Clean Your Diamond Ring!


You finally got the diamond you’ve been waiting for…

And now that you finger (neck, ears, wrist) is bling-tastic, keep it that way by cleaning your ring (and other jewelry for that matter) with a very simple and easy technique using products you already have at home. There are a lot of great ways to clean jewelry, this is one that I find works well.  I’ll also review a couple of other things you can try below.

Be mindful!

This method is safe for cleaning gold (white, yellow and rose), platinum and silver.  It is safe for diamonds but should not be used on opals, semi-precious stones, pearls costume jewelry or any other metal not listed here because they are softer and are prone to scratching. Do not use this to clean a watch either.

Don’t get risky.  If you have your grandmother’s pearls or a delicate antique piece, take it to a jeweler and have it professionally cleaned.  I think we can do a lot of cleaning and maintenance at home, but I also think there is a time and a place for professionals.  This would be one of them. They are trained on how to care for your most delicate and treasured pieces and will ensure they don’t get ruined.

Tools for the jewels

What I have found to work best is a simple method where a dab of gel toothpaste (no grit) is use, a soft bristle toothbrush and a bowl filled with warm water.  Have a soft cloth available for drying and polishing.

Be safe

I know this sounds a little bizarre, but cleaning your jewelry in an area where you could drop it (perhaps down a drain or a toilet) can create an optimum environment for an insurance claim or fun plumbing experience.  Keep your drains plugged and your toilet lids closed.  I recommend doing this at a table as opposed to anywhere remotely close to a plumbing fixture.  The law of attraction would have my ring in a drain in under 4 seconds.

Clean it up

Soak the piece(s) for about 10 minutes to loosen up any build up or debris (think about how many times you’ve put hand cream on without removing your ring).  When that’s done, add a pea-sized dab of toothpaste to the toothbrush and carefully pick up the piece.  Begin to ‘brush’ the jewelry, getting in to each little crevice possible (even under the setting.

Rinse the jewelry out in the bowl, removing all toothpaste and then lay it flat to dry.  I like buffing mine with a soft cloth (look for an ‘optical cloth’ to do this).

It’s quite simple!

Other Methods

Dish liquid for cleaning gold and diamonds

Try soaking the jewelry in dish liquid and water (warm, soapy water).  Do this for about 30 minutes (I do it in a glass).  Then, rinse well (again, plug your drain) and buff dry.  I’ve had OK success with this one, I have a girlfriend that swears by it.  I think using a toothbrush is helpful because it loosens that debris and build-up that otherwise can’t be tackled with just soap and water.

Tin foil for de-tarnishing silver

You can also line your sink basin with tin foil, add boiling hot water and 1 cup of baking soda.  Then, place your silver in and leave it for a few minutes, turning so that all sides can make contact with the tin foil.  This does a great job at cleaning up silver pieces (even plates, spoons, etc.).  Buff dry with a soft cloth.

Ultrasonic cleaner

These are amazing, they work by gently vibrating your jewelry in an enclosed basket and ‘shake’ off all dirt and debris, leaving your ring beautifully cleaned and shining brilliantly.  These can be expensive and some of the cheaper ones can shake a stone out of a setting (or if a stone is not properly set, this can happen too).

Steam cleaning

Sometimes I will ‘steam’ my jewelry.  Either when I am boiling water in the kettle and it starts to steam, I will hold up my ring and let the steam break down the debris (nothing falls into the kettle, rest assured) and then I buff it dry with a soft cloth.  You need to use tongs to hold the ring up to the steam or else you’ll have a burnt hand (but a shiny piece of jewelry).[/three_fourth]

Why cleaning jewelry is important

Aside from having it be fabulously sparkling, dirty jewelry can lead to a few minor health irritations.  Firstly, if you notice you are getting dry skin patches under your rings, it is either because your skin is moist under the ring (i.e. if you wash your hands and don’t dry them well enough, this irritation occurs).  As well, a ring can trap bacteria, which can lead to skin irritations.  In that case, cleaning your ring on the regular is a great idea.  Earrings need to be cleaned as well, since bacteria trapped can lead to infected pierced holes.

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Melissa Maker is the host of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube, editor-at-large of, and founder of Clean My Space (a well-known Toronto-based cleaning service). She's been knee-deep in the cleaning game since 2006. Follow Melissa: @MelissaMaker on Instagram, SnapChat & Twitter!


  1. two others asked about the proper strength (%) of alcohol to clean a microfil couch….
    neither got an answer……is 50% good enough?

  2. Melissa,

    I am a very busy professional with literally no time (or inclination) to bother with homemade cleaning tips, however….your videos and tips are so amazing that you’ve managed to convert me. I’m a big fan and I hope that you will continue to pump out these time-saving and low-cost tips. And speaking of tips…. I have boxes and boxes of Q-tips (don’t ask) and I wondered what tips you have for using these in a cleaning regime?

    • Madame Ash, those Q-tips are are great help for around faucets and bases, and tight places where cleaning cloths can’t reach, crevices in window sills, electronics, you name it…if your finger can’t get in the spot, a Q-tip can!

  3. I always soak my jewelry in hot distilled water an then I take a add a little drop of tooth gel (crest) an brush gently with a baby tooth brush for a few minutes then rinse in a bowel of distilled water Always Put Water In A Bowel NEVER CLEAN JEWELRY IN A SINK it always turns out bad you don’t want to loose anything. Only Use This Method For Gold Jewels Only ! I then buff the jewelry until shiny . This always works for me . Also I have used the method of soaking in a lid of hunts ketchup for 10mins then rinse clean in a bowel of water.hope this helps.

  4. I usually boil my ring in a pot of water with a little bit of dish liquid, but this time I forgot about it until the smoke alarm went off. Needless to say my ring is now discolore and I cannot get the gold back, causing the diamond to look dirty. Does anyone have any advice of how to fix this mess?

  5. Honestly…my jeweler always recommended “Scrubbing Bubbles” for cleaning my David Yurman wedding ring. No grit, no scrubbing, just spray it on, let it soak in for 15 seconds and rinse. Nothing else.

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