The diamonds and gemstones we wear on our hands grow dull as they pick up finger oil along with bits of dust and sloughed-off skin cells that adhere to the oil. Not to mention, lotion, ladies, if we put it on without taking our ring off, first. And since we ship our Celtic-inspired diamond and colored gemstone puzzle engagement rings all over the world, so we can’t just say, “Drop by our shop whenever you want your gemstone cleaned.”
We do offer a free annual cleaning and polish for your ring (you pay only the shipping), but honestly, you can keep your puzzle ring jewel(s) sparkling all by yourself, in the comfort of your own home, with no special jewelry cleaners or equipment beyond what you can find at local stores.
This article will explain how to keep your Crystal Realm 14K gold (in any color), palladium, or platinum puzzle engagement ring clean and sparkly. It is safe for all the diamonds or colored stones we mount in rings, unless I tell you personally that your particular gemstone needs special care. This is not intended to be a general jewelry cleaning lesson. Different metals and different stones require different cleaning solutions.
The methods and cleaning solutions I suggest here are proven to be safe for our puzzle engagement rings, and I cannot vouch for instructions given on other websites, which sometimes, by the way, offer conflicting instructions.
First, here is a list of what to avoid when cleaning your ring, as they may damage your ring and/or jewel(s) over time:
- Toothpaste (is abrasive)
- Baking soda (is very abrasive)
- Any kind of harsh chemical (can damage some stones)
I include ammonia in the list of what to avoid. It is in most commercial jewelry cleaners, but I don’t use it, have never used it on jewelry, and I can assure you that you really do not have to resort to such a harsh product to clean your puzzle ring. My avoidance of ammonia-based cleaners is long entrenched – Austrian crystal jewelry and suncatchers can be pitted by long-term use of ammonia, so for the 34+ year history of our business, which was launched as a crystal provider, we have never used ammonia-based cleaners, and I’ve not missed them or their strong, unpleasant odor.
How to clean your Celtic Puzzle Engagement Ring with diamond(s) or colored gemstone(s)
Don rubber gloves. Clean your sink, rinse it, and put a stopper in it. This is so you won’t drop your ring down the drain if you handle it near or in the sink.
Fill a dessert-sized bowl with the hottest tap water into which you can safely and comfortably put your rubber-glove protected fingers. (Do not use hot water for emeralds or opals – use lukewarm water for these stones.) Pour or spray a tablespoon or two of simple household cleaner into the hot water and stir. The one I use is “Cedar & Sage” from Trader Joe’s. Seventh Generation makes an all-purpose cleaner they describe this way:
- Non-toxic & biodegradable
- Does not create harsh fumes
- Not tested on animals (This may not be one of your personal criteria for cleaning your jewelry, but it is more likely that a company that does not test products on animals will produce the type of non-toxic cleaner I recommend)
You want a cleaner that is not “soapy” and does not contain harsh chemicals. If you cannot find a cleaner fitting both criteria, opt for a soapy one over a chemical one. If you need to use a soapy cleaner, I recommend Woolite, Dr. Bronner’s, Ivory Liquid, or Dawn Liquid.
Slip off your puzzle ring and hold it by the very back of the ring. Dip the front (i.e., the top or the part with gemstones) in the cleaning solution, and swish it back and forth a dozen times. You may then leave your ring to soak in the solution for up to fifteen minutes, if you wish. If you think you need to use a brush to clean your ring, use a small soft art paintbrush, rather than a brush with stiff bristles. (Again, do not use hot water for emeralds or opals – use lukewarm water for these gems.)
Now it’s time to rinse your ring. This is where the stopper in your sink comes in – be sure it is in place before you bring your ring to the sink. Rinse the ring well under running warm water. Place it in on a soft dry cloth. Blow it with a hair drier to dry it quickly or pat dry with part of the cloth. If you have soft water, you can likely leave it to air-dry, but if your water is hard, and you leave it to air dry, minerals will cake your ring, which will introduce an entirely different kind of cleaning problem. Another quick way to dry your ring: Compressed air (you can buy a can at an auto parts store).
As for the cloth? Any absorbent cloth will do – just stay away from bath towels or other linty fabrics – and if you want the very best, order the “Purple Rags in a Bag” from the Fly Lady. No, I don’t get a commission, but these are lint-free micro-fiber cloths that are so worth the money (About $13.95 for three, and, as a side benefit, you’ll never use window cleaner again on your glass).
Once it’s dry, you can buff the metal bands of your ring with said cloth, to bring up the shine. Or, order a treated polishing cloth to buff up the metal beautifully.
Alternate Quick Cleaning
An alternate way to clean your puzzle engagement ring, and the one I usually use myself: If you have an espresso maker with a steam setting, and you can protect your fingers from the heat with a wooden ring clamp, shown below, hold the ring at the back and place the jewel(s) into the steam spray. Move the ring all around, so the steam gets the diamond clean from the top, the sides, underneath, all directions. Then use compressed air to dry it. The result? Super quick, super sparkle!!
Please note: Do not use steam or hot water on emeralds. Emeralds are brittle and can break with heat. Heat also dries the oil in emerals.
If you have any questions about cleaning your Crystal Realm Celtic Puzzle Engagement Ring, be sure to contact me.
Wooden ring clamp for steam-cleaning your diamond or gemstone puzzle ring.