Gold and silver engagement ring with diamond

How to Clean a Cloudy Diamond Ring (Your Ultimate Guide)

Diamonds are timeless, as they say. Every year, millions of people across the world buy and wear diamonds as a sign of love, a token of friendship, or a way to remember loved ones who have passed. These cherished pieces of jewelry are passed down through generations and quickly become family heirlooms.

Diamonds are prized for several characteristics like size, cut, weight, and clarity.

Why does clarity matter so much?

When a diamond is clear, the light shines through it and reflects more brightly. It sparkles in the sun and even in low light settings, drawing attention to the wearer’s hand, ears, or necklace.

Sometimes when diamonds age, they can become cloudy inside. They still look fantastic, but most people would like to be able to clean them to restore their former brilliance.

Can you clean a cloudy diamond ring?

The answer is yes, you can clean a cloudy diamond ring to keep it clear and bright for years and years.

Close-up view of a diamond ring and woman hand

We’ve put together this guide to help you learn about cleaning a cloudy diamond and what you can do to brighten up a piece of jewelry whether it’s been a few years or you’ve recently inherited a family piece.

The Cleaning Process

First, we should let you know that most people take their diamonds to a jeweler for cleaning. Especially for expensive pieces, having a professional look over the item will ensure no damage happens to the diamond, the setting, or any gold on the jewelry.

You also basically guarantee results because a jeweler likely won’t give you back the piece if it’s not in great shape.

That said, cleaning a diamond ring by yourself is totally doable. By following several steps, you can make your diamond shine like it did when you first bought it. Here’s what to do:

  1. Fill a container with warm water. Using anything that will fit the ring and allow you to fit your hands in there will do. It should be hot but not so hot that you won’t want to put your hands in it. If you’re working in the sink, a bathtub, or anywhere near there, make sure the drain is closed. The last thing that you want is your ring popping out and falling down the drain.
  2. Put a small amount of detergent in the warm water and let it dissolve. The water should be slightly soapy but not thick with soap by any means. Mix it so the soap distributes evenly throughout the container.
  3. Leave your diamond ring in soapy water for 5-10 minutes. This will help dissolve any grime or dirt that’s on the diamond’s surface as well as anywhere else in the ring. With less dirt to work around, cleaning the diamond will be faster and easier.
  4. Pour water and an ammonia glass cleaner into a second container. Avoid using anything with chlorine in it because it could react negatively with any metal in your ring.
  5. Once the ring has soaked in the soapy hot water long enough, transfer the diamond ring into the glass cleaner solution. Let it soak in the second container for a few minutes before taking it out and brushing it clean. You can use a toothbrush to clean the ring or buy a specialized tool or brush online. You want soft bristle brushes to avoid scratching anything. You’ll want to pay special attention to brushing parts of the diamond you don’t see a lot, like the underside, to get all of the dust and dirt off that you can. Don’t scrub hard. Instead, move around the diamond evenly and methodically.
  6. Rinse the clean ring with normal water to get all of the solution and any leftover dirt off.

Once these steps are complete, your diamond should look a lot better! You should see an improvement in the clarity and overall condition of your ring.

cleaning diamond ring and other jewelry process

Getting Stubborn Fog Out of Diamond Rings

Your diamond ring will look amazing once it has been cleaned. But sometimes that brilliance doesn’t last. Some diamonds fog up again hours or days after cleaning. It can be a very frustrating experience.

Of course, there is some chance that persistent fog indicates that a diamond isn’t real. If you hold your diamond up to your mouth and breathe onto it like you’re fogging up a mirror and the fog stays for longer than a couple of seconds, then the stone may not be genuine.

Pretty much all you can do is keep cleaning it or take it to a professional diamond cleaner to see if they can make it look better.

Some Cloudy Diamonds Can’t Be Fixed

Sometimes diamonds are cut in a way that makes them look hazy at all times. This doesn’t have much to do with it being dirty, it’s just the way it was made. This, again, is one of the reasons clarity is so prized in the diamond market. People don’t want cloudy diamonds. They want shiny diamonds that sparkle all of the time.

If once you’ve cleaned the diamond ring, it still looks cloudy, your best bet is to take the ring to a trusted jeweler for a professional cleaning. They may have a solution or method that works better than what we’ve outlined here.

Thankfully, most diamond rings are cloudy simply because they’re a bit dirty. The wearer has had it on their finger for years or decades, and it’s finally time for a good wash.

Final Thoughts

Keep your diamond ring sparkling brighter for longer by giving it regular cleanings.

Hopefully, once you see what a difference the first cleaning makes, you’ll remember to clean the piece once a year or every so often so it looks shiny and new. If you see a diamond ring on a relative’s hand that has seen better days, offer to clean it for them to make it look better.

They’ll thank you for it and it breathes new life into old jewelry!


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