Tips and Tricks

The Best Way to Clean a Diamond | Rare Carat

Why do diamonds get so dirty?

In order to understand how to clean a diamond, you need to understand the way they operate. At the most basic level, a diamond’s surface is just like a bunch of tiny mirrors that pull light into the stone and let it bounce around like a toddler after too much sugar (or me after too much gin). To keep that light bouncing around then, we need to keep all those tiny mirrors clean so that the light can do its job. The problem with this however is that just like me at McDonalds after a night of gin, diamonds LOVE grease. Ridding your diamond of all that grease is surprisingly easy and can be done using items you will find at home, but before you reach for those rubber gloves you need to be aware of a few things.

Cleaning your diamond

First of all, if your diamond has any surface chips or cracks do NOT clean it yourself as you might unintentionally make those blemishes worse. Bring it to a professional jeweler to get it cleaned instead! Similarly, if the ring setting has any weak spots (like a claw that looks a bit flimsy or one of the diamonds is moving ever-so-slightly inside the setting) you are better served letting a professional deal with it, as scrubbing the ring might result in a stone popping out and you bursting into actual tears.

Secondly, this cleaning guide is meant only for diamonds because other stones such as rubies and sapphires are much softer than diamonds and can easily be damaged. If your ring has stones other than diamonds in the setting, bring that baby to a professional where it will be treated with the care it deserves. You could even drink gin while you wait.

Grab the following items:

  • Bowl of very warm water
  • A baby's toothbrush (because it's super soft)
  • Washing up liquid
  • An old cotton t-shirt

How to clean a diamond

  1. Take the toothbrush and dip it into the hot water to get it damp.
  2. Pop a good squirt of your washing up liquid directly onto the toothbrush and start gently scrubbing the whole ring. The baby toothbrush will not scratch the metal of the ring and it will also look pretty adorable, because let’s face it, it’s a baby toothbrush.
  3. Make sure you clean the back of the ring, and try to get the bristles up inside the setting to dislodge any pesky dirt in there. Be gentle.
  4. Now rinse off the ring in the bowl of hot water.
  5. Repeat this whole process a few times in order to remove all the dirt.
  6. You can dry off the ring with the old cotton t-shirt, so as to avoid any lint getting on to your perfectly clean ring.
Dr. Rian Mulcahy
Dr. Rian Mulcahy
Rian is officially a Diamond PhD - just ping us if you’d like to read her fascinating 200-page thesis, titled Facets of Value: An Investigation into the Formation of Worth in the Diamond Market. She has consulted various firms all along the pipeline, from the rough diamond market to the recycled diamond industry. She holds an MA in Globalisation and Development from University College Cork and a PhD in the Sociology of Diamond Valuation from the London School of Economics.