I want to come clean with a sparkly scenario. Let’s say you have a diamond ring ’cause you’re engaged, married, or have inherited something blingy. Let’s say you wear it, even daily. Does the sparkle fade after a few days of wear? Do you want to bring the brilliant diamond blingy back?

I’m not a huge ring or earring wearer, but the few pieces I do own I prefer to wear clean. I don’t know how rings get sooo dirty. The prongs and basket on a ring setting seem to be collectors of great clumps of junk. It’s gross. Besides, the grime and oil we humans seem to exude does nothing to keep a diamond fingerprint free and clean.

One answer is to bring your gems to a jeweler who will steam your rings and things clean. But I find this option expensive, and not practical for those wearing rings daily.

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Another answer to keeping diamond rings spotless is to use something called an Ultrasonic Cleaner. These ultrasonic cleaner things seem to be all the rage in larger city centers where diamonds are as big as home mortgages. They work by placing jewelry pieces into a chamber containing special ultrasound conducting fluid and electronically activating the machine to produce ultrasonic waves through a transducer. Phew, physics anyone? Anyways, both the fluid and the machine are expensive to purchase, the machine is expensive to maintain, and the violent shaking of these cleaners can loosen and dislodge diamonds in delicate settings. Diamond ring settings containing very small pave, channel, and bead set diamonds can easily get eaten in such machines.

I don’t want you to spend a fortune or obtain a degree in physics just to clean your rings. So I’ll share an inexpensive and easy way to keep your diamond things clean. Here’s how:

What you need:

  • Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol 70%, $1.75 at your local drug store.
  • Small bristle brush, .99 each at your local drug store.
  • Facial tissue, .99 cents.

How to clean:

  1. Place your ring in a small dish filled with rubbing alcohol, just enough to cover the top of the ring.
  2. Soak the ring for 1-2 minutes in the alcohol.
  3. Brush ring carefully yet vigorously with soft bristle brush. Be sure to scrub between setting prongs and under the basket and shank.
  4. Resoak ring for another 2 minutes, and then dry on a tissue.
  5. Your diamond ring will look brand new! Repeat every other day for best results.

I’ve used this ring cleaning method on all sorts of metal jewelry, including: white gold, yellow gold, and platinum. I’ve soaked sapphire and ruby gemstone rings and earrings. I would only recommend using this method on hard gems though, like diamonds, sapphires, and rubies. Softer gems like emerald, opal, amethyst, topaz, garnet, tourmaline, peridot, and moonstone should be cleaned in warm water. Organic gems like pearls, coral, shell, amber, and ivory may be best cared for by a trusted jeweler.

Are you a ring clean fiend? Have a frugal method for cleaning non-frugal jewelry?