When it comes to engagement rings, finding the perfect stone and setting is just the first step. If you want your ring to last a lifetime, you have to give it proper care – not unlike a marriage.

“Most stones do not actually ‘lose their sparkle’ but instead just need a good cleaning. This can be done at home, but jewelers are able to better reach behind settings and give your ring a deep cleaning during servicing. Many clients feel like they have a new ring after having it cleaned because they have forgotten how sparkly their ring once was!” explains Sarah Dickinson, e-commerce manager at Mociun.

To help keep your ring as beautiful as the day you said “yes,” here are a few do’s and don’ts for cleaning and maintaining fine jewelry from industry experts.

DO clean your ring regularly

For everyday grime (makeup, dirt, hairspray, etc.), a weekly at-home cleaning session should be sufficient. For most rings, you can simply soak your ring in a bowl of hot water and a few drops of dish soap and then use a soft toothbrush to remove any leftover spot, says Krish Himmatramka, founder and CEO of Do Amore Rings.

DON’T clean it every single day

There is, however, such a thing as cleaning your ring too much.

“No need to clean your ring every day. While safe cleaning won't cause any harm, it does lead to a larger chance of dropping your ring down the sink, dropping it when it's slippery with soap, etc.,” says Himmatramka. “Also, don't make the mistake of having your jeweler polish the ring too often. Every time you polish a ring, a layer of metal comes off. You don't want to over polish. Otherwise, the ring will become too thin, too fast.”

DO research the best method for your ring

Different metals and stones require different cleaning methods, so double check to see if it’s safe for your specific ring before diving in with more than soap and water.

“Diamonds and sapphires are very durable stones and require different cleaning solutions and methods, opposed to more delicate stones like emerald, turquoise, and opals,” says Dickinson.

Also, be cautious when using tools like an ultrasonic cleaner. The vibrations, which remove buildup, can be dangerous on rings with small or delicate stones, causing them to loosen or fall from their settings.

DO take it off before certain activities

Although your ring is certainly the perfect accessory for any occasion, it’s important to avoid unnecessary wear and tear.

“[Our founder Caitlin Mociun] always says to treat your jewelry like a silk dress. If you are wondering if you should take a piece off before doing an activity, first think, would I do this in a silk dress? If the answer is no, it is best to take off your jewelry,” advises Dickinson.

Activities like working out or manual labor can cause your hands to swell, making it difficult to remove. Physical activity also increases the chances of damaging your ring, so it’s best to avoid a potential accident.

Dickinson also recommends removing your ring before bathing, doing dishes or washing your hands. “Water can become trapped behind your rings and cause irritation. Also, some hand sanitizers and soaps may not be safe for more delicate stones like opals and pearls,” she says.

DON’T store your ring just anywhere

When you’re not wearing your ring, be sure to keep it in a secure location, so it doesn’t get misplaced or damaged. Dickinson recommends utilizing a storage dish with an elongated top for when you go to bed and a necklace with a fob for when you’re out and about.

DO get it professionally serviced annually

In addition to regular at-home cleanings, Himmatramka recommends getting your ring professionally serviced once or twice a year or before a major event. That way, they can take care of any stubborn grime or do preventative maintenance.

He also advises only polishing your ring every few years, but it’s not required.

“Many times, people like the patina that many precious metal rings develop over time and may actually opt-out of polishing their ring,” Himmatramka adds.

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