by Brooke Bartlett
Wedding rings are meant to be worn daily in a variety of conditions and can easily become dirty and lose their shiny appearance. Daily build-up does not only affect the appearance of your wedding rings and engagement rings, but it can also damage the settings or loosen the precious stones. In order to keep your wedding rings in top condition, take the time to clean them once a week.
Consider your ring's composition. If your engagement rings and wedding rings are made of gold, platinum or titanium and have hard gemstones such as diamonds, cubic zirconias or moissanite gems, then you can use an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner or prepackaged jewelry cleaning solution to clean your rings. If your rings are made of sterling silver, it is important to avoid exposing them to cleaning chemicals. If your wedding rings contain any soft gemstones such as opals or pearls, stick with a simple solution of soap and water when cleaning them.
Mix your cleaning solution. If you choose not to use an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner or prepackaged jewelry cleaning solution, you can make your own jewelry cleaning solution for your wedding rings. For rings made of sturdy materials, such as gold and diamonds, fill a shallow bowl with one part ammonia and four parts water. For rings made of sterling silver and soft gemstones, opt for warm water and mild liquid dish detergent.
Soak and scrub your rings. Place your rings in the cleaning solution and allow them to sit for several minutes. If you are using an ammonia-based cleaning solution, soak your rings in the solution for several minutes and then transfer them to a bowl of soap and warm water for scrubbing. Using a soft brush, gently clean your rings, paying special attention to stone settings and engravings.
Be careful with soft gemstones. Never soak pearls or soft gemstones in a liquid solution. These materials may absorb water and become damaged. Instead, dip a soft cloth in the soapy water and use it to clean the ring. Use the soft brush on the metal if necessary but avoid scrubbing the surface of soft gemstones.
Rinse and dry your rings. Once your rings are clean, you can rinse them in warm water and polish them with a soft cloth. Inspect the rings and repeat the cleaning process if needed. Dry your rings with a cotton towel. You might also allow your rings to air-dry for several hours.
If you are using a cleaning solution that contains chemicals, you may want to wear disposable rubber gloves to protect your skin.