while you’re sleeping. When you remove your rings, give them a gentle brushing with a soft-bristle toothbrush, rinse with cold water, and pat dry with a paper towel,” Testwuide says, adding that you won't even need to use its vibration function if you’re diligent about soaking a few times week.

To buy: $29; amazon.com.

Buffr silicone protective band for engagement rings
Credit: mybuffr.com

3 Protective Silicone Buffr

Anxious about ruining your ring while working out? This protective silicon band from Buffr is designed to keep wedding and engagement rings safe from scuffs and scratches during workouts—and any other activities that invite potential damage. No need to take them off or worry about stowing them somewhere iffy.

To buy: $15; mybuffr.com.

Bling Brush engagement ring cleaner
Credit: amazon.com

4 Pocket-Size Bling Brush

Sadly, you can't bring your ultrasonic jewelry cleaner with you everywhere. But for a quick sparkler sprucing on the go, you can't go wrong with a Baublerella Bling Brush (it's also an easy and thoughtful engagement gift!). This mascara-sized cleaner pen fits in any bag or pocket. Just twist the brush end to release a bit of chemical-free diamond-cleaning formula and swipe until your jewelry—even the nooks of each stone and setting—looks good as new.

To buy: $18; amazon.com.

Sienna Appliances TrioShine 3 in 1 Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner Machine, Jewelry Steam Cleaner, UV Light Sanitizer
Credit: siennadirect.com

5 Heavy Duty Jewelry Steamer

If you're really not messing around when it comes to jewelry care, this full-service appliance is for you. It’s not cheap, but it means business. A three-in-one, professional grade jewelry cleaner with an ultrasonic bath, pressurized steamer, and UV light sanitizer will bring even the oldest, most delicate heirloom jewelry back to life and remove whatever’s dulling valuable pieces (lotion, makeup, oils, tarnish, dirt—you name it).

To buy: $180; amazon.com.