DuJour Navigation

Ask A Wedding Expert: Engagement Ring Care

Learn how to keep your rock dazzling with these tips from fine jewelry designer Ashley Zhang

If you consciously remove your engagement ring (or fine jewelry in general) every time you apply lotion, wash dishes, shower, or even sleep–we applaud you. While we all may strive to practice that behavior, it isn’t always the reality. The more you do with your ring on can directly impact the radiance of your jewels. In other words, wear and tear is real.

That’s why we recruited Ashley Zhang, fine jewelry supernova and girl boss extraordinaire to reveal her jewelry-cleaning tips and tricks. Zhang is a fine jewelry designer who boasts unique craftsmanship and individuality in each and every one of her creations, all of which are made from recycled and traceable materials. Zhang’s designs are made to last a lifetime. With that comes the responsibility of taking care of your personalized, modern heirloom on a daily basis.

Her first bit of advice is to make sure you remove your jewelry before your daily rituals. While washing dishes is the obvious no-no, there are other tasks that can in fact de-dazzle your ring, like sleeping. Zhang recommends laying your jewelry out flat to avoid tangling and scratching before bed. This will not only help to keep your ring looking clean and beautiful, but will also minimize the risk of any damage. Keep reading to find out from the wedding expert herself, Ashley Zhang, her top techniques and how often you should be scrubbing your engagement ring.

How often should you clean your ring?
It’s best to clean your ring once a week or every other week. You should take your ring to a professional jeweler once or twice a year to get your ring steam cleaned, and if you have a prong setting or pavé, to get your prongs checked.

What products should you use?
The easiest way to clean your ring at home is to soak your ring in a cup of warm water with a drop of dish soap. Use a soft toothbrush to clean away any build up of dirt. Then rinse in clean water. Make sure that you hold your ring very carefully when over the sink drain. I also recommend buying an ultrasonic cleaner. They can be purchased for under $50. Ultrasonic machines create high-frequency sound waves in water or cleaning solutions that can deep clean jewelry by dislodging dirt and debris from behind stones and other hard-to-reach areas of the piece. If you have had your ring for a while its best to take it to a jeweler before you start using the ultrasonic machine as it can shake any buildup around the diamonds and they can come loose.

How should you clean mixed metals or mixed stones?
Emeralds, tanzanite, alexandrite, opals, pearls, or any other soft or porous stones should all be taken to a professional jeweler to be cleaned. Emeralds, for example, tend to have tiny fractures within the stones; you want to be sure that your cleaning method is not weakening those fractures and damaging the stones. Diamonds, sapphires, gold and platinum are all safe to use both the dish soap and ultrasonic cleaning methods.

Which is better: by hand or with help from a machine?
I like to keep the ultrasonic machine at home and use it once a week. When I am on vacation I use the dish soap method.